Talking business with Séraphine founder Cecile Reinaud


The French-born founder of maternity brand Séraphine talks family, to-do lists and ultimate career highlights

Why did you set up Séraphine?
It all started when I was working as an advertising director at J. Walter Thompson. I used to hear pregnant friends and colleagues complaining about how few options they had when it came to maternity clothes. That’s when I spotted a gap in the market for stylish maternity wear and I decided to fill it!

What sparked your passion for women’s clothing?
When I started to look into it, I couldn’t believe how limited the maternity fashion industry was at the time. Then, the more research I did, the more excited I got. I had so many ideas of how to improve things, and I started to realise that I could make a real difference in women’s lives. Pregnancy is a time of amazing change, but holding on to your sense of style is a great way of staying in touch with your own identity, even when your body is changing in ways beyond your control.

Describe a typical day for you.
I travel quite often, and tend to flit between our stores in London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Dubai, as well as visiting suppliers in other countries, though I always love coming back to our office in London. Some days I’ll be speaking with journalists, other days I’ll have planning meetings with my design team, or I’ll be overseeing shoots. There’s never a dull moment!

What’s the best thing about your job?
Working on creative ideas with my team is what I enjoy most. We are a diverse team of nationalities and backgrounds, and we get on so well. It feels like an extended family, and I love that.

The Duchess wore Seraphine for Prince George’s first official photos. Photo by Michael Middleton – WPA Pool/Getty Images

How do you juggle family life with work?
I’d be lying if I said it was easy! I have two sons, Lorenz, who’s 13, and Florian, nine, and in the early days I used to get frustrated about not having enough time. My trick now is to make a list of 10 things I want to achieve in a day, then to cross out the four least urgent and accept that they can wait. That way, I find that I have more positive energy for both my family and the business.

What’s been your proudest moment?
There have been so many! Seraphine has dressed some of the most glamorous bumps in the world, from Anne Hathaway to Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani. But my proudest moment has to be the day that the Duchess of Cambridge chose our fuchsia Knot Front maternity dress for her first official pictures with Prince George. It was an incredibly proud day for all of us!

What advice would you give to mothers wanting to launch their own brand?
Expect a lot of hard work. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted – things won’t always go to plan and you’ll have to learn to think on your feet and bounce back quickly from setbacks. That said, if you have an idea you are passionate about, the rewards are worth the effort.

What can we expect from Séraphine next year?
Next season’s collections are coming together beautifully, I’ll also be expanding our babywear range and I’m looking to open a flagship store in LA.

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