Businesswoman, designer and mother Cecile Reinaud is the founder of celebrated international maternity fashion label, Séraphine. Originally from Paris where she studied business, Cecile first moved to the UK to work at high profile advertising agencies including JWT, but Cecile’s true passion has always been designing and creating clothes and in 2002 she spotted a business opportunity for fashion-driven maternity and nursing style solutions and founded Séraphine. In 2013 the Duchess of Cambridge wore the brand’s knot dress for Prince George’s first official photo, causing stock to sell out.
“…women are more empowered in the U.S., so as a business woman you tend to feel less isolated and somewhat more respected than in Europe…”
Séraphine: More than humble beginnings…
12 years ago I opened Seraphine’s first London store in Notting Hill and it was an instant hit amongst the fashionable pregnant women of London. From the very beginning our store was frequented by American celebrities including Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie. And it was their taste for our maternity clothes that convinced us that we needed an international web platform to deliver everywhere in the world.
Hollywood baby boom
Since then, the brand has grown internationally; www.seraphine.com now ships to over 30 countries around the world. Over the past two years we have put a strategic focus on growing our presence in the U.S.: with a Hollywood baby boom, and Seraphine the brand of choice for expectant celebrities, it seemed an obvious move to capitalise on this strength and target this region.
Eight times more expectant mothers in the U.S.
For British brands the U.S. has always held the appeal of a common language, which saves a lot of translation and a culture that doesn’t feel too foreign. The U.S. has eight times more expectant mothers than the UK, and as such, it’s the largest market for maternity wear within the developed world.
We have experienced fast growth in this region, and the Duchess of Cambridge created a lot of excitement about Seraphine over the other side of the Atlantic when she wore one of our dresses for her first family photo with Prince George! Americans adore her style, and really follow Kate’s fashion choices.
New York New York
We will be opening our flagship American store in New York on the 20th of November in the heart of Soho on West Broadway. New York is such a vibrant, trend setting city, buzzing with fashion, that it’s a must-have location for any global fashion brand. We have ambitious plans to roll out ten stores across the States over the next four years, so hopefully this first store opening is going to pave the way to many more across the U.S.
U.S. entrepreneurial spirit and empowered women
Personally I love the enthusiastic, entrepreneurial spirit in America. The can do attitude, stamina and meritocracy in the States is inspirational and a very attractive culture to allow start-ups to spread their wings!
As another huge plus point, women are more empowered in the U.S., so as a business woman you tend to feel less isolated and somewhat more respected than in Europe. America has always been the country where dreams come true, and certainly for our whole team, this New York store is a bit of a dream!