A few days ago, Chalk NYC designer Colleen Crivello and InStyle Magazine’s Marketing Director Maria Benetos launched MINIMODE, a brand-new collaborative project for stylish moms. We asked these two incredibly inspirational women to share more about the new site, share their top-five style must-haves, and more.
Maria and Colleen, can you tell our readers a little more about the editorial-based shopping experience you’ve created?
MINIMODE is a style site for women whose love of fashion did not change once they became moms. All of our content goes back to product and shopping — for kids, babies and new and expectant moms. Or you can skip the content altogether and just shop.
MINIMODE has been a project long in the making. What has been the main inspiration — more than anything else – prompting you to launch?
The main inspiration was a personal need for it. As moms who both have full-time careers we do most of our shopping for our kids and ourselves online, but felt it was overwhelming sifting through everything that is out there in the children’s market. We wanted something very curated but that would also be fun to visit, so we came up with mini-mode.com. The goal is to inspire women with our trend stories and profiles on stylish and successful moms while giving them a joyful shopping experience.
Maria, what are some ways your background as the Marketing Director for InStyle Magazine has prepared you for this foray into the children’s fashion world?
I’ve always in worked in fashion – apart from InStyle I’ve also been at Harper’s Bazaar, Teen Vogue, Allure and Interview among other fashion media brands. And I’ve always been in marketing, so launching MINIMODE combined the two things I love: being within the world of style but still being about to utilize my business and marketing skills.
Colleen, you design children’s clothing for Chalk NYC. How did you and Maria meet? Can you tell us how the decision to collaborate came about?
Maria and I met through a mutual friend who has girls the same age as ours. We were all new moms so we’d plan these fun nights out and on one of those nights while having a group dinner at SohoHouse, Maria mentioned that she always wanted to start a kid’s shopping site. She asked for my advice since I had recently launched Chalk NYC and before we knew it, the idea evolved into mini-mode and we became business partners. It was really organic.
It now feels like we’ve known each other forever because we spend more time with each other than we do with our husbands! We complement each other perfectly from a business point of view and as friends.
You both clearly are chic mamas. How did each of your style perspectives evolve – if at all – once you became mothers?
The thing is, it didn’t! And I think that was part of the impetus of MINIMODE. We still dressed the same and felt the same, and we saw that all our other chic mommy friends were the in the same boat. But there was not a kid’s shopping site that spoke to us as women who also happen to have kids.
What are your top five summer style and/or beauty essentials for moms?
- A BIKINI //Eres is definitely a go-to and Solid & Striped is another brand we love.
- A cool pair of SUNNIES // Mirrored is super-chic for this summer). I just bought the gold-mirrored Linda Farrow glassesand Victoria Beckham also makes great ones in different colors — her blue ones are my list. Plus, you’ll be able to match your MINI with our new Sons + Daughters kids’ sunglasses collaboration featuring gold and silver mirrored lenses!
- Don’t scrimp on SUNSCREEN // It’s SO important! La Roche Posay’s Anthelios is a life-saver during summer.
- A CAFTAN// Twois a smaller brand based in New York that makes the most beautiful tunics and caftans using handwoven textiles and saris from India.
- A killer pair of SANDALS // We love sandal styles which look hot yet are still comfy. Isabel Marant’s Justy studded sandals are on our Want List.
In your prediction, what’s one of the next big style trends for littles?
Clothes that take inspiration from grown-up trends. We do a regular feature on MINIMODE called “From the Runway” where we highlight a runway trend and curate current kids’ product around it. Right now we have one highlighting the “Prima Ballerina” trend that was huge during Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week, featuring beautiful and adorable dancer-off-duty looks for kids. You’ll see more brands like Boy+Girl and Chalk NYC which design kid’s clothes that are cool and not so precious.
What can our readers expect from MINIMODE throughout this upcoming summer season?
More interviews with inspiring and chic moms along with their curated picks, more fab summer products and a very exciting collaboration we are launching toward the end of the summer for back to school! We update our content daily so there is always something fresh to experience and buy.