Maisonette’s Sylvana Ward Durrett On the Ultimate Mom Uniform

How have your experiences contributed to creating Maisonette?

My time at Vogue was like my business school. Watching Anna [Wintour] for nearly 15 years was incredibly valuable and inspiring. I bring that work ethic to Maisonette every day—the idea that no obstacle is insurmountable, that there is always work that you can do to make things happen. Working in a start-up offers challenges daily, and it would be so easy to just say this is too hard, but that’s never been an option for me. I thank Anna and Vogue for that.

Has your mom taught you any lessons about being a mom?

I think the greatest lesson my mom has taught me is that you don’t need to be your children’s friend. Sometimes the hardest work is saying “no” when it’s so much easier to say “yes.”

How do your kids dress? How do you shop for them?

My kids’ style changes. When they are younger, particularly Millie, they want all the frills. Princess dresses, bows in their hair. Gracie is now at an age where she is experimenting with style and has an opinion about everything. It’s been so instrumental to me to be living this process with them because it informs so much of our assortment strategy and the brands we bring on for different age groups. Neon Rebels, our newest private label brand, is geared more towards older kids, like Gracie, who have more autonomy in the way they dress. We refer to it as our kid-driven line—the things they want to wear. Whereas Maison Me, the first private label line we launched, is geared more towards Millie’s age—the things that we as parents are thrilled to put them in but that they eventually age out of.

Neon Rebels Zadie skater poplin dress

Neon Rebels Arlo jersey joggers

Photo: Courtesy of Sylvana Durrant / @sylvanitas

What are some misconceptions about motherhood and style?

That you have to give up on style just because you have kids. There are so many options now for moms and it’s something we are looking at, at Maisonette. Dressing moms with a mom lens in mind—comfort, ease of use, things you can throw on for affordable prices and still feel stylish in. The Mom uniform if you will.

What are some pieces that you’ve let go of since becoming a mom?

Sky-high heels. Honestly, what was I ever thinking? I won’t go above a 3-inch heel anymore.

What are you wearing these days?

I’m all about my uniform. In the fall it’s typically jeans, a tee or striped dress shirt, and a great boot or sandal. Lots of personal jewelry to layer. In the summer, it’s an easy, throw-on dress, the same shoes, and accessories. I keep it simple.

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