Diane Von Furstenberg is a mother, designer, princess and comeback queen. Personally speaking, she’s one of our heroes and ultimate momspirations, due to her unparalleled elegance, inspiring ambition and ability to create a fantasy-like life that we look up to.
Now, nearing the end of the first season of her reality series, “The House of DVF”, (the finale airs this Sunday 12/22), which centers around the legendary designer and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, seeking out and mentoring a brand ambassador for her fashion empire, she is bringing the DVF brand into the minds of millennials, and we cannot wait to see who scores the covetable job.
DVF offered The Hive some words of wisdom for busy mothers trying to manage everything and then some.
Herewith, her musings on keeping sane and strong while also leading a glamorously stylish life.
I think every woman should have children, but you should also have a life outside of the home and an identity of your own. Work is a great way to do that. My work is what has given me independence and confidence.
The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. So you have to be hard on yourself, but then benice to yourself. It is not easy, but if you have a great relationship with yourself, then your relationships with your children, your husband, everyone, will be easier.
Spend time alone… I like to hike or spend time in my studio at my home in Connecticut…take time that is only for you to find clarity. Clarity is the most important thing.
I always talk about confidence, but it is also ok to make yourself vulnerable. You will make mistakes. Mistakes are your best lessons.
Take your time. Be thoughtful and don’t get stressed. Women can do it all, but not all at the same time.
Design your life. If you are true to yourself, then everything in your life will fit together and make sense. Your work, your family, the people and things you surround yourself with, all the way down to food in your refrigerator. If they all fit together and reflect who you are, that is really what success is all about.
Elle Strauss has what most girls would call “The Dream Job.” The London transplant is Fashion Director at mega online fashion mecca Shopbop.com. And when not scouting new designers or styling photo shoots, Strauss is busy raising her 4-year-old daughter Honor with husband, photographer James Dimmock.
Like all women trying to balance a demanding career with motherhood, Strauss admits that time can be a limited resource, “Time is my biggest challenge. Spending quality time with Honor and my husband and also finding time for me too! My best advice is to just try your best and remember that no mum or dad is perfect. So try and enjoy the time you have rather than focusing on where you’re going wrong. Putting yourself under too much pressure isn’t going to help you or your little one.”
We caught up with the fashion maven about her tips on everything from staying stylish to keeping sane.
How would you describe your personal style?
I always go for a feminine look with a hint of rock n’ roll.
As Fashion Director at Shopbop, which 10 pieces would you recommend to new moms who want their style back but might not have yet lost all of the weight?
Black blazer– A well cut and tailored blazer is a good idea for all women, not just new moms. It adds polish and structure to any outfit and is also super easy and pairs perfectly with jeans.
Slouchy trousers – Camilla and Marc have the perfect pair of slouchy trousers; loosely tailored and so flattering. They are also versatile and can be worn with either a pair of sneakers or pumps.
Slip on sneakers– New moms have no time for laces, so slip on sneakersare your best friend.
Black pointy bootie with a low heel– Black pointy toe booties with a low heel are not only practical, but also help to elongate your legs (and being 5’0”, I love to give a taller illusion!)
Long length cardigan– A long cardigan is the perfect wardrobe addition. It covers your bum, and is also super on trend right now.
Super stretchy black jeans– Basically anything with stretch that feels comfy but also holds you in is ideal, especially the perfect pair of black jeans.
Straight wool coat– The borrowed from the boys trend is having a moment and a straight wool coat takes a page from menswear and adds structure, but not too much. A belted coat could feel too tight and restricting.
Which are your favorite maternity items that you carry on Shopbop?
And then as much mascara as is physically possible!
As a busy working mom, what is your best advice for other working moms trying to strike that balance between work and family? What is your biggest challenge?
Time is my biggest challenge. Spending quality time with Honor and my husband and also finding time for me too! My best advice is to just try your best and remember that no mum or dad is perfect so try and enjoy the time you have rather than focusing on where you’re going wrong. Putting yourself under too much pressure isn’t going to help you or your little one.
What do you do to carve out time for yourself? Meditation / Exercise / Nights out with girlfriends, etc?
Although I would love to say exercise, it would be a lie – but it is on my list of 2015 to-dos! In reality, our new weekend house in upstate New York helps me to get away from the hustle and bustle. It is such a privilege and keeps everyone sane.
How do you balance your time between work, your child and nurturing yourself?
I’m not sure I’ve found the secret yet, but I try and schedule regular catch ups with my girlfriends and I’ve found a wonderful spa near my house – it’s literally on my street so my husband and I take turns popping over for much needed massages. My husband, James, is also a fantastic help – we both travel a lot, so we’re a great tag team.
What are some of your specific gadgets, organizational tools or aids that help maintain a stress-free work/family balance?
We’re old school! It’s literally the calendar on the fridge – everything goes on there – play dates, school pageants, James or myself traveling, the list goes on!
If any, what changes did you make to your work hours/life in order to create more time with your daughter?
The house upstate was a big change for us; it has allowed us to spend 100% quality time with each other. No TV, not too much iPad, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner together as a family.
With less time to get ready in the morning, what is your go-to look in order to look chic and put together for a full day and possible evening events?
I have more stripes than I know what to do with in my wardrobe. A striped top, black blazer, denim, and pointy toe pumps is one of my go-to uniforms.
What is the most valuable thing motherhood has taught you?
That family is the most important thing in life.
What has been the most surprising thing about becoming a mother?
Unconditional love – I didn’t know I could love someone so much!