Solenn Heussaff-Bolzico’s C’est La Vie Is Maternity Wear Revolutionized

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Stylish yet functional, this fresh Elin x Katana collab celebrates motherhood and breastfeeding in all shapes and sizes

When motherhood comes knocking, there’s an endless list of preparations that enter our minds. Aside from everything that you will be needing for the newest addition to your family, there’s also a matter of what you need to make your experience more comfortable— starting with accommodating a growing belly bump and all throughout breastfeeding. Maternity fashion has evolved over the years, and whether you’re looking for something stylish or even just the simple basics, Elin has got you covered.  

Elin is a women’s clothing brand focused on maternity and nursing wear which was launched in 2012, during a time when breastfeeding and online purchasing wasn’t as popular as it is today. There was a dire shortage in maternity clothing brands that expectant mothers and breastfeeding moms could trust. Elin was up to the task, and paved the way for moms to finally have options! 

We speak to Joey Dy and Solenn Heussaff about C’est la vie, the newest line in the Elin x Katana collection, their working relationship and what makes this drop special.

Where fashion meets purpose

Elin ventured out to meet the demand brought about by the changes that women go through when expecting a child. Finding the right piece — one that we actually like and supports our needs — can be difficult and frustrating for so many moms, and often leave us feeling quite hopeless. 

“We always thought Elin’s goal was simply to provide expecting moms better accessibility for nursing and maternity wear. Over time, we have come to learn that we are able to change people’s lives with the clothes we make by helping nursing and expecting moms feel confident and good about themselves during one of the most challenging times of their lives,” says Joey Dy, mother of two, and Elin’s marketing director. 

Joey adds, “What we now keep in mind is that, we not only strive to make the best functional clothes that moms need, we also strive to encourage breastfeeding moms. We seek to bring the concept of breastfeeding closer to first time moms, and try to put as much representation of nursing moms out there to help normalize breastfeeding culture.”  

In an effort to cast a spotlight on breastfeeding, in a way that would excite and encourage young, first-time moms, the Elin team reached out to Solenn Heusaff for a collaboration. Given her background in fashion and having recently given birth to her daughter, Tili, there couldn’t have been a better choice. The deal was sealed, and the results were more than any of them could have hoped for. 

A match made in heaven

Solenn Heussaff-Bolzico, the designer of Elin x Katana with Joey Socco-Dy, Elin PH’s marketing director

“I actually wore a few pieces from Elin right after I left the hospital. I was happy to hear that there was a local brand that was making stylish clothes for pregnant and breastfeeding women. When they approached me to collab, I was super excited since fashion designing is actually what I studied and was so happy to revisit my first love,” shares Solenn. 

The first collaboration with Solenn, Elin x Katana, took five months to execute because of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Nonetheless, it was a match made in heaven. “She’s really easy to work with and we got along so well right off the bat,” says Joey. 

While the Elin team worked more on the garment construction side, Solenn was given full creative control of her collection— from establishing the color palettes, choosing the fabrics and conceptualizing the designs. Joey also adds, “There were even some nursing access ideas that I think she may have invented. They just weren’t done before.”

Solenn has been more than happy to work with the Elin team, praising their efficiency and top quality products. “Sometimes I get carried away and go in many directions design-wise, and Joey centers me. It’s also easy to work with a person that trusts you— and with all my dreams of bra-free “hubadera” designs, she is willing to give it a try,” Solenn laughs.

Inspired by moms everywhere

The desire to help and support moms from all walks of life is what keeps the team motivated. “We get super ecstatic when moms message us that the clothes helped them feel good about their post-partum bodies. Some moms have even worn the clothes as their ‘uniform’ at home and at night since all are very nursing friendly,” shares Joey.

Solenn mentions that her inspiration comes from the opportunity to help women feel happy and comfortable in their own skin. She continues, “Especially with new mamas, because it really isn’t easy after you give birth. You change, your body looks different, you don’t fit into your old clothes, and hormones are all over the place. I was depressed for a few months and lived in literally mismatched PJ’s because it was the only thing I could squeeze into.” Elin proved to be the game-changer that she so desperately needed.  

“Curating for mothers gives us so much joy, more so now that I am a mother. I understand how much women have to go through and how capable they are. They should feel special everyday and be reminded that they are amazing and should feel amazing,” quips Solenn, who has used her experience as a new mom by applying it to her designs. 

Necessity is the mother of invention

When it comes to fashion, Elin takes it up a notch by creating pieces that are guaranteed to allow mothers to comfortably breastfeed with ease. Solenn admits that integrating the breastfeeding function was a challenge, but one she tackled head on. “We had to figure out how to add the breast feeding holes but still make the garment look ‘normal’. Also, we made sure that they could still be worn and useful even after you stop breastfeeding— making every style a staple piece.”

For their latest collaboration, due out in the first week of June 2021, they’ve considered the possibility of having to remain indoors for the most part. With this in mind, the new C’est La Vie collection is their take on accepting this situation and the hope that comes with it. As Joey puts it, “The pieces are designed to be worn inside the house, but also ready to be worn the next time all mamas are able to go outdoors.”

Solenn beams with enthusiasm describing the new collection as comfortable, fun, and sexy. “We wanted something colorful but still subtle, and colors that reminded us of the beautiful outdoors. It’s a mix of loose and tight styles to cater to all women that stay home but dream big, and are ready to step outdoors when time permits. We also decided to add new colors to our go-to styles since many have been asking.”

What to expect when you shop at Elin

With high standards come high expectations, but it’s easy to see that Elin delivers. Moms are sure to love the practical pieces that can be worn anytime and anywhere, with each design in their new collection something Solenn has poured a great deal of love, thoughtfulness, and attention into. 

“I hope moms appreciate that we are trying to come up with designs that don’t look “pang buntis iyan” or “pang breastfeeding iyan“. These styles can be worn even if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding. Any woman can wear them,” shares Solenn. 

Joey expresses clear sentiments, saying, “We really hope that we are able to paint a better picture of pregnancy and breastfeeding for the next generation of mothers. To show breastfeeding as something to look forward to. If we are able to do that through our products, then I think we’ve done good in our own little way.” 

As moms continue to search for more fashion forward pieces, Elin is confident that they have something to offer for every type of mom. But more than that, their pieces come with a message and a purpose that all moms could certainly benefit from — that there are no limits when it comes to motherhood. 

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All outfits seen on Solenn and Joey are from the upcoming Elin x Katana C’est La Vie collection.

For more info, check out their website www.elin.ph and browse their socials: IG: https://www.instagram.com/elin_ph/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.elin.ph

Photography JERICK SANCHEZ
Makeup ROBBIE PINERA
Hair JOHN VALLE

Shot on location at LUCAS STUDIOS

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