StyleNest take five minutes with Séraphine founder, businesswoman and designer, Cecile Reinaud, to find out her fashion tips, parenting secrets and maternity style tips.
Taking inspiration from her pregnant friends who were always fed up of not being able to find anything to suit their bumps, the gorgeous Cecile started creating clothing for her pregnant pals. Alas, Séraphine was born and since, Shoe Therapy for a comfortable footwear alternative for during pregnancy and after. Practical, stylish and comfortable to wear, Séraphine offers mums-to-be stylish maternity wear for any and every occasion.
You’re a businesswoman, designer and mother, what do you do to unwind?
Play with my children and regular date nights with the husband. I also love modern ballet. You can find me at Sadler’s Wells Theatre every few months.
With Séraphine and ShoeTherapy under your belt, can you let our readers in on any future plans?
The current plan is to continue building our luxe brand of occasion wear to cover all the needs of pregnant women. The Shoe Therapy range is also growing and offers an array of styles to match Séraphine’s collection – we have expanded our range to include loafers, alongside the original ballerina pump styles. We’ve been adding more fashionable accessories to the collection that women can continue wearing after their pregnancy such as new stylish nursing scarves to join our signature leopard print scarf.
What was the inspiration behind Séraphine?
My idea to create a brand of glamorous maternity wear originally came from my friends who were all having problems trying to find anything nice to wear whilst they were pregnant. As they knew I liked to design and create clothing in my spare time, they kept asking me to customise their non maternity clothes, which led to my most popular request – maternity jeans, which I created by adding a band of stretchy fabric to the front of their jeans and the rest, as they say, is history. A year after launching Séraphine I fell pregnant myself which of course gave me further inspiration.
From eveningwear to loungewear, Séraphine offers mothers-to-be wardrobe essentials without having to sacrifice style. What do you think true style is?
True style is an extension of your personality and taste. Mixing key pieces is essential during pregnancy as you have to reinvent your wardrobe and staying true to your style is important. Classic pieces that have a lot of versatility and can be dressed up or down are the cornerstone of your wardrobe.
What inspires you creatively?
Looking at street style is always inspiring and of course fashion shows are a great place to find the latest trends. The beauty of nature is always my inspiration for the colours used within Séraphine’s collections.
Your grandparents used to own a fabric company. Style and fashion is obviously in your blood, did your upbringing influence you to become a designer?
Yes, my grandmother loved clothes and I inherited a love of fashion through her. I was brought up with the idea to invest in good quality and I adhere to these principles at Séraphine.
What inspires you most about your collections? Comfort or style?
Finding a balance of both is what is the biggest inspiration for the collections. There’s no need to compromise on either. Comfort is key during pregnancy and so we ensure that the styles are made from the softest fabrics, using natural fibres that let your skin breathe.
What advice would you give to women to help them find their confidence again and get their style back after giving birth?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. No one goes straight back to their pre-pregnancy size, and a great thing about our pieces is that you can continue to wear them to nurse, and while you are getting back into shape.
Your designs are always sophisticated, feminine and flattering to wear. What advice would you give to working mums who don’t know where to start with their summer wardrobe?
In the summer, dresses tend to be more comfortable. Identify a key dress that suits your body shape and taste, and create different looks by accessorising with items such as blazers, shoes and jewellery.
With the wedding season approaching, occasion wear shopping is hard enough without looking for a dress to flatter your bump. What advice would you give our readers when dressing for a summer soirée?
Our Séraphine Luxe collection was designed especially for special occasions. It offers an array of beautifully made lace dresses for lace lovers, stunning floral silk prints and much more, for an option for every occasion – it also includes a capsule bridal range.
What’s the best way mums can recycle their maternity wardrobe post pregnancy?
Belting styles that were looser to redefine the waist. You can mix your old wardrobe with the new, such as a maternity top with non-maternity skinnies.
What are the SS13 maternity wardrobe staples?
Our signature knotted dress flatters the pregnant figure beautifully and is a must-have. Coloured denim is another must for the summer time and we’ve got trendy coral shades and sea mist hues. Of course every woman also needs a little black dress and our shift dress is a classic that you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion.
Obviously your role as a mum never stops, but how have you balanced being a working mum over the years?
Having a great nanny and working a flexible schedule at work, which often means having to work in the evenings. As well as relying heavily on a smart phone.
What fashion buys have you made this season that your wardrobe won’t be without?
Shoes. My favourite Jimmy Choos, a blazer with coloured lining and a statement chunky necklace.
What is your failsafe outfit for a casual look and a cocktail party?
My casual look is always skinny jeans and heels. For a cocktail party I love a fitted lace dress with nude stilettos.
Are there any British designers you really love? Whether established or new to the fashion scene?
Victoria Beckham, as she’s a brilliant designer and a hard working mother too. I also admire how Burberry manages to blend classic with cutting edge fashion in a very unique and aspirational way.
Any top tips for our readers on how to look fabulous in just five minutes?
Touche Eclat by YSL for an instant beauty tip and a scarf is an easy fashionable accessory to jazz up your outfit.
When you are not busy working, what do you enjoy doing with the family?
Being in the south of France and cooking for the family. I also love horse riding and have been riding since I was four years old.
What are your favourite family friendly restaurants in London?
Pizza Express is great as they’re always so nice with the kids and often allow them to bake their own pizza. For a healthy snack we go to Giraffe.
You are an inspirational business mum, what advice would you give to our readers who want to set up their own business?
Pick a field you are passionate about. You’ll need to dedicate a lot of time and effort so make sure your motivation won’t fizzle out. Network with other entrepreneurs, they will be the source of business tips and your support network. When building your team, pay as much attention to their personal attributes as well as their abilities.
To shop online visit www.seraphine.com.