Q&A with Baukjen de Swaan Arons

Rebecca Moore talks to Baukjen de Swaan Arons, the face behind luxury maternity brand Isabella Oliver.

Famous for her maternity wardrobe, super-stylish mum-of-three Baukjen de Swaan Arons shares the Isabella Oliver journey with us in celebration of the brand’s tenth birthday.

Firstly, a big happy birthday to Isabella Oliver. Has time flown by?

Thank you, it’s crazy, we started Isabella Oliver just after my first pregnancy. It seems like it was only a few years ago when we started but when I think about everything that we’ve done in the past decade it explains the ten years!

How did the brand begin all those years ago?
We had spotted a gap in the market for maternity wear that was modern, flattered pregnancy curves, had a great fit and cut that would last throughout the whole pregnancy and beyond. Right from the start, I wanted Isabella Oliver to be a brand that is a friend – somebody you can trust. There is a lot going on when you’re pregnant and clothes play a small part but I wanted it to be a warm and special part. Today we’re 10 years on and those principles haven’t changed – it’s still at the heart of what we do.

It must be a lovely feeling to know that many celebrities wear your clothes?
We have been worn by some fantastic celebrities which I couldn’t have dreamed of in the beginning. It’s always an honour to be chosen and supported! Not just by the A-listers but also by customers. It always puts a smile when I’m out and about and I see women wearing our clothes.

What are the names and ages of your children?
I have three children, two boys and one girl. Oliver is the eldest: he’s 11, Sebastian is 9 and Pippa is 8.

What would you recommend as a staple item in the maternity wardrobe?
Without a doubt our ruched dresses – they flatter, are super comfortable and are easy to dress up or down.

Fashion is pretty glamorous, what’s the least glamorous thing you’ve had to do in your career?
A couple of years ago we moved warehouse. It was a big exercise and we all helped out. I must have lifted hundreds of heavy boxes in one weekend – I could hardly move come Monday morning!

Have you had any clothing disasters, a wardrobe malfunction?
Of course! Luckily it doesn’t happen much anymore but thinking back to my teenage years I laugh out loud at some of the things I wore, but who doesn’t?

As a London mum, what’s your favourite thing to do when out and about in the Capital with your children?
So many things… walks in Hampstead Heath, swimming at Shoreditch House, the vast array of London Museums, Sunday lunches. I could go on and on, London has so much to offer families.

Where do you see maternity fashion going?
The interest in maternity fashion seems to be growing year on year – on the one hand celebrity culture influences this and on the other hand women have also become more demanding (and rightly so!) in wanting to continue to look stylish during their pregnancies. I think that maternity fashion will continue to expand and grow, people have realised that style doesn’t stop when you become pregnant.✿