Celine Reinaud is a designer and mother behind two revolutionary labels, one that’s credited with inventing the modern maternity jean (Séraphine), and the other a chic shoe brand (Shoe Therapy), which uses a patented orthopedic corrective technology. A self-proclaimed Parisian-to-the-core, Reinaud has fashion in her blood; born to French grandparents who owned a fabric company supplying Chanel, she pursued her passion for design on the side throughout an earlier career in business. Cecile left advertising and founded Séraphine after discovering her talent for helping pregnant friends look fashionable. The collection draws from classic Paris style and makes both sophisticated basics and partywear, designed with polished tailoring and feminine details. With a celebrity fans and a following of stylish moms everywhere, the designer has much to share about maintining high style during pregnancy and as a busy new mom-on-her-feet. Below, she shares the story of her brand, her own mom uniform, and the “magnificent 7″—pieces to swear by throughout the journey to motherhood. —Artie Niederhoffer
What inspired you to start Séraphine?
A lifelong desire to be entrepreneurial and move away from the big corporate clients that I worked for when I was Account Director at an advertising agency. My hobby was designing clothes and a lot of my friends were starting to be pregnant and asking me for help: this is when I realized there was a need for great maternity wear.
How did becoming a mom change your style?
I am Parisian at heart, and I dress like one! Blending the latest fashion with classic staples that never go out of fashion like a blazer, a crisp white shirt, a cashmere jumper, a trench or a biker jacket. These are my investment pieces. Everything else I buy from high street brands so that I can change regularly and inject newness. In the early stage of motherhood I did stop wearing heels, but now that my children are old enough to walk I am delighted to be back in them! Otherwise I really made a point of keeping to my pre-baby style.
What are your tips for moms who barely have time to brush their teeth but still want to look chic and cool?
I think accessories really work hard when you have little time to invest in an outfit. I have a dedicated rack for scarfs and always throw one on to jazz up an outfit. This is a trick Jessica Alba, a busy mom herself, does to perfection and I am proud to say that she often wears our signature leopard scarf (http://www.seraphinematernity.com/leopard-print-scarf-one-size.html). Similarly get a good display for your jewelry so you can grab something easily that will work with your clothes.
What pieces should be in every stylish mom’s wardrobe?
Within the Seraphine collection we have the so called “magnificent 7” pieces that can see you through your entire pregnancy:
• A great pair of denim that suits your body shape
• A black shift dress that you can dress up or down
• A long drapey open cardigan that covers your bum, elongates your silhouette and flatters your bump
• A pair of leggings
• A fitted jersey top that hugs your bump; ours are made in bamboo and are heavenly soft as well as hypoallergenic
• A good-looking coat or cape for looking stylish outdoor
• A cozy home lounge set—relaxing is important, too!
What’s your mom uniform?
Skinny jeans teamed with stylish boxy jumpers and accessorized with a scarf. I am a big fan of sneaker wedges; they are the perfect balance of casual and feminine and they are so comfy to run around in.
How would you describe your children’s style?
I have two boys age 4 and 9 and I like them to look trendy with lots of cool denim , polo shirts, and a type of shoe like Converse. I like to splash on a nice cashmere cardigan for them—it’s warm, cozy, and gives a polished look that contrasts with the rest of their outfit. I find they are actually easy to wash and last a long time, so they’re good investment pieces.
Having kids does not allow for much time getting ready in the morning. Do you have a formula for getting yourself dressed every day?
A very organized wardrobe arranged by color and occasion, so I can get my outfit of the day very quickly. This enables me to get a little more time on hair and makeup which I always wear.
What’s your secret for balancing a full work schedule with being a mom?
Sadly as an entrepreneur the prefect work-life balance does not exist. I resist succumbing to the guilt factor of not being able to be there all the time for my children. It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending an awful lot of negative energy worrying about not being the perfect mother. I always try to remember that quality time with my children is more important than quantity.
Best parenting advice you’ve ever received?
Follow and trust your maternal instincts!