On Sept. 12, yeahstub.com had the opportunity to interview Hal Rubenstein about his latest HSN collection. His wears were on display at the HSN Fashion Week Lounge at the Empire Hotel. Hal is the InStyle Editor at Large. Read our exclusive interview with Hal below.
How does this collection differ from last season or last year’s collection?
I think it’s an evolution. Neither the HSN network or me, goes 180 one season to the next. From the very beginning, my goal was to teach the woman how to build a wardrobe, so as I learn more about what the HSN woman needs, we’ve added more pieces and expanded the elements that go in that wardrobe. I don’t want to look at the stuff that comes out in this next collection and think “I just bought that stuff last collection.” No! This stuff is in harmony with that. I saw a beautiful square neckline and woman loved it, and I’m like, “Let’s do more square necklines and more variations to give women a greater sense of confidence when they dress.” They love leather, they love lambskin. I have lambskin jackets, I have lambskin coats because why not? Lamb skin is the most luxurious of all leathers, it’s indestructible, these are pieces that you’re not going to have this year and next year, these are pieces that you take care of them well, there’s no reason you would ever have to get another one. I’m wearing these cowboy boots, I’ve had these things for 15 years. They’re indestructible. Also to teach women that great tailoring is timeless. The thing is that they’re actually very simple, it’s about how they’re fitting on the body, and you look at a show like Carolina Herrera, I think I can’t even agree with this idea that beauty and dignity and sophistication is a timeless thing. That’s not something that’s disposable.
Are your collections inspired by the HSN woman?
For 20 years, I spoke to what I call the middle class American woman through the pages of Instyle, 20 years I taught her how to feel great about herself, how to be a grown up, being in your 20’s you dress like you’re in your 20’s. That doesn’t mean you lose stuff. It’s a matter of how to put your clothes together. I just put all that knowledge and all the information that speaking to 10 million women for 20 years. That Instyle woman is not much different than that HSN woman. Coming from the magazine, I have brought people to HSN who have not been there before, that style and sophistication are qualities that are not about spending a certain amount of money.
What are your thoughts on fast fashion such as H&M and Forever 21?
I think they’re sensational, as long as you’re not forking down. The thing about H&M and Uniqlo, which are genius, is that for $30-$40, you can buy that incredibly trendy item, wear it for as much fun as it’s going to be, and when you’re done with it, you toss it. I don’t want to see you spending $1800 on a whim bag, or $900 on a dress that is macramé and feathers because you’re going to be over this dress after you wear it three times. That’s why I think those clothes are great, for someone like my nieces, love Forever 21 , she’s a college student, it’s perfect for her, and then you take it a next level up, like Zara, and HSN, I put them altogether, it’s a smart simplicity, this smart urbanity, for a woman who works, who can’t spend her whole life devoted to fashion. If you happen to hit it, and you got the bucks to spare, knock yourself out and spend your money on Alber, he’s a genius. I think there’s room in a woman’s closet for all of it. My clothes is a modern take on classic pieces, which means results in timelessness.