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Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor

Rebecca Minkoff Dishes on Favorite Baby Gear and Sanity-Saving Hacks

The fashion designer opens up about everything from butt paste to nipple cream and the breast pump she couldn’t live without.

The Bump presents #MomBoss, a series dedicated to showing off all-star moms. We catch up with mompreneurs behind products we love, influencers who get real about motherhood and SAHMs who can multitask in their sleep.

Rebecca Minkoff may be the face of a massive fashion brand, but at the end of the day she answers to “Mom.” The designer dishes on what it’s like to run a worldwide clothing and accessories company while simultaneously pumping breast milk at board meetings, worrying about her kids’ diaper rash and thinking up genius parenting hacks to help keep her sane.

How do you juggle a fashion empire and your three kids?

I definitely say it all the time, but it it takes a village! I have a team of 80-plus mostly women with great leadership and support, so, first and foremost, it’s my team. I try to empower them to run with the areas they own and foster collaboration.

That said, there are certain sacrifices you’re able to make prior to being a parent. Before I became a mom, it was okay if I worked until 11 p.m. every night, and I really spent years dedicating my weekends to building the company. But by the time I had my son, I made a conscious effort to explore my boundaries and know when too much work was too much, as well as when it wasn’t enough.

I had to find my comfort zone—it’s different for everyone. For me, it’s trying to be home at least three nights a week to have dinner with my family, or to make sure on the weekends I’m not working. Obviously, there are times when that doesn’t happen, especially when there are fashion weeks. I try to be conscious of times when it’s not going to be within my boundaries, but knowing there are other times I can control it.

Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Minkoff

Tell us about the “I Am Many” campaign

As women, we’ve been marketed to for so long to be one thing—be bold; be brave; be beautiful. Our campaign, and brand in general, believes women should be talked to and celebrated for the “all” of who they are and the many different parts that make up a multi-dimensional women.

What if someone tells you to be brave, and then you don’t feel that bravery? But, you could tap into a part of you that is brave. Someone may be brave as a mom but not as an employee. The campaign is about leaning on the other areas where you are strong and you do have that character trait, and using them to propel through whatever challenge you’re facing.

We launched “I Am Many” to show what we really stand for as a brand. Moving forward, you’ll see iterations of the campaign. It’s going to keep living and taking different shapes as something we want our customers to know we will continuously stand by.

What was the inspiration behind the newly launched Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff podcast?

We’ve had our Superwomen platform for a while, and a couple of years ago we started a series of dinners because I was sick of the insular, non-supportive fashion community. I wanted there to be a way for us to support each other more. As we got further along in the journey, even that started to feel insular, because we weren’t including our customers. It then pivoted to become these fireside chats where I get to interview women.

The podcast takes those fireside chats and lets me reach a broader audience to tell these women’s stories and celebrate the different challenges, failures and fears they’ve had. Hopefully, people are taking it and running with it to better their lives. I feel very fortunate to have met so many inspirational women, and to be able to share and amplify their stories is something I’m really excited about.

Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Minkoff

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since becoming a mother?

The need to care more about not just your immediate life and area where you live, but the bigger picture. I want my kids to have a greater place to live, a greater environment and a greater community. I want them to grow up in a world a lot different than the one we have now, so I’ve broadened my need to be more responsible for things greater than just myself. Basically, the pressure to make sh*t change faster, I guess!

Are there any products you wouldn’t have made it through the first year of parenting without?

Where do I start?

  • Honest diapers
  • Boudreaux's Butt Paste for all the diaper rashes
  • Vitamins like fish oil, vitamin D and prenatals—even once I had my kids
  • Nipple cream
  • My Medela breast pump—I love the fact that I can take my Freestyle pump with me everywhere and not worry about a plug. It’s enabled me to keep up the journey with each kid for about a year each. I’ve pumped in board meetings and business meetings!
  • The Babyzen Yoyo stroller is so light and folds up so easily, which is perfect for when I need to get it into overhead compartments on planes
  • My brand does a nylon weekender tote, which has become my go-to diaper bag because the pocket organization is next-level. It was designed for workouts but now doubles as a diaper bag!
Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Minkoff

Do you have any savvy parenting hacks to share?

If you’re going on a long trip, go to the dollar store and buy some crappy toys. Then when you’re on the plane and your kids start to get bored, you show them the “gift” to keep them occupied. Once you land, leave the toys on the airplane. You won’t mind leaving them behind because they were cheap, but they do the job of keeping the little ones busy.

Another one: Stash a diaper and some wipes (in a Ziploc bag) in a coat pocket! The diaper goes in the secret inside pocket of one side of my jean jacket and the Ziploc bag of wipes goes in the other.

How has your approach to parenting changed from your first child to your third?

Oh, it’s changed! I’ve always made a conscious effort not to be an overprotective, hovering helicopter parent. I try not to sweat some of the small stuff. Sometimes, we try to control our kids too much. And, yes, it’s good for them to have good habits, but I’ve also learned that as they get older, you can still teach them good habits. Their ability to be reasoned with is a lot better than if you’re trying to force a 2-year-old to sit still. When it’s too early and they don’t have a full understanding of some lessons, they view it as a punishment.

What’s your guilty pleasure to get you through a crazy week?

Definitely a glass of wine.

Published November 2018

Plus, more from The Bump:

12 Places to Shop for the Most Stylish Maternity Clothes

14 Parenting Hacks for New Parents

The Truth About Being a Working Mom

PHOTO: Courtesy Rebecca Minkoff