We are beyond excited to kick off our 2022 Holiday Tastemaker introductions with the absolutely fabulous Hunter Bell! Hunter Bell is the founder of Hunter Bell NYC, a contemporary women’s clothing brand known for putting a modern twist on sophisticated, feminine silhouettes. Each piece is designed to help women feel empowered to have fun with fashion. Born and raised in the small town of Florence, SC, Hunter studied fashion design and studio art at the University of Alabama. She spent summers interning in New York, and after graduation returned to further her design education at Parsons New School. In 2013 Hunter was named the winner of ABC’s hit show Fashion Star, and set out on her own to re-launch her new label, Hunter Bell NYC. The line has become hugely popular, and is now carried in over 175 retailers worldwide and online. Hunter currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three children. While she is a proud South Carolinian at heart and credits her 12 years in New York for the indispensable life and career lessons, Hunter now considers herself a proud Texan.
Hunter was paired with Dogwood Hill artist Riley Sheehey who created all of the beautiful artwork for the Hunter’s Holiday Tastemaker Collection called Bella Garden. “I have been a huge fan of Hunter’s dresses for years and was so excited to be paired with her to bring her holiday card vision to life. The moodboard she sent featured bold colors and an eclectic mix of fun patterns, and so we created a series of bright floral patterns for her suite that could work together or stand alone. My favorite part of the suite is the ric-rac border – it’s a nod to Hunter’s fabulous career working with textiles,” Riley said.
Continue scrolling for a preview of the Bella Garden Collection (the entire collection can be shopped here) and to read our Holiday Q&A with Hunter. We also have included a few of Hunter’s fabulous dresses we think would make for fun holiday attire at the bottom of this post.
Which card from your Tastemaker Suite will you be sending out to friends and family this holiday?
The Floral Pattern card!
What was the inspiration behind your holiday suite?
My holiday collection has a lot of saturated tones and I wanted to create a holiday suite that did the same!
What was the process like designing your holiday suite with the Dogwood Hill team?
I loved working with Riley Sheehey to create the art and the Dogwood Hill design team to create the amazing patterns. They are so talented and really brought my vision to life with the artwork.
What do you love most about the holiday season?
I love spending time with my family. That’s probably the most common answer, but it’s true!
What is your favorite tradition?
We’ve started going together to pick out our family Christmas tree and I love it!
What is your most memorable holiday and why?
Probably the first Christmas that we were a family of five.
If you had to pick one holiday movie to use as inspiration to decorate your own house, what would it be!
I always love the contrast between the two homes in The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett.
What is your favorite holiday song?
I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas (which is ironic now that I love in Houston).
What is your go-to holiday hostess gift?
A nice candle or a good bottle of wine.
What kind of holiday shopper are you – Black Friday, Christmas Eve or year long stasher?
I’m somewhere in between a Black Friday and Christmas Eve shopper, depending on the year.
What brings you a sense of calm during the busy holiday season?
Focusing on my kids and making sure they are feeling the magic, but also understanding the reason behind the season always helps to ground me.
Are you team real tree or faux tree?
Team white lights or colored whites?
I use a little of both! White lights on the tree and colored lights on the outside of the house.
What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Pistachio biscotti with eggnog.
Is there one holiday entertaining hack or secret you can share?
Outsourcing anything you can!
Who is your dream holiday party guest?
Elton John sounds amazing at a holiday party. Imagining him just playing the piano in a velvet blazer telling stories of Christmas’ past.
What are you most thankful for this year?
Always most thankful for my family.
What is one item on your wishlist this holiday season?
I have my eye on a rafia Prada bag this year, but also in need of some new luggage…..one is a more fun “bag purchase” than the other!
Card Photography: Mary Margaret Smith Photography
Dress Photos: Hunter Bell