Up Close With Rebecca Minkoff — Designer, Mom and Breastfeeding Advocate!

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Guest post by Melissa Chapman

I always marvel at women who seem to be able to bring home the bacon, fry it in a pan and then effortlessly serve it up — all while maintaining supermodelesque style. And fashion icon Rebecca Minkoff is one of them. So of course, it was a privilege for me to sit down and chat up the amazing Ms. Minkoff at a recent launch for her Bravado Designs nursing tanks, which are not only super comfy, but also feature one of the season’s hottest trends — color blocking. (And the styles are named after Minkoff’s son Luca and her nephew Indy — cute!)

But lest you think fashion icon Rebecca Minkoff  and Bravado Designs, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, are just collaborating to create stylish nursing tanks (which, by the way, are totally wearable whether or not you breastfeed) think again! These two powerhouses also are joining forces to give back to the community in a really big way! 20 percent of each purchase of the Limited Edition Bravado Designs Nursing Tanks designed by Rebecca Minkoff will go to the nonprofit organization Baby Buggy. And if you purchase the nursing tank at Diapers.com, a nursing tank or nursing bra will be donated to a mother in need.

I had a few minutes to catch up with Rebecca and find out more about this collaboration and, of course, to try and glean some of her secrets to having it all!

Melissa Chapman: That dirty word: balance — how do you achieve it?

Rebecca Minkoff: Finding balance is something I struggle with it every day. For instance, as I was leaving this morning, of course, my son wanted mommy to play with him. But I also know this — I would not be happy being a full time mom or being a full time designer. I love working and I love being a mom. I know I need to have both in my life to feel good, and so I try my best to find that balance.

MC: How did you get involved with Baby Buggy and Bravado?

RM: I got involved with Baby Buggy simply because I believe in the organization and its mission. And when my son was born and my boobs got engorged, Bravado was kind enough to send me a bunch of their breastfeeding bras, and I was so grateful. And to be honest, as a breastfeeding mom, they are the only bras I use!

MC: You just came off a whirlwind fashion week — how did you juggle that?

RM: Honestly, I had my son in my Ergo, on my back and with me as much as I could. I always want to make sure he doesn’t feel like I’m abandoning him.

MC: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got about motherhood?

RM: The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was from my mom, who says the best thing I can do as a parent is to be relaxed. I know with your first kid, that’s when moms are most nervous, but I’m really trying to take her advice to heart and not be uptight and worried about everything. I’m really trying to enjoy this time with him.

MC: What’s the best advice you would give to a mom-to-be?

RM: Give birth naturally. I believe, if you skip the drugs, you’ll heal so much faster. Any woman can get through contractions naturally. Visualize each contraction as taking just one minute, and focus on getting through a set of eight minutes at a time. It will help you deal with the pain.

MC: What are your mom must-haves?

RM: My Ergo carrier with insert, Bravado breastfeeding bras and Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block, which has made our lives so much easier!

MC: What’s your fashion advice for new moms who are not quite ready to strut the catwalk but don’t want to succumb to mom jeans?

RM: Breastfeed and pump — I think it helped me lose the baby weight! I also try to find loose shirts that look great and are easy to pull up (for breastfeeding) and fitted jeans and heels — I say, accentuate the areas you feel are your best. If you carry your weight in your middle, accent your legs by wearing fitted jeans and heels with looser tops. Oh, and invest in some great jewelry! Our jewelry line hits stores and will be in Bloomingdale’s in two weeks!

Who’s your favorite celebrity mom? What is your favorite breastfeeding gear item?