Working in fashion may seem diametrically opposed to handling the responsibilities of motherhood, but there are plenty of women in the industry juggling both — and making it look fabulous on social media. FN asked nine of the fashion industry’s coolest moms to talk about the realities of their businesses and motherhood, philosophies on parenting children and social media, and of course, the coolest new kicks for kids.
For Arielle Charnas, influencer and founder of Something Navy, giving birth to her daughter Ruby, now 2 years old, has propelled her to new heights (which include a new ready-to-wear Something Navy collection coming to Nordstrom in the fall). “It’s pushed me to work harder. Before Ruby, I worked because it made me happy, but there is a stronger purpose now,” Charnas told FN. “I want to show my girls that women can do it all, and I hope to one day be able to share what I’ve built with them.”
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Motherhood has also changed Charnas’s content, and she joins a growing number of fashion influencers, editors, stylists and designers who are including their children into their public image and professional life. “Most people respect it,” said Charnas, who is pregnant with her second girl. “There was one brand that preferred not to have anything baby-related, which was a bummer, but we understood and parted ways. Other than that, most brands constantly try to find a way to incorporate Ruby into my posts.”
Influencer Jessica Wang, founder of Not Jess Fashion, has had a similar experience in showing her children in social content. “The fashion industry is much more welcoming to just about anyone now, and I think blogging democratized it for people like me as well as others,” Wang said. “I love how brands are more open to casting and showcasing moms and their children in campaigns and advertisements these days.”
Whether it’s showing their kids on social media outlets like Charnas and Wang or creating entirely new collections for children, like designer Sophia Webster, many of the fashion world’s most influential mothers are keen to weigh in on the ongoing conversation of the elusive “work-life balance.” I feel the modern workday of 9 to 6 evolved because men were the ones working and that was what they decided it should be in America,” said Rebecca Minkoff. “As more women want to have a career and a family [we should ask] how it looks from a female lens. How could we stop talking about balance —which is completely unachievable — and start talking about what is ideal for you as a mother? In my fantasy, in the future, the workday would be 10 to 4, and it wouldn’t be for mothers only.”
Others touched on how they allow their older children to navigate social media on their own: “[My daughter] always runs things by me; there is not one post that we don’t communicate on,” said celebrity stylist and designer June Ambrose. “Now that they are teens, it’s asking them what social issues they’re interested in. You can empower them and teach them to have their own voices. Look at what happened when our kids got together and marched [in the March for Our Lives].”
Click through to see the full list and what Ambrose, Charnas, Wang, Minkoff and more have to say about fashion and motherhood.