News & Runway

21 Questions with…Toni Hacker of Hayden-Harnett

Toni Hacker designer for Hayden-Harnett

Founded in 2005 by husband and wife Toni Hacker and Ben Harnett, Hayden-Harnett has grown from a niche Greenpoint-based handbag brand to an in-demand line comprised of handbags, ready-to-wear, shoes, and accessories sold around the world. Here, creative director Toni Hacker answers our 21 questions.

1. I would never leave my apartment without wearing… a great pair of sunglasses and a cuff.

2. When I get dressed to go to work I think… of what color and energy I want to bring to the day. 

3. When I'm looking to get inspired I… take an amazing trip and explore.

4. The most treasured piece in my closet is… a vintage Lanvin necklace that I found years and years ago…actually, it found me.

5. My design philosophy is… truth in form, ease of use.

6. I think all women should have these things in their closet… great bags that work for them and really express their individuality, versatile easy silk dresses and tops that can be styled a million different ways, and scarves to bring in color and spirit.

7. My guilty pleasure is… raw cacao ganache cake with walnut butter, mmmm.

8. My all time favorite Hayden-Harnett bag is… tough question. It's a tie between our collection Biblio Bag or the Wyeth Tote.

9. The one celebrity that hasn't yet worn one of my pieces that I would love to see in one is… Angelina Jolie.

10. On a typical Saturday night… Ben and I are at home enjoying quiet time with our fur family. A great meal. Possibly drinks later with friends in Brooklyn at Saraghina.

11. When hiring people, the qualities I value most are… honesty, a willingness to try anything once, and self-motivation.

12. I'm excited for fall because… everything is so beautiful from the collections.

13. The one electronic device I couldn't go a day without is… my iPhone.

14. My beauty must-haves are… Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk, Amorepacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Gel, and NARS Orgasm Blush.

15. My biggest fashion pet peeve is… I've never quite moved beyond my revulsion for guys in rubber flip-flops and socks from college. Outside of that, it's very rare that I see someone and think they look bad. Very rare. In fact, I tend to think people look amazing.

16. I wouldn't be caught dead… wearing rubber flip-flops and socks.

17. The best style tip I ever got… was during our photoshoot for our Target collaboration with Daniel Jackson. The makeup artist, Pepper, introduced me to MAC gel liner. It really brings your face and eyes to life in a subtle way that looks and feels fresh.

18. My take on Manhattan vs. Brooklyn is… Manhattan has incredible energy and is a place that I love to visit — especially downtown. Brooklyn has a much slower, creative pace that I really respond to. It has a really expansive feeling that supports my life and work. It's home to me.

19. When I want to pamper my dog I… take him to Unleash in Brooklyn for a day of play and fun, buy him a bag of duck & yam treats, and take him for an extra long walk and let him have a super long nap in the grass. Or, maybe a little reiki work if we're needing some bonding time.

20. When I'm looking to get all dolled up I always… reach for my best little black dress and Lanvin power necklace.

21. My biggest style regret… probably in 6th grade when I begged for a perm and an Olivia Newton John cut.