Throughout the Duchess of Cambridge's much-publicized pregnancy, her chic maternity wear was the subject of worldwide attention.
Even after the birth of her son, George Alexander Louis, on July 22, the former Kate Middleton continued to wear maternity clothing that was both elegant and stylish. Her brand of choice, Seraphine, has been scrambling to restock the duchess' personal picks, which immediately sold out when she was photographed wearing them.
Cecile Reinaud, head designer and owner of Seraphine, has a background in marketing and business, but her knack for fashion led her to make maternity clothing for her friends when they were pregnant. She soon realized there's a gap in the maternity wear market and is now a leader in bringing trends to pregnant women around the world.
Reinaud talked with The Times about the fuchsia dress the duchess wore in her informal family portrait taken a few weeks after the birth and about Seraphine's commitment to make maternity wear trendy and chic.
How has Kate Middleton's love for Seraphine helped bring new business to the line?
Kate is a worldwide icon, so her wearing our Jolene fuschia front knot dress in her family portrait has really opened up the market for us. America really loves her, and we are new in the American market. It has an effect on our commercial numbers and gives us confidence to keep being the leader in the market and do more styles. The styles that Kate wore will be classic, so we will build on them to offer more colors and variety.
Why did you focus on creating a maternity line?
I've always loved fashion and had a personal fascination with pregnant women. Having worked on maternity wear for 10 years, I still feel as enthusiastic about how beautiful you can look with the right clothes. It's such a challenging time of your life; the right clothes can make a huge difference. It's satisfying to work in that niche because customers are so enthusiastic.
The duchess wore Seraphine even after her pregnancy. Is it typical for women to continue to wear maternity clothing?
It was satisfying to see that she liked the clothes so much, even a couple of weeks after the birth. Wearing maternity clothing after the birth is very normal. It's something very few celebrities like to show, but in reality you don't regain your figure within two minutes. She is a role model, and unlike a lot of celebrities she is not in denial about the realities of early motherhood. This was a very nice thing for expectant mothers.
How would you describe Seraphine's signature look?
I like to say that our signature is French chic. I am Parisian and we are quite renowned for being chic and trendy. Unlike other maternity lines, we don't just work with classic jersey fabric. We work with an array from silk to lace to weaves, re-creating a full wardrobe for pregnant women. Our brand motto is to make clothes that look so good you would want to wear them when you aren't pregnant.
Seraphine is sold in select stores in London, Paris and the U.S. To shop online or find a list of boutiques that carry the label, go to www.seraphinematerity.com