MAISON DE MODE is the premiere e-commerce platform for luxury sustainable fashion founded by Amanda Hearst and Hassan Pierre.
Join us as we sit down with Amanda and Hassan to learn more about Maison de Mode and their approach to Sustainable Fashion.
AMANDA HEARST is an activist and co-founder of the hybrid luxury ethical fashion retailer, MAISON-DE-MODE. The concept, born in 2012, fuses pop-up brick & mortar experiences alongside a seamless online boutique, specializing in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. She is also the founder of Friends of Finn, a group dedicated to stopping the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills as well as on the Advisory Board of NEST, a non-profit committed to the advancement of global artisans. Hearst is also a Contributing Editor at Town & Country magazine.
HASSAN PIERRE is an entrepreneur and co-founder of the hybrid luxury ethical fashion retailer, MAISON-DE-MODE. The concept, which began in 2012, fuses pop-up brick & mortar experiences alongside a seamless online boutique, specializing in unique ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, accessories and home goods. Pierre attended the prestigious, Parsons School of Design where he studied Design & Management. After his inaugural year he launched the demi-couture label, Way It Should Be, which specialized in vintage couture fabrics and supported manufacturing in the United States. He has extended his experience and voice to numerous panel discussions including the 2015 NGO Conference at the United Nations, was a judge for the Denim Challenge at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2016, has participated in numerous CFDA discussions and spoke at SXSW in March 2018. Pierre also sits on the Advisory Board for the 2018 CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative 2.0.
What motivated you to develop Maison de Mode?
Amanda and I met through work. I was designing a demi-couture women’s label that was all upcycled using vintage couture fabrics and she was an editor at Marie Claire writing about ethical fashion circa 2010. We met when she came down to my showroom to view the new collection and interview me for the magazine. We had a ton of mutual friends and a shared vision and interest in fashion that was more than just aesthetic pleasing, and after a few chats realized we both saw that was a gap in the retail landscape that catered to sustainable designers and that if we put all the brands together under one roof we could further educate and promote consumers on ethical fashion.
How do you communicate sustainable and ethical fashion to consumers? Have you encountered any roadblocks?
We also say that we are first and foremost a luxury retailer, with the added benefit that all the things you buy from us have a social, economic or environmental impact. So we first educate them by showing them that ethical fashion is in fact luxury by definition from the products we curate and then we supply enough information about our brands and products to allow consumers to learn as much or as little as they want and we don’t lead with negative harmful facts. Those facts are out there, you can google them but often what’s missing in this conversation is facts on what good people are doing.
What are consumers asking of brands? Has this changed lately?
Transparency & quality. Not just in product but in customer service. I think this has always been what the customer wanted it’s just easier for them to communicate to the brands and for the brands to listen and respond. Social media has given every consumer a voice and leaves every brand with no excuse to not listen.
Where do you source ethical and sustainable brands and designers?
At the beginning, there were maybe 8 brands. It was hard, now I think we stock of 60+ brands. Instagram is one of the best tools to discover fashion and a lot of brands reach out to us.
Which are your favorite fashion brands and/or individuals, whose ethos you most respect and are inspired by?
We love Osklen and their founder Oskar Metsavaht, Rosario Dawson & Abrima Erwiah’s Studio189 and Liya Kebede’s Lemlem, all sold at MDM.
Is fashion the second most polluting industry globally, as everyone always says?
That’s a common statement that is always floating around. I don’t know who originally said it, or what the facts in terms of type of pollution that are gaging (air, water, etc) and against what industry’s it’s compared to but I do know that fashion is very labor intensive on the environment and the human hands that work to produce garments and that if things aren’t produced mindfully and people aren’t treated fairly that will cause major issues across both the environment and humankind.
What is the revolution you are hoping for in the fashion industry?
I’m hoping we get to a place which sustainability is incorporating so deeply into the industry that we stop separating fashion from ethical or sustainable fashion and that it just become fashion. I hope in the future we get to a place where items are labeled harmful or unethical. Wouldn’t that be interesting!
What would be your advice to our readers who want to start to shop more responsibly or build a more ethical wardrobe?
The first step in responsible shopping is understanding what you actually need v. what you want. I always tell people you can easily start to be more mindful and build an ethical wardrobe by, shopping in your own closet, we have so much already wear something you haven’t worn in a while and get it tailored. Buy vintage, there’s nothing worse than waste and why not buy a vintage dress that no one will have at the party ? Lastly, if all else fails shop on MDM, we make you look good and feel good about your purchases.
What sustainable practices do you implement in your day to day life?
Conscious consumerism is one step towards a better world. What else should we be doing? I think the biggest thing I’ve been doing is being mindful about waste. You don’t actually realize how much waste you contribute on a daily or weekly basis because you don’t see it so I try to look for as many alternate ways to eliminate the amount of waste I’m contributing to.
What’s next for Maison de Mode?
We are launching children’s later this year along with the expansion of our home division and our wellness boutique.