Q&A with Tastemaker LaTonya Yvette
A native New Yorker and fashion-lover, LaTonya Yvette is a designer, stylist, blogger and mother living in Brooklyn, NY. She co-founded the children's clothing line Welkin NYC with partner Belle Savransky in the hopes of translating the edginess of New York City into something tangible and comfortable for kids to wear. As a mother, she teaches her daughter to think, to create and to be an adventurer, and aims for Welkin NYC to reflect that. Her blogging has been so influential that she's been featured in a new documentary, American Blogger. Read more about LaTonya Yvette in her Q&A below!
BR: What do you love most about being a mom?
LY: The thing I love most about being a mom is having something much bigger than myself that pushes me daily. For me, the change in determination and drive was pretty dramatic after having River [her daughter]. She's so tiny, but she plays a huge part in my career choices.
BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you?
LY: Motherhood has made me a more sensitive person for sure. I never knew how endless a mother's love was until i gave birth. I'm much more sensitive to life's moments, little and big.
BR: Did you breast-feed your children? If so, what piece of clothing made nursing easier for you?
LY: I breast-fed River until she was 12 months old. During our journey she also had formula as well. I found the easiest way to nurse was in a comfortable t-shirt or tank with a v-neck or severe drop neck.
BR: You are coming into the home stretch of your current pregnancy, how have you stayed your bump? Any true maternity clothes or mostly ready-to-wear?
LY: I can not believe I'm on the last leg of this pregnancy! This pregnancy has been a learning curve in styling to speak truthfully. With River I was big and pregnant most of the summer and fall, so a simple dress or leggings and a cute top did the trick. This time around, most of my pregnancy has been during this brutal winter, so I actually had to buy maternity jeans. Now that it's warming up, I am loving a fun, loose vintage pant for bottoms and layering dresses.
BR: Between owning and designing your children's clothing line, Welkin NYC, styling and writing, do you find any time for yourself? How do you unwind?
LY: I actually do find time for myself, thank goodness! I am very careful with making sure I schedule things accordingly so I'm never too overwhelmed. But also, my husband is really amazing and carries as much of the load as he can with River, the house and me–ha! We also have a pre-school and occasional babysitter help. If I didn't have that entire team, I would probably go a bit crazy.
I love a good girl's night to help unwind a bit! Things like karaoke, take-out and a movie, or even a book and cuddle with my husband are usually my top ways to unwind.
BR: We love the concept of Welkin NYC: clothing for the "independent child, the adventurer." What inspired your most recent collection? What is your favorite piece this season?
LY: Thank you! For Belle and I we thought a lot about what embodies this city we live in and the kids that call it home– including our own. We both love cute and colorful pieces just like the next mama, but the edgy side of our children exist just like the the edgy side of kid's clothing can exist and does exist through Welkin. We want our kids to think freely on their own and just explore without fear.
In another interview I was asked the same question and I said The Edie Dress. But now that I think about it a little more, it's our Subway Riding Pants. Our kids constantly get stopped on the street about the pants because they do look like what some adults are wearing, just mini sized. They're super comfortable, unisex and can travel into most seasons.
BR: What are your five must-have pieces from BURU and why do they work in your mommy lifestyle?
LY: My five (How am I supposed to choose only five? Everything is perfect!) must-have pieces from BURU are:
- The Odells Simple Cloth Slouch Pant in Denim.
- Ace & Jig Ra Ra Reversible Elastic Waist Midi.
- Mara Hoffman Sleeveless Shirtdress in Sunrise Print.
- Patricia Green Suede Driving Shoe.
- L.A.M.B. Cobalt Blue Stretch Wool Blazer.
All of these pieces work with my mommy lifestyle because they're colorful, functional and transitional pieces that can go form season to season and pregnancy to post-pregnancy.
BR: Have you give up any fashion items in the name of motherhood? If so, what? What is the one fashion item you will never sacrifice even if it's totally impractical as a mama?
LY: I don't think I've given this up as much as I've definitely slowed down on wearing them. I used to wear heels almost every other day. I absolutely loved it. When River was born, I actually still wore them quite often, but the more I had to juggle work and motherhood, the more heels had to be set aside for date nights and meetings.
BR: What is the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mother?
LY: Hmm, that's a hard one/ I will say that I was thrown into motherhood. Peter [Yvette's husband] and I weren't married, I was really young (21) and we didn't have it "together". But I think walking into it completely ignorant and having to learn along the way has made me a better mother. So I guess I am actually happy I didn't much– it made my experience with my daughter that much more special.
Thank you so much, LaTonya Yvette!
Shop her Tastemaker Sale HERE.
Check out Welkin NYC HERE.
Read LaTonya Yvette's blog HERE.
Learn more about LaTonya Yvette HERE.
Watch the American Blogger trailer HERE.