Originally published on AOL.com
Last week, the American Heart Association held the Red Dress Collection™ runway show presented by Macy’s. Marissa Tomei, Kate Walsh and the Bachelorette’s, Rachel Lindsay were just a few of the celebrities who walked the runway to support women’s heart health during New York Fashion Week and American Heart Month.
The show was DJ’d by ultra-cool girl, Harley Viera-Newton, who has modeled for major brands such as DKNY and has graced the pages of Vogue. We caught up with the DJ and model-turned-designer backstage to chat about HVN (her namesake fashion label), heart health and music.
From modeling to DJing to becoming a newly established fashion designer, how do you manage those different roles and why is it important for you to support causes such as the American Heart Association?
It’s doable up until fashion week and then it becomes pretty crazy. I was showing and selling all day today from 8 am until I had to leave to come here – but you know, you find a balance. Usually, the DJing is in the evening or in the late afternoon so it works out. This week is definitely not lots of sleep but that’s okay!
I think it’s really important to shed light on an issue like heart disease and just let people know that it is a huge threat to women. I think that this day is about letting women know they need to take care of their heart and be aware of that. You can work out not just for the way you look, but also for that way that you feel and the way that your heart feels.
What’s your go-to music for playing at a fashion party? Are there any new artists you’re loving right now?
I never create the playlist before I arrive, because until you see the venue and feel out the vibe of the event, it’s kind of hard to predict where it will go. I think today is going to be a lot of fun, a lot about female empowerment and I’m going to throw in some important female artists in my set for sure.
I’m obsessed with Cardi B so I just plan on stalking her through fashion week. I DJ’d something with her last week and got to see her perform and it was amazing.
You have such a diverse and unique resume, are there any mentors that inspire you?
Oh my god, so many. I have so many designer friends that have helped me sort of in this new stage of my career and the emotional support is the most important thing – you know, just having friends like Adam Selman, Jonathan Saunders, designers I’ve loved for so long who can sort of help me through these early stages.
It’s clear that HVN is inspired by a vintage aesthetic and an effortless girl on-the-go. She can wear it to the office and go straight to a party. Who is your dream person to dress?
Rihanna, but I feel like that’s everyone’s dream girl — but honestly, just any women who wear it and makes it their own. I love seeing how different girls and different women style the dresses. One girl will wear it with combat boots, another girl will wear it with heels or sneakers or layer it with a pant. There are just so many ways to style them so that’s really rewarding for me to see how it can be translated so many different ways.
HVN is known for its prints and silhouette, what type of prints are you looking forward to wearing this Spring season?
I have a couple of new prints that I’m really excited about but I am about to launch so I’m not going to talk about them yet. We try to keep the prints under wraps until they are in store. There are some good ones coming!
HVN has been spotted on everyone from Jennifer Garner to Selena Gomez and Kelly Ripa. Who was the most shocking to see wear your designs?
All of them! It’s crazy that these incredible women are finding my dresses and supporting. Everyone is exciting. I remember when I first saw Jennifer Garner wearing a dress, I couldn’t believe it. I just got tagged in a photo of Brie Larson who is so gorgeous – she looked amazing! It’s always shocking and exciting.
To get involved or learn more about the American Heart Association, visit heart.org and shop our favorite HVN dresses in the gallery below!