5 Minutes with Hanneli Mustaparta

Hanneli Mustaparta

Photo: Carly Otness/

Hanneli Mustaparta at the opening of new Meatpacking District, OWEN by Phillip Salem

Boutique openings are a dime a dozen in New York City, but shiny new storefront OWEN by Phillip Salem brought out the stylish after-work crowd in droves. And rightfully so: the brightly colored Preen, Sass & Bide, and other covetable goods distracted eager customers from DJs (and designers) Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein's rotation of M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj. Nary a move was busted, but in spite of the Footloose-like abstention, the crowd was jovial, the music was spirited, and most importantly, we're plotting a return visit to take advantage of the selection.

Dressed in a summery Jen Kao number, hostess, blogger extraordinaire, and very busy lady Hanneli Mustaparta, spoke with us for a moment before she hustled off to another event.

Thanks for speaking with us! What do you plan on doing this summer?
I'm going to Norway. And I might go to Tuscany. My calendar is always changing so I have to do last-minute. I just know I want to go somewhere but I haven't decided when.

Your schedule must be crazy. How do you stay sane?
There's a way to managing. I have an agent. I'm actually looking to get someone to help me.

Like an intern?
Well, I've had that. I'm looking for someone just a little bit more on it. I'm looking for someone very hard-working and interested in learning something new. Have someone email me if you know someone!

We just wrote up something about fashionable namesakes, like Anna Wintour has a pair of shoes named after her...
I think I have several things named after me! There's a bathing suit, there's a dress.

What you've seen, are those pieces reflective of your style?
Yes and sometimes no, a little bit of both. Anything that's named after you, is always fun. It's also interesting to see what people interpret what I like, what they think I like. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't, but I am so honored, always honored.

Are you working on any design projects of your own?
No, because when I am going to design something, it needs to be the proper, fun, big project that fits me really, really well. I've been approached several times, like I have to be really excited about it. Also, I'm doing so many other things that I wouldn't even know where to get the time so even when I have time to think and create, I really love the whole process of it, not like rushing these things out. I would be really worried about that. When I have time to really sit down and enjoy the process of it.

So if that happens, what would The Hanneli be?
It would definitely be an [expression] of who I am, what I like, the whole aesthetic of what I love. I have really strict rules for me, how I like to look…like minimalist, fun, kind of quirky, but not too serious, not too young.