Earlier this week I sat on the Eurostar on my way back from Paris. Ace fast asleep in the buggy and me frenetically typing away on my phone.
In a 30-minute nap window, I managed to jot down an article on a subject very dear to me – Babies, working mothers, and influencing.
I have to admit it’s not the most well-worked piece I have ever written, but it’s straight from the heart. The lovely ladies at Prêt à Pregnant asked me to describe my experience as a mother with a baby at Fashion Week.
I find it very surprising that there are so few babies and children at fashion week in general. Most of us in this business range from in their late twenties up to sixties and beyond. The spread is big age-wise, but the one thing we have in common is that at least 75% of the guests are women. And I bet there are quite a few children kicking about at home.
I guess some kids would be in nursery or school during the days, but what about the new mothers like me? We who have babies under 1 and possibly might even still be breastfeeding? In a business where it’s notoriously hard to take maternity leave – why not bring them along? Sure I get the point of infants mixing with noise, people and music. But when they are 6 months and up, if they would enjoy it, why not take them with?
I worry it has to do with perception. That there is no room for “human” things like kids in fashion. That kids aren’t “cool” and that moms are even more uncool.
That in fashion, no one wants to be “the mom”.
I hope it has to do with me-time. That some of us see it as a great opportunity to have some grown-up time. Then I get it fully. And if you can afford a nanny, then hells yeah, go for it. Get your fashion on Mama.
But for those of us who have no choice. If we want to go, we have to bring them with (I traveled alone from London to attend Stockholm fashion week. It was with or not at all.).
I really hope the sight of Ace and me at the shows encourage more new moms in my industry to feel comfortable enough to bring their babies to shows, events, or meetings. Obviously only if it’s child-appropriate and you are comfortable. You know your baby and situation best.
Just know that you are allowed, no one is going to look at you weirdly (well, they might, but screw them!), you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can do both.
In this modern society, where we know we deserve to both have a career and a family. Isn’t it’s a bit crazy that our female-dominated industry doesn’t cater to us?