A fashion entrepreneur with a startup for sustainable style.
Designer Hassan Pierre has always regarded luxury and sustainability as natural allies. On the day he met former Marie Claire editor Amanda Hearst, he was resurrecting vintage designer fabrics—Valentino silks, Chanel tweeds—as original demi-couture garments. Hearst was hooked on his way of thinking, and together they launched Maison de Mode, a luxury pop-up boutique with an ethical edit. With increased demand came an online store with a corresponding conscience. Here, in partnership with Blundstone, Pierre offers a glimpse into his day, night and wardrobe as the co-founder of MAISON-DE-MODE.COM.
MAISON-DE-MODE.COM chooses brands that adhere to what you call sustainability icons, including recycled, organic and cruelty-free, among others. What were your criteria for choosing those attributes?
Ethical fashion and sustainable fashion are such umbrella terms, and we really wanted to pick the specific characteristics that were most important to us. So, we looked at all of these different touch points, whether it be that the company uses organic or recycled material, or maybe it gives back to charitable organizations. We don’t consider any one of these virtues to be more important than another, so all of our brands have to adhere to at least one icon. Most practice two or more.
What are some of the challenges you face when looking for brands that meet at least one those standards?
When we launched the pop-up store concept, there were only six or seven brands doing sustainable fashion—it was a niche idea. It was difficult because there was such a limited selection of brands, and the design factor was often missing. Now we have over 60 brands on our site, with almost 20 more expected by December. Now it isn’t much of a challenge to find sustainable and ethical brands. We’re actually seeing a lot of larger brands incorporating sustainability into their businesses as well. We’re fortunate to have a platform where we can promote undiscovered brands, and we can also work with bigger brands to introduce sustainability to their customers.
How does your day typically unfold?
The first thing I do is check my e-mail and run through social media to see what I missed. I like to joke that I really don’t sleep, so I’m always on my phone. From there it’s usually the gym and calls or meetings with the team. Because it’s the busy season, we’re invited to a lot of events focused on sustainability, which is wonderful. That’s pretty much a day in the life.
What is your workspace like?
We work out of Spring Place in Tribeca. I’d describe it as an elevated co-sharing space. They have all of these creative types in fashion, film, technology and art working in the same space so they can feed off each other.