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DRESS CIRCLE: Los Angeles-based stylist and girl-about-town Mary Alice Haney last month launched her own customizable dress line, Haney Pret-a-Couture, at shophaney.com, and next month Net-a-Porter will be the first wholesale partner offering the special-occasion frocks, which are named after Haney's glamorous girlfriends, including Reese Witherspoon, who sported her black strapless minidress at a Beverly Hills gala in October. The 13 styles, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 at retail, can be ordered with the fabric, trim, neckline and length of the customer's choice on the shophaney site, or in standard versions on Net-a-Porter.
"Everyone thought I was crazy to do this because it's not the easiest business model," said Haney, who cuts each dress to order in Los Angeles. "But nobody else was playing with customization in the higher-end space online." So far, she's sold several dresses via trunk shows at the homes of her social pals, or band ambassadors, such as Capa Mooty, Stacey Hunt and Lisa Rocchio in Dallas; Veronica Swanson Beard, Beth Blake, Alina Cho and Bonnie Morrison in New York; and Allison Speer, Hillary Thomas, Alexis Swanson Traina and Katie Traina in San Francisco.