ELISA MOTTERLE TALKS TO US ABOUT HER PATH TO HAPPINESS, SHOPPING ONLINE AND HER GO TO STYLE PIECES AS A MOM
1) Tell me a bit about yourself. I work as a digital manager for Kering group, world leader in luxury apparel and accessories. Besides work, my other great passions are vintage and fashion history.
I'm really active and outgoing; I like to keep myself busy… And with a full time job, a toddler, a second baby on the way, some side projects and an active social life - I can say I'm pretty busy!
Being able to nurture all the different sides of my personality is my path to happiness. Although I love being a career woman, I really enjoy family life as well. I love spending quality time with my daughter; we cook healthy meals together, we invent stories and songs or draw. Of course this wouldn’t be possible without the support of my husband and of our aupair.
I also have many friends and I want them to be a part of my life: the easiest way is to have them come over for dinner, so that we’re like a huge, fun-loving family. And if I need to relax, I just head to the yoga studio.
2) You've worked for Yoox and Giorgio Armani (online) and now you're in the digital group at Kering. What does it mean for you, a fashionable tech mom, to shop online? To be honest, I actually wonder whether it is possible to survive without shopping online. I buy everything online, with the exception of fresh produce (but I have an email relationship with my greengrocer, and I have things delivered to my doorsteps so… It’s like a DIY e-commerce).
Online shopping is SO convenient: you can source from endless stores, buy at any time, find deals and return stuff if you’re not fully satisfied. Could it be any easier??
Of course I really enjoy in store shopping as well. But I don’t have time for that anymore. It’s a treat that I indulge in on holidays.
3) From your own experience, what do moms look for online while breastfeeding? When I was nursing I bought a couple of nursing tops from a major low cost e-tailer, but I was simply horrified with the poor quality and skimpy fabric. But since you’re not in the best shape, you're probably tired and, well, you just don’t want to look cheap, maybe it's best to spend more and buy something that makes you feel good.
I ended up wearing my husband’s shirts or going for regular tops, favouring those with generous necklines. I ended up half-naked everytime Marlene wanted to eat. I didn’t care. My sense of decency has been quite redefined after my experience breastfeeding.
4) You're also a vintage fashion expert. What are your top three styles from the past that are still trendy and functional for a nursing mom? I already mentioned a man’s shirt; a functional and timeless classic. Wear it with jeans, with tailored pants or a skirt; it will always be perfect.
My second suggestion is a total black look that I call The Audrey, because it was inspired by a famous picture of Audrey Hepburn taken in the late ‘50s. It consists of capri-length black trousers (or leggings) worn with a sleek black top. Pair with ballet flats and well: that is just chic. If you add pearls you could even wear it to a formal event.
Last, I would like to mention the classic pajama (I am referring to the classic cotton buttoned shirt + drawstring pants and NOT to those ugly jersey or fleece ones). It was a major hit during the '30s and it's currently a star on the runway and a celebrity favorite. Why not try it for nursing? Choose quality fabric and a bold pattern and don’t be afraid to add some accessories, like a turban headband, statement earrings or a chunky necklace.
5) Name the top 3 fashion designers that you consider perfect for a new mom's wardrobe. That's a tricky question because, despite working for big names in fashion, I personally prefer to buy from small brands when shopping for myself.
I like Stella McCartney very much because her style is practical, feminine but not cliché. Also, the fit is usually quite loose and comfortable. Marni is another of my favorite brands because it’s not commercial. Their shapes are never too revealing or skimpy and they experiment with prints often. Uniqlo is not really a designer but I'm naming them anyway because as a mom, I couldn’t live without their very practical t-shirts that are engineered with smart fabrics (to retain heat or block UV for instance).
6) Because you work for a luxury fashion group I imagine what you wear to work is important. What are 3 indispensable pieces for a working mom? Since I gave birth, I favor separates over dresses because they’re much more practical and if you get a stain (which is very likely to happen with a baby) it’s much easier to change just one element of the outfit.
My go-to pieces include:
A pleated calf-length black skirt. It’s extra versatile: I love to pair it with sailor style tops or striped sweaters; it can be worn with sneakers on an everyday basis, but it’s easy to dress-up with a fancy pair of heels
Wide-leg trousers that look stylish both with brogues and with heels: they’re comfortable and classy at the same time. Super easy to combine them with tucked-in basic t-shirts that can be layered with a cashmere cardigan for winter. The ideal canvas to play up with accessories.
I tend to wear clothing items that are more basic now, it's just easier. So I've discovered the pleasure of playing with accessories; statement earrings, tassel necklaces, colorful scarves and turban hats are among my favorite right now.