Bookmarks at the ready — introducing your new favorite shopping site, MINIMODE. The brain child of InStyle’s marketing director Maria Benetos and Chalk NYC designer Colleen Crivello, MINIMODE mixes inspiring, shoppable content with curated (and splurge-worthy!) retail pages. We spoke to co-founder Maria Benetos about the brands to know, what to pack for beach and city breaks en famille, and where to have a perfect family day out in NYC.
Congratulations on the launch of MINIMODE! What can we expect from the site?
It's a one-stop-shop for moms who have not lost their edge when it comes to their personal style and who want their kids to look just as cool as they do! The site is 50% content and 50% commerce so there is always a reason for people to come back because we have new trend stories, influencer interviews and much more every day. All content is attached to shopping so if you read a "Mini & Me" story focusing on stripes you can immediately buy the product for mom and mini. Or you can skip the content altogether and go directly to the shopping feed.
Can you share some of your favorite brands on the site?
We do spotlights on the brands we adore, and right now it's an international roster: Bobo Choses (Spain), Stella McCartney Kids (UK), Nununu (Israel) and Louis Louise (French). We're also loving Soft Gallery and Anais & I, especially this season. And cool kid's sneaker brand are just nailing it, such as AKID and Maa. For moms, we love featuring brands that are not "maternity" per se, but that are perfect to wear when your pregnant, like Rachel Comey and Rodebjer. For non-traditional maternity wear that you can wear way beyond pregnancy, we highly, highly recommend Hatch Collection.
What will you be packing for your kids' next beach vacation and city break?
We both have girls, so for the beach we're absolutely obsessed with the cat swimsuit from Mini Rodini, along with an easy and light summer dress from Chalk NYC and a pair a sandals from Zara Kids or Pom d'Api. Our exclusive sunglasses with Sons & Daughters finish the look. For a city break, the Natalie dress from Velveteen, glittery high tops from Golden Goose and a straw mini bag from April Showers.
We love the Mom Crush column on the blog. Who’s your personal mom crush?
My personal mom crush is Gemma Ward. She was one of the world's biggest models and she basically walked away from it all at her peek. She's now focusing most of her energy on raising her beautiful daughter Naia. I love their adorable Instagrams of the two of them together on beaches of Australia, her home town.
You both live and work in NYC. What’s the best, and most challenging, part of raising a family in the city?
The best part of it is the community. There's a sort of tribe of amazing moms that we met when we had our girls and we do everything together. It's also so easy to stay social here and expose the girls to the many experiences NYC has to offer. All our friends with kids text each other on the weekends and walk over to the playground to all hang out, or we'll take the kids to brunch in Soho or the children's museum. The most challenging is that you sometimes feel guilty that they can't just walk out the door and play in the backyard but thankfully we have family nearby and Colleen has a weekend home, so they get to do that on the weekends.
How would you spend a perfect family day out in NYC?
A perfect family day starts with breakfast at The Standard. My girls are obsessed with the magnetic dog salt and pepper shakers which can "kiss" each other and they love the pancakes there. We then often walk The High Line which is basically empty that early in the day on a weekend so it feels sort of magical and like we own it! We would hit up Chelsea Market so the girls can throw coins down the indoor waterfall, then we'll head to Posman Books to read a few stories and end the visit by getting a cone at L'Arte del Gelato. A bike ride on the West Side Highway is always in order on a beautiful day so we can ride down to the playground on the pier (by North Moore Street) to meet up with our friends. Dinner would be a picnic in Rockefeller Park with food from the amazing choices at the new Hudson Eats. Then a sunset ride back home on the river just in time for bedtime!