This week we interviewed British entrepreneur Cecile Reinaud, founder of international maternity fashion label and store Seraphine. Seraphine recently won the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade. A favourite maternity brand of the Duchess of Cambridge, Cecile is renowned for dressing rockstars and royalty alike. French born Cecile now lives in the UK with her two sons, Lorenz, 11, and Florian, 7.
Tell us a bit about your background; what inspired you to set up Seraphine?
My background is in advertising, so I’ve always had an eye for a commercial opportunity. The idea for Seraphine came about when my friends began to fall pregnant & complained about the state the maternity fashion industry was in – it was all tent dresses which are so not attractive! I used to do a bit of sewing in my spare time, so they started coming to me with alteration requests and it all started to snowball from there. I had a passion for fashion and realised there was a niche to take.
Seraphine has catered for many glamorous and high profile celebrities, who out of all of them have you been most thrilled about wearing your creations?
We have a lot of celebrity clients and it’s always thrilling to see them in Seraphine, but by far the most exciting has been dressing the Duchess of Cambridge. She wore a lot of our summer maternity dresses while she was expecting Prince George, and even chose our Fuchsia Knotted Dress for the first official photographs with him.
With Princess Charlotte she had a winter pregnancy, so it was all about the stylish dresses and winter coats. She looked fantastic arriving in New York in our Marina coat, and she loved our Florrie Floral Print Dress so much she wore it twice!
What’s your recommended go-to maternity look for autumn?
Personally I think you can’t go wrong with a great pair of maternity jeans and a stylish Breton top – the stripes are a classic look which really show off your bump, and it’s an easy look to dress up or down. We’ve got some really stylish striped tops and dresses this season, or if you’re looking to make an impression, our new collection of printed dresses are perfect for working this season’s 70’s trend.
Share with us your favourite family recipe.
Well I’m French, so I always have a stack of crepes on hand ready for a quick weekday meal. One of my favourites is ham and egg – just line the crepes with ham, crack an egg in the middle of each, fold the edges into a square and bake in the oven. It’s perfect with salad, but my kids love it with homemade fries from our Tefal Actifry!
What’s your secret? You’re a busy working mother, how do you stay looking so fabulous?
Thank you so much! My secret is yoga – it keeps me toned and energized and it’s a great way to catch a bit of me-time in the week. I also love Headspace, the daily meditation app.
What three pieces of fashion advice would you give to pregnant mothers out there looking to dress the bump?
Invest in maternity clothes early. You’ll be amazed at the difference well-fitting clothes can make – you’ll look great, and you’ll feel more comfortable and confident in your skin. Good quality maternity clothes are designed to grow with you throughout your nine months, so the earlier you make the switch, the more wear you’ll get out of your clothes.
Cover the basics. Build up a good collection of maternity basics to mix, match and accessorise with key pieces from your regular wardrobe. The Seraphine Bump Kit is a great starting point, with a classic LBD, a stylish black skirt, a pair of our most comfy maternity leggings & a versatile white maternity vest.
Stick to your style! I’m a strong believer that you shouldn’t feel limited in your fashion choices, just because you’re pregnant. It’s simply a case of adapting your signature look to suit your new shape – so if you usually opt for a nipped in waist, try highlighting your empire line instead. With the help of some good quality maternity clothes, you’ll find that it’s easy to feel like your usual stylish self through every trimester.
Where are your favourite family friendly places to go for a bit of fun, food and culture in London and in France?
Where I live in Belsize Park there are plenty of great restaurants and things to do. For a fun family dinner though, it has to be Pizza Express – it’s my kids’ absolute favourite!
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
When I was breastfeeding my second son I couldn’t have done without my Seraphine Nursing Shawl. It’s one of those essential accessories – I used to wear it as a scarf when I was out and about and then never needed to worry about breastfeeding on the go. It also doubles as a soft baby blanket or makeshift sunshade for the buggy!
What’s next in the pipeline for Seraphine?
We’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in the next few months. We’ve just launched our new autumn/ winter collection and have had some great feedback already. But the big news right now is our new luxury baby wear line launching later this year! I’m really excited about this project and can’t wait to see the adorable new additions hit the shops.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
A passionate entrepreneur, fashion designer, mother and stylist to all things bumps.