Are babies the latest fashion accessory?

Words by Hannah Cole

Illustration by Twylamae

A baby on your hip is the latest Celine tote, haven’t you heard?

If 2017 was the year of the dad sneaker, then 2018 is the year of the baby. The latest fashion accessory is, in fact, a tiny human. Hardly a day goes by without the announcement of yet another fashion blogger/writer/journalist/stylist expecting. Leandra Medine, Pandora Sykes, Kate Foley, Chiara Ferragni and now Veronika Heilbrunner, are all in the midst of their pregnancies. Our Australian darling, Brooke Testoni, has broken the news as well.

For a time, it seemed that babies were almost taboo in fashion. Top editors and stylists may have reared a few, but they were rarely seen or spoken of in public. Baby + Gucci = one big mess and an expensive trip to the dry cleaners.

But now we have the new guard of fashion influencers and media, introducing a personal form of authenticity and storytelling. We’ve become invested in the lives of these mamas-to-be, thanks to their daily Instagramming and published pieces. Man Repeller is rife with baby talk, from conception difficulties to dressing a bump; swollen ankles and baggy under-eyes flood our feeds. The elusive shades of fashion figures past have been pulled away as we are privy to raw emotion and real-life experiences.

I wonder if this sudden influx will influence us, as the everyday millennial. According to the trends, we’re having babies much later in life, if at all. We’re career-focused, battling to afford property, and buying too much avocado toast. As we see our successful, esteemed peers adding to their long list of responsibilities, does it seem more achievable for us? Does it maybe even make having a baby cool again?

I’ll admit that sway is gradually working its way with me: from happily never having children to ‘sometime later’ is a dramatic change in itself. Maybe we really can have it all. If Leandra and Veronika (we’re on a first-name basis) can manage growing teams in the workplace while rocking a baby, what do we have to lose?

Pregnancy seems to represent a certain coming-of-age. These stars have done their time, working intensely on their careers and attending fashion events. Maybe an awakening occurs, realising that, while their lives may not be perfect, they’re comfortable and prepared for a new set of challenges.

And with those challenges, of course, come the positives. Pandora has described these as an experience of a new level of love, stronger than any other; a sense of ‘nesting’ and comfort; and an instant human connection with others around you. People care and people smile at the sight of a bursting mother.

While the physical pregnancy sounds like a nightmare, it’s a pleasing result. I’ll be watching closely from my iPhone screen as these bubs come into the world and traipse through life with their fashionable mums. These babies don’t mean the end of a career or luxury wardrobe, but a doorway to a new stage of life. Same-same, but different.

A baby on your hip is the latest Celine tote, haven’t you heard? Get in quick.

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