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Made in New York: Honor NYC

Daring designer Giovanna Randall talks fashion and motherhood on the eve of Baby #2.

Made in New York: Honor NYC

Known for its fearless and feminine style, Honor NYC was already a fashion favorite when president and head designer Giovanna Randall had her first baby girl Nova three years ago. And then it got better.

“My work became more directed. I didn’t have as much time to edit or criticize what I was doing,” she says. “I’ve gotten better at knowing when something is good and recognizing when something is meaningful.”

Since then, designer has worked hard to balance motherhood with her critically lauded fashion label, striving to be fully present in both roles. “My company was my first baby, and it’s very demanding. It taught me about commitment and how it feels to really put your heart into something.”

But her mornings and evenings with her family--including nightly pajama party sing-alongs (she’s a former opera singer!)--are equally sacrosanct. The work/mom balance, she says, “is a constant holding on and then letting go. You have to show your children that you’re not just a mom, but that you can find real happiness in other areas of your life as well. Having other things that make me happy makes me a good mom.”

On the eve of welcoming her second baby girl into the world (she arrived last week!), Giovanna sat down with us in her enchanting NYC showroom to talk about fashion, hypnobirthing and baby registry must-haves.

Tell us about your daily routine.

I spend mornings at home. Nova wakes me around 8:30 or 9--she’s my alarm clock. It’s the most joyful thing. I try to spend time with her in the mornings before I come to the office. I work till around 7, then come home and have dinner. Every night at bedtime, we sing songs. My husband gets Nova into pajamas (because he’s the best), then he plays the ukulele and I sing. Some we just make up, but we also love the classics.

How has having a child changed your work?

I draw inspiration from deep-rooted things, which are all connected to family. I don’t think it’s ever been a direct “mother” thing, but more something that’s just present throughout.

How about your process?

I used to design in a bubble, but now I don’t have my own time. I remember when I was younger, my mom always used to paint in the kitchen and I didn’t understand why she’d do her work there. Now I get it: it’s a necessity of life [when you’re a mother]. You just sit down wherever you are, and you get it done.

What’s it like working in the fashion industry as a mom? Is there a sense of comaraderie between the moms out there?

It’s so great. So many of the people I work with are either now having children or already have them. It shows that you really can make it work.

How has this pregnancy treated you?

I love being pregnant! It’s such a gift. It’s different this time, but it’s easier and I’m having more fun. It has gone by so fast.

How are you preparing for birth?

I had a holistic health coach that helped me prepare for the first baby. I hypnobirthed and it was a great tool to help keep me centered. I’m not really afraid of the birth…I’m so excited about meeting this person. I just wonder who this new person is going to be and how I’m going to help this person become who they are.

What do you love most about being a mom in the city?

It’s all about the right here. You don’t have to get in the car--there’s so many great resources and things to do.

Best registry advice?

Try to keep it as simple as possible!

Now that you’ve been through it once, what are you must-haves for Baby #2?

Photography by Jonica Moore Studio.

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