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We talk to Halston Heritage CEO, Ben Malka, about the iconic womenswear brand, inspiration and future plans. Interview by Neil O'Keeffe.

Halston defined glamour in the seventies. How does Halston Heritage maintain his legacy?

Designed for the woman who radiates elegance, Halston Heritage is built on the core principles of the iconic brand - simplicity, sensuality, sophistication, and timeless elegance. Staying true to Halston’s approach, Halston Heritage will continue to capture its timeless sophistication in a modern yet effortlessly way, fit for today’s contemporary woman. Halston created strong codes that are quintessential to the brand even to this day, as a new team of innovators continue to evolve the Halston legacy through the Halston Heritage collection. Today Halston Heritage is an approachable luxury lifestyle brand - mixing legacy codes with a modern edge to create an effortless women’s collection of ready-to-wear, dresses, handbags, footwear and small leather goods.

What inspires the Halston Heritage creative team when designing?

The Fall 2013 Halston Heritage collection re-interprets the iconic Halston ideals for today’s woman, with ‘uptown sophistication’ meeting ‘downtown cool’. Simplicity and effortless elegance - the brand’s enduring core principles - are at the heart of the collection, as easy, timeless silhouettes come alive in luxurious textures. Soft structure in skirts and dresses offers a touch of femininity, while menswear inspired outerwear shapes and sporty tailoring give it a modern edge. Vibrant fireworks-inspired prints, ombré jacquard and athletic panelling add a bold graphic element. Key silhouettes include cocoon shaped sweaters, full skirts, easy shifts and architectural sheath dresses.

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Halston was a pioneer for licensing his name.
Does
Halston Heritage have plans to expand the brand offer?

Today Halston Heritage encompasses collections of ready-to-wear, dresses, evening gowns, handbags, small leather goods and footwear. Over time, the brand will continue to expand into other relevant categories that complete the Halston Heritage lifestyle. 

Besides apparel, the brand is creating handbags. How do you create the seasons ‘must have’ accessory?

Instead of creating contemporary handbags with some luxury infusion, we create luxury handbags with some contemporary infusion, for the same price point. The Halston Heritage handbag collection features innovative styling, luxe craftsmanship, intricate details and a keen focus on functionality - blending high style with exquisite function to make it truly unique.

From its inception, Halston recognized the value of having celebrities wear his gowns. How important is it for the label to have celebrity ambassadors? 

The Halston Heritage brand continues to carry a cache similar to the original Halston brand, attracting actresses, artists and musicians as some of its biggest fans. Worn by top models such as Gisele Bundchen, and A-list actresses such as Halle Berry, the high profile Halston legacy lives on through Halston Heritage.

Halston Heritage has an extensive global reach.
What are the future plans for the brand?

Halston is a global brand, and we will continue to carefully grow its presence in the right international territories and the right locations. For now, while we have a number of opportunities, we are continuing to focus on the emerging luxury markets in China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. We are opening our first store in Kuwait this month with another store in Dubai to follow shortly. 

What can Halston Heritage do to stand out in such a competitive landscape, both online and in print?

Halston remains a highly influential brand - influencing designers and artists throughout the world to this day. The brand’s heritage is powerful and its legacy is a major differentiator from the myriad of brands in the market today. We stand out by staying true to the brand’s heritage, while asserting a modern perspective and a contemporary point of view.

Images from top: 1. Halston Heritage black blazer with satin lapel. Modelled by Liandra from FM London. Photography by Neil O’Keeffe. Styling by Fernando Torres. Hair and make-up by Niki Black using Paul Mitchell and Nars. 2. Roy Halston in his office in the late seventies. by Michael Evans/Gamma Liaison.