Form Meets Family: Sylvana Durrett on Great Design
For CEO Sylvana Durret, being a full-time mom means something a little different. This Vogue alum has made motherhood her business with the founding of her widely loved lifestyle brand for kids and moms alike, Maisonette. We stop by the family’s impeccably designed Brooklyn townhouse for tips on parenting with style.
- Rip & Tan: Since launching Maisonette in 2016, what are the most important lessons you’ve learned about being a leader?
- Sylvana Durrett: It’s so important to trust your gut and listen to your intuition—it has guided me always. At the same time, it’s critical to have a few mentors to look up to and lean on for advice and support.
- Rip & Tan: What 3 baby essentials should a new mom have? What 3 baby items are not as essential as many people think?
Sylvana Durrett: My 3 must-haves:
First, a baby monitor. It’s difficult to understate the overwhelming feeling of responsibility and resulting anxiety that can accompany being a first time (or even third time) mom. Baby monitors help alleviate the anxiety of being separated from your little one. I love the Nanit. 2. A car seat: this is one of the first—and most important—things you need. I love how the Cybex Cloud Q has a full-recline position! And Aquaphor. For anything and everything.
You could probably do without:
All the warmers: bottle warmer, wipes warmer…nobody ever ends up using those!
- Rip & Tan: Your home is so thoughtfully and beautifully designed. How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you approach the interior design?
- Sylvana Durrett: I take a very high/low approach to style, whether it be in my home or with fashion. It’s an eclectic mix of modern and classic pieces with a casual feel. Some more formal, but always functional, and always kid-friendly.
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- Rip & Tan: New York is a fast-paced city, a central hub of the world. How have you made your corner of the city home for your kids to grow and thrive?
- Sylvana Durrett: I was very intentional in creating a home of beautiful spaces that were not off-limits to the kids. I want them to feel at home, to feel empowered by their surroundings, and also to appreciate design and harmony in spaces.
- Rip & Tan: How would you define your personal style? How has it changed since becoming a mother of three?
- Sylvana Durrett: My personal style is another mix of high and low: my day-to-day involves a pair of Khaite jeans, a tee, and a Jenni Kayne cardigan. Of course I also love to dress up, and although I do it a little bit less than I did pre-kids, I don’t make any sacrifices when it comes to wearing my favorite designers or trends.
"I was very intentional in creating a home of beautiful spaces that were not off-limits to the kids. I want them to feel at home, to feel empowered by their surroundings, and also to appreciate design and harmony in spaces."
- Rip & Tan: What inspired you to shift your career focus from adult fashion at Vogue to children’s fashion at Maisonette?
- Sylvana Durrett: I think becoming a mom gave me such a new perspective on family, and gave me insight to market that I had yet to know anything about. What I quickly realized was that shopping for kids was incredibly frustrating. There was no one place where I could find high-quality stylish product for my kids—and that’s how Maisonette was born.
- Rip & Tan: Imagine you have a free day with zero responsibilities. How will you spend your time?
- Sylvana Durrett: Mani-pedi and a delicious dinner with my husband—and a great bottle of red wine.
- Rip & Tan: If you could go back to a time before kids and give yourself one piece of advice on motherhood knowing what you know now, what would it be?
- Sylvana Durrett: Don’t sweat the small stuff—it will all work out in the end. And commit to some self-care, whether that be a manicure, a hot bubble bath, or a dinner with friends—it’s so important to give yourself a break, especially in those early days!
- Rip & Tan: What’s next for Maisonette?
- Sylvana Durrett: We are thrilled to be launching our private label Maison Mini, which will feature elevated basics at an affordable price point. The collection is European-inspired and so cute! And in June, our registry is coming—it’s been something we have been talking about since we first launched. We are thrilled, and know our customers will be too!
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Photos by Kirsten Francis