x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

My favourite things: Cecile Reinaud

We talk to the entrepreneur and designer behind the international maternity fashion label Seraphine and ShoTherapy patented shoe brand about her top picks.

Vue de l'Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Rémy by Vincent van Gogh. Courtesy Christie's
Vue de l'Asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Rémy by Vincent van Gogh. Courtesy Christie's

Parisienne by birth, Reinaud relocated to the UK to work in advertising, becoming the youngest account director in JWT’s history. But it was a passion for designing clothes – and several requests from pregnant friends for specially tailored outfits – that led her to set up Séraphine in 2002.

A decade on, and the company has grown from an independent boutique in London to one of the leading maternity fashion brands online, and boasts Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba and Claudia Schiffer among its A-list fans.

While pregnant with her second child and suffering from backache, Reinaud came up with the idea for ShoeTherapy, and teamed up with the French orthopaedic specialist Dr Jean Douhaire to produce a range of ballet pumps with corrective inner soles.

ShoeTherapy launched in 2011, the same year Séraphine picked up the Drapers award for Best Specialist E-tailer.

What are 10 of your favourite items and places and why are they so important to you?

Vanilla Tobacco perfume by Tom Ford is my signature scent.

Paris, my native town, for its unique beauty and romanticism.

Van Gogh paintings of the south of France landscapes and its piercing blue skies.

Benefit’s They’re Real mascara for long lashes that are truly water and tear-proof.

The book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by J D Bauby, a life-affirming book.

A silk pillow case for sweet dreams and less wrinkles in the morning.

My iPad for all the entertainment I need that fits in my handbag.

Huile Prodigieuse from Nuxe for the softest and best-scented skin.

My purple cashmere shawl from Louis Vuitton.

The Maldives: heaven on Earth and where I went on honeymoon.

What is your personal style signifier?

French glamour.

Being stylish means?

Being stylish is all about choosing clothes that fit your body shape as well as your features such as hair and skin tone. Incorporating some but not all of the latest fashion trends within your classic flattering base is the key to success.

What grooming/spa treatment can’t you live without?

A manicure with Bio sculpture gel.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Tom Ford for fashion and his ability to design anything beautiful from clothes to sunglasses to make-up packaging. Aung San Suu Kyi for her political engagement and immense courage.

What was the last thing you bought and loved?

A pair of flesh-toned high heels from Armani – classic shoes I will cherish for a long time.

Name an unforgettable place you have travelled to in the past year.

The Amanpulo resort in the -Philippines.

If you didn’t live where you do now, what city would you live in?

Hong Kong: it’s so vibrant and diverse, culturally. I travel there regularly and love everything from the food to the climate and the people.

Where do you feel most creative/happy?

Sitting on a beautiful beach.

What ambitions do you still have?

Growing our new luxe range as successfully as the main Séraphine range.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

Having dressed some of the most stylish pregnant celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie.

What drives you on?

Being creative is what fuels my passion for being a designer and an -entrepreneur.

What do you most value in your friends?

Sharing personal experiences and being able to confide in total -confidence.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don’t be scared to make mistakes.

What is your guiltiest pleasure or an indulgence you would never forego?

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

What are five words to describe you?

Creative, tenacious , unpredictable, sensitive and caring.

What do you never leave home without and why?

My iPhone. My whole life is organised with the hundreds of apps I have on it and I could not survive without it. I do force myself to switch it off after 9pm systematically as I am fighting the -dependence!

What’s your favourite way to relax?

Deep-sea diving is my passion and it relaxes me like nothing else. But unfortunately [I] can’t do it that often so a glass of wine with my best friend is a good alternative.

What has been your most defining moment so far?

Becoming a mother is a life changing moment.

What is your favourite era of fashion?

I love the 1920s  and the influence of Coco Chanel, who liberated fashion by introducing jersey fabrics and comfortable cuts that ooze style.

What is your biggest extravagance?

Buying expensive shoes from top designers.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My two sons, ages eight and four .