a student at NYU, London-born and LA-raised Harley Viera Newton began DJing at weekly parties
among friends. Irrefutably talented and palpably cool, her
reputation spread through the city and what started as a hobby
quickly turned into a fully fledged career. Her big break came when
Dior contacted her about a DJ ambassadorship and she became a
household name within the fashion industry, going from performing
at small, smoky bars to global fashion shows and swanky A-list
events. “It seemed far too good to be true… but somehow it was
real. I ended up working with Dior for three years,” Harley
recounts. “It was definitely a turning point of my career.”
Inspired by her personal style and busy life, Harley decided to
create a line of dresses for every girl-on-the-go that could be
worn year round. Uncomplicated, feminine and versatile, HVN dresses
allow you to do just about anything – and in Harley’s case,
everything – while still looking on-trend.
Why did you start the line and what inspired it?
I’ve had a really strong vision of what the HVN dresses would
look like since high school. I fell in love with vintage growing up
in LA, and dresses soon became my everyday uniform. After building
up a pretty big collection, I longed to update the classic vintage
styles I loved so much. I imagined specific prints I could never
find in stores and considered which fabrics would make the dresses
feel and flow better. When I graduated from college, I began to
save money and research how to make those ideas a reality. I
launched HVN in June 2016 but spent two years preparing and
sampling the silhouettes and fabrics before that.
Who is wearing your dresses and why?
I created these dresses hoping that they would make women’s
lives easier. I want the HVN dress to be the no-brainer,
comfortable piece in your wardrobe that you can throw on when
you’re late for work and have five minutes to get ready in the
morning. But I also want HVN dresses to be fitted and flattering
enough to then transition into the evening with a quick change of
accessories. The silhouettes are simple and classic, but the prints
are personal and conversational to give the styles a fun twist.
What can we expect in terms of the evolution of your
Through designing the first HVN collections, I really fell in
love with print design. As HVN evolves, I’m experimenting with
other styles that the prints can lend themselves to well. Stay
tuned for the autumn collection…
What is the important advice you were given before starting a
I think it’s really important to be aware of the commitment you
are making. It is all-consuming (in the best way) and an
extraordinary amount of work so you have be 110% dedicated. I have
designer friends who warned me about this, so I was careful to wait
until the time was right for me and I knew exactly what I wanted to
Who supported you throughout the process?
My mother Cristina and brother Dean were incredible throughout
the early stages of the process. They had a jewellery line together
a few years ago, so their experience and advice was invaluable. My
fiancé has been my emotional support system – I couldn’t have done
it without his encouragement.
Which is your favourite place you’ve visited for work or
Where should we stay, eat and shop in Tokyo?
Stay in Shibuya, eat breakfast at the fish market and shop in
You’re constantly travelling, which items can you not travel
– A short-sleeved HVN dress and a strappy HVN dress (right now,
I’m packing the vine-print silk Maria dress and Lily falling
floral-print silk slip)
– HVN silk eye mask and Tempur-Pedic travel pillow, both
– Biologique P50 toner and Caudalie travel-size beauty
– Bose noise-cancelling in-ear headphones
– HVN cherry pyjama set
– Fiji water