Marissa Kraxberger is the vice president of Creative at luxury label, Oscar de la Renta. She's, therefore, one of the chicest moms I know, hands down. She's also one of the most down-to-earth women I've ever chatted with in the fashion industry - quite possibly because she's a mom just like many of us? If you don't follow her tweets or blog George & Ruby, you should. They're fantastic, and I love living through her hodgepodge of exotic trips, photo shoots and family dinners (spills 'n' all). It's nice to know you can be a glam mom, ya know? We sat down with MK and got the ins and outs and what it's like being a mom and working at Oscar de la Renta. [P.S. Check out all the sweet childrenswear and a recap of the spring show this past September in New York. Cutest pieces ever]
I Heart Heels: Tell me a little bit about your kids and a typical day for your family.
Marissa Kraxberger: My daughter, Alexa, is two-and-half years old. Her favorite thing to do is play with her iPad (her favorite apps are the PBS Kids app & Elmo Loves ABC's), and she's had a love for books since she was just six months old, always flipping through the pages one by one. She loves to color and paint (we have "art class" together when I get home from work), and she also loves to sing and dance. She's taking ballet, but rocks out to Florence and the Machine and The Black Keys. Alexa's a loving and protective big sister to my son, Hayden. He's 15 months old and just a perfect little prince. He's always happy and laughing. A total boy, he loves playing with cars and making lots of noise. He's so loving though, and always leaning in to give kisses.
IHH: Your new blog George & Ruby is outstanding; I'm already hooked! Why did the ODLR brand decide to start a blog like this one - and was it your idea?
MK: Thanks! We at ODLR decided it would be a great way to connect with other moms in the digital space. Oscar PR Girl (on Twitter) has been an exciting digital force for the brand and we thought it didn't make sense for her to be talking about children because it needed to be an authentic voice of a mom. Authenticity is really important to us. I was already active in the digital space across all platforms as myself, so it was easy to transition over to the digital "children's/mom" voice for ODLR.
IHH: How do you balance the "mom" world with the "fashion" world? And what keeps you sane?
MK: I don't think there's a perfect balance...it ebbs and flows. I try to not be so hard on myself and just do the best I can to make the best of every moment I have with the kids, even if it's when I'm getting ready in the morning. (Alexa and Hayden sometimes sit on my dresser with me and play "make up.") I think when I'm at work I focus on it 100 percent and when I'm with the kids I focus on them 100 percent. Having kids keeps you a bit more grounded and helps keep everything in perspective.
IHH: I'm from a small town, so it seems hard to navigate a large city such as NYC with two toddlers. Is it? And what are some of your strategies for getting places and doing things without meltdowns?
MK: I think it's easier for us because we had kids here so we never learned how to function with them any other way. My husband and I are both from the suburbs of Atlanta and grew up with minivans and big backyards so we often laugh at the fact that our double stroller is the equivalent of our SUV and the closest park functions as our backyard. I think you just have to be ready for every outing. I rarely go anywhere without extra food, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, crayons, etc. You have to have a great stroller (City Mini Baby Jogger is a great double and we love our Bugaboo Bee with the stand for Alexa) and a great diaper bag. (For everyday, we have a great Kate Spade one, or I use my ODLR tote bag as well).
IHH: I must ask, have either of your kids ever spilled anything on your ODLR clothing?
MK: Believe it or not, no...somehow I've escaped that happening. They've spilled a lot on their ODLR children's clothing though!
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And here's a quick review of the spring show from fashion week correspondent, Jess Gambacurta:
With a playfulness that only children could add, the Oscar de la Renta Childrenswear S/S '13 show displayed bright, clean looks for stylish kids. Ikat and gingham added some sophistication to the array of bows and tutus for girls, while the boys' designs focused on fitted button-up shirts, draped sweaters, and khakis.
I loved the beef roll loafers for boys, along with the feminine, beautifully-constructed sundresses for girls. The Oscar de la Renta designs made me wish I was that young again! The collection really showcased ways to make childrenswear fashionable, yet appropriate. In a world of serious fashion, seeing the models' beaming smiles and playful walks down the aisle was refreshing. Watch the recap of the runway here!
P.S. Since it's National Breast Cancer awareness month, Oscar de la Renta will donate 10 percent of net proceeds this month from “The Pink Shop” to The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering. You can find The Pink Shop at www.oscardelarenta.com and at the Madison Avenue boutique (772 Madison Avenue). One word: adorable.
[Photos Courtesy Oscar de la Renta]