Zoe De Givenchy, Mother Of Louis, 1

What do you enjoy doing with Louis the most?

Our thing is music. We love to dance and sing together. We might be in a shop and Louis will hear music and I see him looking around for me, smiling. We dance before dinner and we sing lullabies when he wakes in the night. We also love to read stories together in English or French and go for walks to run errands. More recently, as his meals are becoming simpler we also enjoy lunching together with all the family. Sometimes on our way to the swings, if it’s cold, we stop for a babyccino. Every moment is so precious and new. I like to talk to him and when he babbles back incoherently, I pretend to understand what he says. He enjoys the conversation.

As a mom, brand consultant, and publicist, how do you balance your time? Can you tell us what a typical day like is for you?

I always like to be the first person Louis sees each morning. We all run to be the first to smell those warm cheeks! I exercise, do emails and organize my day first thing. I try to group as many appointments as possible in the morning so I can be there when he wakes up from his midday nap and we can spend time in the afternoon together. Everyone’s happiness and sanity (especially his) depends upon keeping him to a schedule for sleep, meals and play.

Fortunately I am also able to adapt the intensity of my work to our family’s changing needs. As Louis becomes more independent, I plan to throw myself back into some new projects.

As a mom what are your go to spots in London?

London is such an exciting city! Louis is still so little but there is so much to offer the youngest of inquiring minds. He loves playing in the pattern pod and water play area at the Science Museum with his friends and admiring the enormous dinosaur and the elephants at the Natural History Museum. In the UK, entrance to museums is free all year round, which provides some respite from the cold outside! Louis enjoyed seeing the lights of Winter Wonderland this year, listening to the Christmas carols and tasting his first morsel of a hot donut. He also adores his couple of mornings a week at Les Chatons French Nursery, which has been wonderful for his language development and socialization.

You must travel a lot with Louis. What are your favorite vacation spots? Can you share any tips and essentials for traveling with a child? 

We regularly visit family in Paris and New York which are both brimming with endless options. In Paris in the summer we stroll the fairground in Les Jardins des Tuileries and watch the little sailboat races in the pond. In the winter we have hot chocolate at Angelina and stock up on French childrens’ books and music at Le Bon Marché.

For holidays under the sun we spend a lot of time at our house on Harbour Island in the Bahamas, where Louis has the freedom to explore in a way he could not in Europe. This is where he is learning to swim, and where we hope he will learn to sail, dive and fish with his brother and his friends. Giving him the opportunity to learn about and enjoy nature in all its wondrous forms is hugely important to me, probably as growing up in Australia I had the same.

As for traveling successfully with a baby, I have learnt it is really down to meticulous preparation and using your at-home routine to help guide, without being a slave to it. We try to book flights that work within Louis’ schedule, so he is either fed just before boarding and then he has his warm milk as we are taking off so he can go straight to sleep. Ideally prior to arrival, we would feed him on the plane, freshen him up and then head off. We pack everything in hand luggage we could ever possibly ever need (including extra formula in case luggage is delayed or lost) and a couple of new (quiet) toys that we hope will captivate him when his patience is at its end. When Louis was tiny, his genius nanny bought a rather unglamorous but hugely practical “play skirt” that she would wear around her neck or waist. It had toys attached that would keep him intrigued for hours within the confines of her lap!

My other tip is to prepare checklists of what needs to be packed in the days prior, what is for carry on and what should be packed and what is needed to be packed last minute on the day of travel (eg. the bottle with formula already measured and inside, the sleep teddies, the iPad). Our checklists have proven invaluable and we haven’t yet forgotten a thing!

What was your day-to-day pregnancy look? Did you have any favorite silhouettes or brands to wear? Did you give into maternity clothing?

My look while pregnant during the day was quite casual. I relied on long stretchy Vince t- shirt dresses with flat sandals and at most a denim shirt tied in front at the waist during summer. In the winter I could almost do the same but with an Armani double breasted blazer and biker boots. I practically lived in my Joseph leather leggings until the 6th month, just rolling the elasticised waist band down a little further as the weeks wore on. I paired them with an Equipment silk shirt or t-shirt most of the time. I only wore heels or over the knee boots in the evening when I enjoyed wearing empire line dresses or long dresses by Lanvin or Marni that I belted above the bump.

How did you get back in shape post-baby? What was your workout of choice?

Frankly, I have been a little too relaxed about getting back in shape! However, as a first step I undertook Dr. Alejandro Junger’s Clean Program for 21 days as I wanted to fully cleanse and restart my system, which was a revelation. Then I consulted Dr Prudence Hall in L.A. to get my energy back. For me, the best blast for fitness results is a combination of running, spinning and BBC (Ballet Bar Conditioning) at KX.

What was your beauty routine during your pregnancy? Did you have any favorite creams or products to use for the body?

Everything heavily scented made me feel so ill! I loved Santa Maria Novella Olio Dermoprotettivo for the soft powdery smell, I developed what I believe will be a lifelong love affair with Diptyque’s Eau de Rose and I lathered myself from neck to toe in everything by Mama Mio. The gifted Dr. Gowri Motha also provided me with the most incredible cranio sacral and reflexology treatments.

What are your top beauty essentials today?

I love Skin Ceuticals products for their performance quality and Amanda Lacey’s lotions and potions for their nurturing luxury. Bamford jasmine soaps can make an ordinary morning an extraordinary one and are my go-to gift for friends. Giorgio Armani make some of themost beautiful cosmetics today in my view, and my favourite beauty tool is without doubt my Clarisonic!

What are your favorite children’s wear brands?

Marie-Chantal is my favourite for pretty god daughters and tiny babies. Caramel Baby and Child for their playful, beautiful aesthetic is just a treat to shop! Amaia on Chelsea Green in London also has beautiful and well priced clothing for little girls and boys (who are often overlooked). I also recently found the most adorable customised converse on Amazon for Louis – dragons, whales and sharks, just so cute and comfortable!

Is there any advice you’d like to share with fellow moms?

Keeping a line a day diary of your little one’s first year is a commitment that isn’t too much of a stretch but one they will always cherish. Looking back at some of my entries, they might be as simple as “Today you said hat!”. I bought a lovely Smythson leather-bound notebook, had it engraved for Louis and keep it on my nightstand. I find thinking about what he did that day is such a heart warming note to end the day on.

Last but not least, what do you love most about being a mom?

The laughter (and his cries) that fill the house, the joy that this new little life brings to everyone in the family, all that makes me enormously happy. Seeing so much of my husband in my son is also a great pleasure. And just the daily excitement of teaching him every tiny thing and sharing with him this incredible world. Looking ahead to the many Christmases and birthdays and rites of passage we will share in the years to come, all that gives me butterflies of excitement.

It is true what they say – motherhood is the greatest joy and the most enormous responsibility.

Photographed by Harry Carr

Zoe wears Bamford all throughout

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