Maria McManus

During her 20+ years in the fashion industry, Maria McManus became increasingly alarmed at fashion’s detrimental impact on the environment. So she created a better alternative.

Astrological sign?  
Aquarius

Lucky number? 
11

Favorite color? 
Oh this is so hard. I surround myself with neutrals but I’m obsessed with poppies, (my second daughter’s first name), so I would have to say coquelicot red.

Morning, Noon, or Night? 
Night

Uptown, Midtown, or Downtown? 
Downtown

Met, MOMA, or Movies? 
MOMA

Football, Baseball, or Basketball? 
Soccer

Green Tea, Black Tea, or Herbal Tea? 
Black Tea – Barrys Gold Blend specifically

Sugar, Splenda, or Stevia? 
None of the above

Red, White, or Rosé? 
All of the above, daily – I make myself feel better by only buying organic and biodynamic wines.

Spicy, Salty, or Sweet? 
Spicy

Sandwich, Soup, or Salad? 
Sandwich

Black, White, or Color? 
Black

Is your closet messy or neat? 
Messy, so messy

What’s your favorite room in your home? 
Kitchen

What do you collect? 
Shoes

Dream dinner guest? 
Gertrude Stein

Sunday ritual? 
Sleep, hike, cook for friends and family (pre-covid).

Favorite flower? 
Poppies and Ranunculus.

Favorite scent? 
Freja Beha Erickson gifted me Rose of No Man’s Land when she created it with Byredo and I have been wearing it ever since.

Cheat meal? 
She Wolf Bakery Sprouted Rye Bread and a big hunk of Kerrygold salted butter.

Favorite place to escape to when you need a moment of respite? 
My beach house in Montauk.

Talent you’d like to have?  
Speak French fluently.

Quality you want to be remembered by? 
Inspirational

Best thing about New York?  
The people.

It’s hard not to be reminiscent of the past, and distracted by the future. How do you strive to live in the moment? 
I try to spend as much time as I can with my children, actually being present with them which is sometimes hard; having conversations, finding common ground, challenging them with old and new ideas and tastes in food, music, fashion, dance, politics, social norms…

What does Considered Luxury mean to you? 
To me considered luxury means purchasing timeless pieces, that you will wear over and over again, and choosing natural fabrics and yarns that are organic, recycled or sustainably sourced where possible, as they have the lowest environmental impact.

What was the inspiration behind starting your brand?
Maria McManus is a luxury womenswear collection, founded on sustainable principles: use less water, fewer chemicals and create less waste
Having worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years, I was becoming increasingly alarmed at fashion’s detrimental impact on the environment. A conversation with my friend, Stella Ishii my agent and owner of The News showroom, led us to create Maria McManus: an eponymous collection of meticulously designed clothing created with the lowest environmental impact using recycled, organic and/or sustainably farmed materials.

Give three words that describe your brand. 
Effortless, chic, sustainable, gamine.

Who is a woman in your life you are inspired by and why.
My mother. She always encouraged us to be open minded in terms of race, gender, income, which in very Catholic Ireland in the 90’s was a very novel way of thinking. She supported organic and regenerative farming before anyone knew what they were and made our clothes by hand when we were children.

Favorite female singer to listen to when you need some motivation?
PJ Harvey

What are three words to describe your most fabulous female friend?
Witty, honest, generous.

Name three things all women need in their life. 
A good friend, music, nature.

What does giving back mean to you and your brand?
Treating everyone who touches the brand – our customers, our employees, our stores, our factories with respect and trying to ensure that everyone we work with is paid a fair living wage.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in the last year?
That I have incredible friends and that people are inherently good and want to love and support each other. We need to manifest this positivity more so we can channel goodness, rather than amplifying divisiveness and hate.