maisonette is the crème de la crème for a stylishly curated selection of baby & mama goods, and we are thrilled to be one of their brand partners! we’ve been following their stylish co-founder and ceo sylvana ward durrett for years now – her snaps of walking her kiddos to school are an inspirational dose of new york street style. we were excited to sit down with sylvana to learn more about her career - including her start as anna wintour’s assistant! - and how she built maisonette into the cult brand it is today.
read our full conversation below.
You worked at Vogue for 14 years and started out as Anna Wintour’s assistant. This is a dream career for so many people interested in the fashion industry. We would love to hear about your experience in a nutshell – key learnings, how this experience inspired you to start Maisonette, and maybe a “pinch me” moment.
Sylvana: Vogue was incredibly pivotal for me; it was like my business school. Working alongside Anna, who is such a strong female leader, was so inspiring and beneficial. Anna ingrained a valuable work ethic in everyone who worked at Vogue: where no obstacle was too big, not to take no for an answer, and to be resourceful. When I decided to start Maisonette it was this work ethic that pushed me to move forward and take the risk! I take these skills with me everyday as they're essential for an entrepreneur who is faced with daily challenges.
You started Maisonette in 2017 as a destination for chic-yet-sensible kids’ clothing, and it has since grown into a beloved brand, not to mention a company with over 100 employees that carries everything from kids’ clothing to home decor. What was your initial vision for starting Maisonette and how has it evolved?
Sylvana: Maisonette was inspired late one night in 2016 when, like many founders, a moment of frustration led to invention. Luisnana and I, new moms at the time, hit a wall while trying to search and shop online for our children: scores of tabs open on the computer, too many brands, too many sites. We knew there must be a better way to help parents navigate, find, and choose the right products. This led to the birth of Maisonette in 2017: an expertly-curated marketplace that features the best children’s products from around the globe, for families of every kind. Together, we have grown Maisonette to be a leading innovator and the fastest aggregator of the $630 billion Children’s market.
We love following you to see your chic personal style and adorable family. You mentioned in a recent Vogue article that you have adopted a uniform that is both casual and stylish – you’re speaking our language! What is your go-to look for spring/summer? Any must-have pieces or brands in your closet?
Sylvana: I really believe the mom uniform is all about comfort and style with simplicity and elegance. My mom uniform typically consists of a pair of jeans and a classic tee but during the summer I love a roomy house dress that can go from a playground to a cocktail after work. Which is one of the many reasons why I love Mirth and their pieces: they’re comfortable, yet fashionable!
So nice to hear, thank you! Speaking of your style, we love seeing the photos of you walking your kids to school. What is your family’s morning routine like?
Sylvana: Chaos, if you couldn’t tell from my kids’ expressions! We do our best to stick to a routine: wake up at 7:15 am, get dressed, breakfast at 7:30 am and then walk to school with me.
We love how you styled our Pueblo . Where do you plan to wear it this summer?
Sylvana: I’m obsessed with the Pueblo dress! I love the idea of being able to play with my kids and go to lunch with my husband or dinner with girlfriends without having to change. This dress is so simple and chic without being fussy and it's incredibly flattering. I've worn it every weekend in the country since it arrived!