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HOGAN’S HEROINE: Daphne Guinness’ go-to young designer, Hogan McLaughlin, is certainly having a moment. Aside from suiting up the heiress for last week’s opening of an exhibition about her style at the Museum at FIT, the 22-year-old has several items on display. Considering her three-tiered metal coat was meant to look like “plasma rising” and required 100 hours of work, it is fair to say the designer is not taking his craft lightly. Now McLaughlin is intent on selling his handmade eight-piece line to stores more of the Barneys-Bergdorf-Colette vein than the Bloomingdale’s one. With prices ranging from $1,000 to $30,000, the Hogan collection is one that can be purchased in bits and pieces.
Although he has never had any formal training in fashion, art or design, McLaughlin said his years of touring as a dancer helped give him an innate understanding of how clothes have to move on a body. Growing up on Park Avenue — in Rover Forest, Ill. — he started drawing at a young age and sketched and archived 20-look collections. Working as a freelance artist also helped pay the bills when he first relocated to Manhattan in 2009. After following Guinness on Twitter he sent her some of his drawings and she convinced him to give fashion a whirl.
This story first appeared in the September 23, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
About to move with his sister Lucy from Manhattan to Brooklyn, McLaughlin said their new digs will have ample room for his Chicago-based seamstress to work in New York from time to time. Guinness, of course, is always welcome. Although McLaughlin hails from humbler means — his parents own a milk company — he and the heiress of the Guinness fortune have a lot in common — a kooky uncle and a normal family — and get on famously. But he was quick to note, he wants nothing in return. “Daphne knows I’m not trying to weasel anything out of her. Even if nothing happens with the clothing, I really enjoy our friendship. Neither one of us is interested in taking anything from the other.”