Catwalk in comfort: How designer Hillary Taymour made HOKA runway ready for New York Fashion Week

Designer Hillary Taymour created Collina Strada with a bigger dream than just starting a clothing line. She aims to encourage self-reflection through clothing, asking, “How can you be the best version of yourself today?” For Hillary, this means spreading awareness for social issues through creative expression and staying true sustainable practices for her brand. 

For her Spring 20 line, Hillary was inspired by a “Grandma Garden Party”. The venue was transformed into a Farmer’s Market to celebrate sustainability. Models of all ages and backgrounds walked the runway in bold colors. Some were even adorned with radishes or cucumbers in place of makeup. 

If you look closely, you might even recognize some familiar silhouettes on models’ feet. Hillary carefully embellished the HOKA Gaviota Leather and Ora Recovery Slide with beads, paint and deadstock fabric for the show. 

We sat down with Hillary to learn more about her inspiration behind the design of these shoes. 


HOKA: What drew you to HOKA? What stands out to you about the styles you chose? 

TAYMOUR: I love the comfort level of HOKA – it’s insane.  I’ve never worn a more comfortable shoe and it’s hard to wear anything else now. 

HOKA: How were you initially introduced to HOKA? 

TAYMOUR: I was initially introduced to HOKA through friends who were huge fans and it really just evolved from there. 

HOKA: What inspired this collection? 

TAYMOUR: I wanted to make fun and loud clothes that were all rooted with sustainability in mind. 


HOKA: How do you weave your passion for sustainability into your designs? 

TAYMOUR: I chose deadstock fabrics that spoke to me in some way.  I try to make everything into something that I myself or my friends would wear. 

HOKA: We noticed you have all types of people represented in your shows. How do you find your models? 

TAYMOUR: I look everywhere for my models.  Some are friends and family — some I find on the street or Instagram. There are no rules. It’s important to show that clothes can be for everyone and not just a hanger model. 

HOKA: You’ve embellished the shoes with lots of fun items. How do you decide what to use? 

TAYMOUR: I really wanted them to look like your grandma’s house during the summer. And what do you do at Grandma’s house? Crafts! 


HOKA: Which HOKA piece took the longest to create?  

TAYMOUR: We covered some with lace and ruffles and pearl beads which took a long time to place around the edges. The rhinestone shell slides took a while too — everything was individually placed. They looked amazing! Everything felt very ‘Grandma Garden Party’. 

HOKA: Which HOKA piece was your favorite to create? 

TAYMOUR: My favorite to create were the ones I hand painted. I love the act of painting – it’s very relaxing. 


HOKA: Why do you think we are seeing more running shoes on the runway lately? 

TAYMOUR: I think comfort is so important. Fashion is ultimately about function, so running shoes are here to stay. 

Shop the Gaviota Leather here and the Ora Recovery Slide here. 



Words Are Powerful with Liz Hernandez

Meet Emmy-nominated television personality and journalist Liz Hernandez. We recently sat down with Liz to discuss her newest venture, WORDAFUL, which she describes as “a video and live event series that focuses on the importance of how we communicate with others and with ourselves”.

HOKA: How did WORDAFUL come to be? What was the transition like from hosting Access Hollywood to founding your own company?

Hernandez: There are multiple factors that inspired this company. I was raised by parents who used their words to inspire, encourage and uplift me. Whether or not they understood the power of their influence at the time, it played a major role in my success, and is what helps fuel this brand. When my mom was diagnosed [with Alzheimer’s] in 2014 and began to lose her ability to speak, that’s when I truly understood the gift of communication. This is how my company started, as a passion project. I was yearning for connection so I used it as an outlet to share stories I felt were meaningful and at the same time it became therapeutic.

The transition from Access to WORDAFUL was organic. I had felt out of alignment for sometime in television. When I was delivering celebrity news, who I was did not match my message. I began WORDAFUL I could feel each word/episode creating a positive change in me and in the lives of others. That’s when my passion project became my purpose. 


HOKA: Your mother has been an inspiration to you in life, as well as in founding WORDAFUL. Can you speak about her influence in your life? Have there been others that inspired you in your entrepreneurship? 

Hernandez: My mom was my soul charger. Life would deplete my battery and along would come my mother with her encouragement and love that would fill me up to a 100 percent charge. After she was diagnosed [with Alzheimer’s], her words became fewer and fewer; I felt like I was walking around with a low battery. I had to learn to be my own cheerleader, and the message became loud and clear: Communication is a gift not to be taken for granted. It’s easy to become reckless with how we speak to each other and to ourselves.

Once I began to pour all my energy into this full-time company, it was astonishing how the right people appeared in my life and helped me in my entrepreneurship. Four months after I left Access Hollywood, the OWN Network gave me an opportunity to present WORDAFUL on their platform. Oprah has been my inspiration since day. Who’s more powerful with words than lady O? I also found inspiration through books, particularly The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  

HOKA: You center your WORDAFUL Instagram posts around one specific word.  What is your favorite word at the moment and why? 

Hernandez: My favorite word at the moment is #WOMAN. I took this episode, entitled as an opportunity to stand up for myself and for all women. I encourage woman to express all the facets of who they are and never allow anyone to box them in to anything less than the totality of who they are.

HOKA: What has been your favorite testimonial of someone who has attended a WORDAFUL Seminar?

 Hernandez: It isn’t necessarily one specific testimonial that has moved me. It has been about watching women grow more comfortable in their skin. I’ve watched this incredible community of women build trust with one another and start real friendships, in which they support each other. One woman started a clothing line, another self-published a book, and list goes on. I love watching them rally around one another. 

HOKA: You speak about physical wellness and the importance on focusing on the relationship we have with our bodies. What do you do to promote physical wellness for yourself?

Hernandez: I take my physical wellness seriously. For me, it’s more than just drinking plenty of water, exercising and eating right. It starts with how I nourish my mind. Self-talk is the most important component in healthy living and it informs all the decisions I make about my physical well-being. I start my day with gratitude journaling. If I truly feel grateful for my body. I’m much more likely to care for myself in a loving way.


HOKA: Can you speak about the benefits of changing internal and external dialogue?

Hernandez: Our words and thoughts create our current realities. Everything we experience starts in the mind and how we speak to ourselves. Negative self-talk attracts negative experiences and positive self-talk creates a beautiful perspective on our day-to-day lives. If we wish to create a new direction in our lives all we need to do is change our internal dialogue. 

 HOKA: Similarly, you are a proponent of meditation. In what ways has meditation has impacted your mental health?

Hernandez: Meditation has definitely changed my life for the better. It has help me become aware of my negative and positive thoughts and the words that I use as I move through each day. I am much more present. I look at prayer and mediation as a working relationship. Prayer is a way to voice my gratitude, hopes, and fears, and meditation brings me clarity and peace. 

HOKA has partnered with Liz Hernandez for the WORDAFUL Tour. Look here to find a tour date near you!



From 10,000m to marathon: HOKA Athlete Rory Linkletter’s marathon debut in Toronto

HOKA Athlete Rory Linkletter is newly out of college and already creating buzz in the professional world. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Rory moved to the United States to attend Brigham Young University and helped lead his team to podium finishes at the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Since graduating earlier this year and joining HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, Rory has continued to thrive in the 10,000m, but has accepted the challenge of newer— and longer — goals. 

We sat down with Rory to learn about his upcoming marathon debut at Toronto Waterfront Marathon. 

Photo Credit: Jen Rosario
Photo Credit: Jen Rosario

HOKA: You’re known for your performance in the 10,000m event. Why have you decided to try the marathon?  

LINKLETTER: I decided to move up to the marathon for two reasons. The first is pure intrigue. The marathon has always excited me and I believe it is the pinnacle of the sport of running. Second, I believe I can do well in the event 

HOKA: Why did you choose Toronto Waterfront Marathon as your debut race at this distance? 

LINKLETTER: I chose Toronto because I wanted to run a fall marathon for the sake of my spring track season. Also, running my debut on Canadian soil meant a lot to me! My mother was born in Toronto so it just feels right! 

Photo Credit: Jen Rosario
Photo Credit: Jen Rosario

HOKA: What are you most excited about at this new distance? Is there anything that scares you about it? 

LINKLETTER: The distance is scary because I know I have a long road of preparation ahead. I’m also uncertain about how my body will handle running hard for over two hours! I am excited to challenge myself both physically and mentally. I feel like I have a unique ability to suffer and persevere. 

HOKA: Which shoes have you chosen for the race? 

LINKLETTER: I will be testing out the Carbon X and EVO Carbon Rocket this fall. I’m learning how my body reacts to each before I make the final call for the race. 

HOKA: Tell us a little more about your goals. 

LINKLETTER: My goal for Toronto is to conquer my mind and body for 26.2 miles and not give in to the race. If I debut with a solid race and avoid disaster I think I will have a strong and long career under Coach Ben Rosario at this distance! In the future I’d like to run in a couple of the Abbott World Marathon Majors to experience the best of the best. 

Shop Rory’s potential marathon debut shoes, the Carbon X and the EVO Carbon Rocket. 





Work out with the Pros: Osslerian Fartleks with HOKA NAZ Elite’s Scott Fauble

This workout is called an Osslerian Fartlek. It’s basically an interval workout where you are changing paces during the hard intervals. So, today we (my teammates Sid Vaughn, Matt Baxter, and myself) did 6 X 3 minute intervals.

1st minute: 10K effort (4:30-4:35 pace)

2nd minute: 5K effort (4:20-4:24 pace)

Next 30 seconds: 3K effort  (about 4:15 pace)

Last 30 seconds: Surge

In between the intervals we jogged easy for 3 minutes.


The purpose of this workout is to prepare us to race. Ok, that’s a little too obvious. But seriously, it’s a race specific session in a number of ways.

This workout teaches you to be smooth at a quick pace and forces you to work on staying smooth even as the pace increases. It also teaches you to surge even when you aren’t feeling good — hopefully equipping you with the ability to both make really hard moves to break open a race and cover moves that other people make.

More simply, this workout is really hard. You really have to dig to hit this session, so I laced up my EVO Carbon Rockets and tried to crush.


  • .66 miles, 4:30 pace
  • .67 miles, 4:25 pace
  • .68 miles, 4:24 pace
  • .66 miles, 4:33 pace
  • .68 miles, 4:23 pace
  • .67 miles, 4:25 pace

I definitely wouldn’t have run this workout as well if it weren’t for the help of my teammates, Sid and Matt. We took turns leading and on the last three our coach, Ben Rosario, let us get competitive and really race each other. We all definitely pushed each other to a higher level today.

I think 16 year old Scott would have seen this workout on the schedule and gotten overly excited. He would have attacked the first rep way too hard and would have been fried on the later intervals. Now, I still want to have that desire to attack and really push and hammer these types of workouts but I now have the experience to use my energy more effectively.

Similarly, my advice to high school runners is to always make sure the sport is fun. Never lose the joy and motivation to run really hard. But, listen to your coaches and teammates and try really hard to learn about how to be the best runner that YOU can be.

Learn more about Scott‘s motivations as a runner in this edition of Humans of HOKA in partnership with Runnerspace.

Shop Scott’s favorite shoe to train fast in, the EVO Carbon Rocket.