I’ve been thinking a lot about who inspires me lately. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have grown up with a super chic mom, I did not, actually, none of my friends did. I grew up thinking that “mom fashion” meant polyester pants with a comfy elastic waist band and a perm were what my future held. After having kids I descended down a fashion spiral most notable for sweater sets and Lily Pulitzer pants. As I climbed my way out of the abyss of maternity pants and bad haircuts, I went looking for inspiration. And who’s more inspirational than another mom? I’d love to see Song of Style in her sky high stilettos and tight pants at school drop off with a dog on a leash. I wanted to find real moms, wearing real clothes. Let me introduce you to my #1 Mom Fashion inspiration, Nicole of Momtrends.
Nicole Feliciano started Momtrends not long before I launched Luxury Travel Mom. I remember meeting her at an event and thinking “Damn, that chick has got her sh*t together.” In the years that have followed I’ve watched both her and her brand grow, she’s now the CEO of a million dollar brand and is authoring the soon to be published book #MOMBOSS.
Do you have a friend that every time you see her you think, “Why didn’t I brush my hair today?” Or “How does she manage to look that stylish when I know she just came from the gym, off the slopes, from the office?” I’ve been on many press trips with Nicole, everyone who is with us feels the same way, we’ve begun to refer to it as “The Nicole Effect”. She was my inspiration for launching #FashionFriday and thought it only fitting that I profile Nicole and her inspiration. I asked for photos from her, when she sent this, I thought “That is SO Nicole.” I have seen her wear these pants at dinner on the slopes with clogs and a sweater and after a squash game with a t-shirt, here she pairs them with this fabulousness. Seriously, why didn’t I think of that?
Q&A with Nicole
KM: Who do you look to for fashion inspiration?
Nicole: French women. Mr. Momtrends and I travel to Paris once a year (I don’t ask for jewelry, just travel). I can spend hours in a cafe people watching. They are just so effortless, plus you know these women don’t have huge closets, they have a few carefully edited pieces they wear again and again.
I’ll also admit I hate shopping, but I love putting outfits together. I love styling things from Target and Tory Burch together so I never look like I am trying too hard.
I consider it a fashion fail if everything I am wearing is new. Where’s the sport in that!
KM: How has your style changed in the last few years?
Nicole: My skirts have gotten longer and I spend more money on bras. My 32A’s need all the help they can get. And mini skirts again are just a pain to work with, climbing stairs, etc. I’m so glad shorts are an acceptable alternative, cause my legs still look good at 45, I just don’t want to dress fussy.
I also won’t buy anything that says DRY CLEAN ONLY. Who has time, money and energy to do that?
KM: What is the one item that should be in every woman’s closet?
Nicole: A great leather motorcycle jacket and a curve-hugging LBD. Yes, they can be worn together. (note to self, wear leather jacket with sexy dress)
KM: What trend do you see that you wish would just go away?
Nicole: Rainbow colored hair. I’m over it.
Nicole: Ok and here’s a little more on my take on fashion. When Momtrends started in 2007 loading photos onto a blog took forever, plus the cameras on phones stunk. It was a pain to photograph outfits, thankfully I blogged through the evolution of the digital fashion space. Along the way I discovered my readers couldn’t care less what celebrity moms were wearing. Those features bombed, what worked were photos of real women in real clothes.
Now coming up on 10 years in the digital world I’ve been lucky to find my “voice” and share my style through my website. I feature things from all over, the outfits has to speak to my busy life. I take my work as a stylist seriously. We working moms don’t have a ton of time to shop. I want to make it fun and easy to find clothes.
When I team up with brand partners (aka paid work) I insist they give me creative control. I pick the clothes, style the looks and approve the photos. Nothing gets posted that I wouldn’t actually wear. And I try to keep the sponsors to a minimum ( but this is work and I do have 10 employees to pay) –only about 10-15% of our editorial is covered.
I truly love my work, it never feels old to me. Playing with clothes is what I loved to do as a child and now I am lucky to do it for a living. My motto: keep you standards and your heels high!
Here Nicole manages to look adorable after we have spent the day zip lining in the rain in Costa Rica and touring a pineapple packing plant. Let’s be clear, I don’t just love her for her looks. She has set an example as a business woman and mother that we can have it all if we’re willing to work for it. She’s the rare bird in this digital world that reaches back to give other women a hand up to where she has climbed.
What I’ve learned from Nicole:
- I deserve to be paid for the work I do.
- You feel better when you look good.
- When shooting photos, it’s all about the wall.
- Lift other women up, it’s our obligation as women and mothers.
Next week’s #FashionFriday is all about the jumpsuit. Here’s a little preview, and another look at Nicole’s ability to make putting an outfit together look effortless. She is my Miyagi.
Photos by the amazing and talented Mandy Fisher.