Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s youngest daughter Laila followed her father’s fancy footwork
to become a championship boxer in her own right. She also gained his passion for philanthropy and family–
now with two children of her own, the retired champ devotes her time to causes like Feeding
America and lends her name to worldwide charity campaigns. But here, in 1977, she was just a
newborn cradled in her father’s powerful arms. Like father, like daughter.
By Eva Morreale
Photo by Michael Gaffney
Come end of February, the collective energy of New Yorkers’ escapist dreams of sun and warmth could probably power the city’s electrical grid. This winter has been rough–to say the… […]Read More
Flashback to last summer, when we raved about Cabbages and Kings branching out from their usual knitwear offerings to start designing swimsuits for kids. Now fast-forward to this… […]Read More
You’re a successful stylist, co-founder of CAP Beauty, and mother of two– life can probably get a bit chaotic! How do you work on balancing everything?
Ha! I wish I had a better answer here. Balance is so elusive. I guess I would say that when I had kids, I learned to let go of a lot. I don’t throw as many dinner parties as I used to, and the apartment is always a bit of a mess.
I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t work, but I certainly wish I had more time with my family. Starting CAP Beauty was definitely a step towards balance. Stylists lead such complicated lives– with travel, long days on set, and constantly changing schedules. It sounds extreme, but my solution was to start a new business– one that’s all about self-care!
Speaking of balance, who do you turn to for parenting advice?
I really believe it takes a village. Our friends and family, our babysitters and teachers and therapists (Louis was born with very low tone and has had lots of therapy since he was 7 months old) all help shape how we raise our kids. I was an aunt before I was a mom, and my sister-in-law taught me that. She’s a brilliant mom to so many kids, not just her own, and I’ve been taking notes for years. She also taught me that mistakes will be part of the process. Consistency of course is key, but mistakes are inevitable. Apologize in advance and be nimble. She taught me that the day I brought Louis home from the hospital. It was like a license to screw-up, forgive myself, and move on.
You’re American, your husband is French, and you’re raising Louis and Sally to be bi-lingual. How’s it been going?
It’s going well! It’s incredible how much kids can absorb and understand. They’re really learning both languages– speaking English with me and French with Laurent. We didn’t take this on as some kind of project or mission, it’s just who we are as a family. When Louis was much younger his speech therapist suggested that we focus on just one language. I told her I didn’t think that was possible– Laurent is Parisian and it’s just natural that he speaks French with our kids. I’m really glad I didn’t take her advice on that! They’re lucky to be learning two languages so effortlessly.
Where are some of your favorite New York spots? Stores, restaurants, museums, parks?
We definitely have some regular haunts. When we stay in the city we take the kids to BXL Zoute just about every weekend. It’s really casual and spacious and the owners couldn’t be more welcoming. Louis and Sally are obsessed with the mashed potatoes, and Laurent and I have espressos or one of the incredible beers they have on tap. The Highline, Madison Square Park, Union Square Greenmarket, and Yoga Vida are other weekend staples. I love to shop at Warm, and for weekday breakfasts and lunches I love The Butcher’s Daughter and Dimes. For dinners with friends I love Quartino Bottega Organica on Bleecker Street. And Miss Lily’s is great for a night out.
Do you have any go-to children’s clothing brands?
Flora and Henri is my go-to for the best t-shirts, and Louis is almost always in a pair of classic Osh Kosh overalls. I tend to splurge on just a few special pieces each season from Flora and Henri or Makie, and then I supplement with a lot of staples from places like Zara, H&M, and Old Navy. We do high and low!
I also just discovered the kids department at the Soho boutique Kisan. They have a great selection with classic brands like Bon Ton and Bonpoint, and more whimsical stuff from Morley and Simple Kids. And they have great sales! The ABC Carpet kids department also has some really adorable stuff.
As a natural beauty expert, what are some of your personal favorites when it comes to products?
I’m always testing new brands and products, but I do have a few tried-and-true favorites. Honey Girl Organics makes the most perfect Facial Scrub and a super-nourishing Face and Eye Cream that is my secret weapon all winter. It gives me a truly warm glow, like I’ve just been to Hawaii! I also absolutely love Dr. Jackson’s Skin Cream 02. It targets hyperpigmentation and has the most gorgeous hand, and a really sophisticated clean and handsome scent.
Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser is a natural beauty classic and really one of my favorite products ever. It’s lightly exfoliating and totally refreshing without drying my skin. For the kids, I love everything from Wild Carrot, MiniOrganics, and also love the products from The Honest Co. We use their shampoo and their spray-on detangler.
CAP Beauty also has a new Energy Mist called The CAPtivator. It was created for us by Katie Hess of Lotus Wei and is absolutely addictive. It’s a gorgeous blend of Sandalwood, Rose, Neroli, Black Pepper, and Clary Sage, and the flower essences in it promote love and kindness and boost the libido. Who doesn’t want all that?!?!
How do you guys enjoy spending time together as a family?
We love to take the kids to visit my dad and his wife, Helen. They live about an hour outside the city in Morristown, New Jersey. We go for walks in the woods, run around on the tennis court, play lots of piano and ping-pong, and eat very well.
What are some benefits of raising kids in the city? And any challenges?
I love to see my kids interact in the city. They have friends everywhere– from the father/son pair who operate the newsstand on our street to the restauranteurs and Greenmarket vendors we see every weekend. They learn to engage in the world in a way that I hope will give them confidence and compassion.
And of course there’s the culture. We can take a walk on the Highline and see an Ed Ruscha painting, or play near the Rachel Feinstein sculpture in Madison Square Park. But all of that said, I definitely have suburbs envy! There’s a big part of me that would love to drive to the grocery store, grow my own vegetables, and do endless laundry!
How did motherhood change your lifestyle?
Life has become more spontaneous. We make plans a day in advance instead of weeks. I’ve also become less of a perfectionist. These are all good changes. On the downside, I’m definitely lacking in sleep!
What have you learned from your kids? What do you hope they learn from you?
It’s so cliché, but my kids have taught me to live in the moment, to be present and to cherish my time with them. They grow so fast. They’ve taught me that my actions reverberate and they’ve taught me the importance of keeping my word. I hope that I teach them kindness, compassion, and to love and take care of themselves.
Visit CAP Beauty online and on West 10th Street in New York’s West Village.
Photo by John von Pamer
Glossier’s beauty philosophy is so modern and liberating—can you share a bit about the thought that went into developing the line? Thank you! My inspiration was how women… […]Read More
Pictured here in Gstaad, Switzerland, Grace and Caroline are just a couple of Princesses on a family ski holiday. Whether they’re contemplating the next slope to conquer, or a mug of hot chocolate back at the lodge, mother and daughter somehow manage to make winter gear look stylish and cool. Perfect weekend inspiration for this never-ending New York winter!
I discovered the “Avocolada” from London-based Australian chef Sarah Sugden. It’s perfect for baby and me! 1 ripe avocado 3 cups diced pineapple (fresh or frozen) 2 cups coconut water… […]Read More
We could not have been more proud of one of our very first contributors–and one of our favorite mummies–illustrator Kate Schelter, when we heard that she collaborated with one of our favorite brands, Bonpoint.
The illustration on this long sleeve t-shirt was one of the first ever made for our website!
The t-shirt is available for pre-order on Moda Operandi and available in size 3, 4, and 6 years old
We are getting a bit nostalgic, Kate!
We love Aurelia Probiotic Skincare’s Dry Body Oil as a top shelf pampering product. Specifically formulated as a light, easily absorbed hydrator, it multitasks to tighten and moisturize your dehydrated skin. And since estrogen levels drop suddenly after giving birth and can remain low for two to three months–causing a loss of salt and water in the body–a new mother’s dry skin craves proper care. Moisturizing, using a humidifier, and avoiding drying formulas with soap and alcohol can all help restore smoother, more supple skin. Aurelia’s synthesis of Neroli, Lavender, Rose, Mandarin and antioxidant-rich BioOrganic botanicals unique to Aurelia combine into a lovely fragrance, creating a relaxing, stress free experience. Blend with your moisturizer or apply while your skin is still damp to enhance the effects, and continue to practice a little self-love every day.
By Kate Sexton
Illustration by Regina Yazdi