She started her business 17 years ago with the goal to revolutionise maternity wear and create something that is fashionable, yet practical. Today, Cécile Reinaud’s maternity wear brand, Seraphine, is much loved by women, including celebrities like Jessica Alba, Gwen Stefani, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, and even the royals – Duchess of Cambridge, Zara Tindall and the Princess of Sweden.
“We developed the brand first in the UK, took it to France, nurtured it there and expanded it further in Europe before finally launching it in the United States. After serving over 40 countries, we identified India as our next potential market. We discovered that there is a huge demand here but no maternity wear brand that understands their needs,” says Reinaud, who was in Delhi at the launch of its flagship store recently.
Explaining the market for maternity wear, Reinaud says that maternity wear has a huge demand globally, and it has only grown over the last few years. It started in America, trickled into Europe and has now reached India, a nation that has spread its arms wide to welcome this niche segment, she says.
“We see consumers demanding something comfortable yet fashionable for pregnancy and post-delivery, so it will definitely flourish exponentially in the coming years. Also, as more and more women choose to have their children later, they have more disposable incomes which enable them to be more fashionable even when they are pregnant,” she tells indianexpress.com.
Séraphine, which opened its store in Select Citywalk, will include a wide range of maternity wear, comprising gowns, dresses, vests, long tops, maternity jeans, leggings, trousers, nursing bras and even swimwear. But were any fashion tweaks made for the Indian market considering the difference in sartorial tastes here and abroad?
“I think they are not so different; Indian women like to dress up more modestly, as they avoid low cut V necks. They are more comfortable with sleeves attached to their dresses and tops, which gels with Seraphine’s style, as we have a wide range of designs that will meet their needs. The other factor is the weather, it is hot most of the months so we look for fabrics that are light and that will keep you cool, while making you feel adequately covered and elegant,” she shares.
Listing a few essentials for pregnant women, Reinaud suggests having maternity leggings, stocking up on some layering pieces, and a couple of long vests, as longer tops complement bigger bellies.
“A pregnant woman must also have an essential dress that is comfy yet make heads turn at a party. Last but not the least, my biggest recommendation would be to have a good pair of jeans. They are one of the best things to invest in, more so when pregnant,” she says.
So what factors are considered while designing the clothes? “We always put emphasis on natural fabrics that are breathable, soft and stretchable,” she says, adding they work on a variety of fabrics, from woven to cotton, from silk to knit, all depending on the weather.
“We ensure adaptability throughout the nine months so that you can start wearing the outfits right from no bump and use them throughout the pregnancy. We also make sure that the postpartum phase is taken care of. Most of our clothes are designed with easy access so you can nurse even after you have had the baby,” she says.
On being asked to share a few styling hacks for pregnant women, Reinaud says, “A lot of pregnant women like to wear dark colours because they feel it makes them look slim. I would really encourage them to pair their clothes with bright colours to bring out that pregnancy glow and celebrate the bump. Women shouldn’t be too shy of colours because even if you are big, a red dress can look absolutely amazing on you.”
“Most women are not comfortable showing the bump in their first trimester because it does not really have a shape but as soon as they enter the second trimester, a cute little bump starts showing and any style that emphasises it can be really flattering,” she adds.