You may still remember her as the queen bee of Laguna Beach but if talking to Kristin Cavallari has taught me one thing, it’s that that phase of her life is totally dunzo. The former reality star is now a mom to two adorable little boys, the wife of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and a shoe/jewelry designer who continues to juggle hosting gigs and other projects. I chatted with K. Cav about style, design inspiration, juggling her super hectic schedule and everything in between. Read on for a more true-to-life glimpse at her behind the scenes than you ever saw on MTV.
I’ve actually interviewed Kristin a few times since we both live in Chicago. I can honestly say that she seems really great – funny, friendly, incredibly candid and sweet (despite what reality TV editing may have you believing.) We talked about her shoe line, jewelry line and how she juggles it all. Oh, and we discussed her recent run-in with Britney Spears because of course.
STATEMENT/scene: Tell us a little bit about your shoe line and your jewelry line.
Kristin Cavallari: The shoes – I’ve been working with Chinese Laundry now for — gosh I guess it’s been three years. I have the best time doing it and I feel really lucky. I’m working on Fall 2015, which is exciting. The jewelry I just launched with one of my friends about a month ago and it’s very SoHo chic. Both of them are a dream come true.
SS: What surprised you about the process of actually designing these things?
KC: Well, with the shoes the one thing that surprised is that even if I love a shoe it’s ultimately up to the buyer to decide. There have been shoes that I really love and, for example, Nordstrom doesn’t want it and that can be really heartbreaking – but the design process starts with me working with a woman from the Chinese Laundry. She’ll ask me to send over some inspiration and then we’ll talk about what the hot trends are for that season. From there we’ll come up with some sketches and I’ll tweak everything and then they send me samples in Chicago. I always have the final say on everything.
SS: I live in Chicago and I know you’re here too. I feel like the hardest thing in a city like Chicago or New York is to style an outfit that looks good and when it’s snowing – mostly because you can’t wear certain shoes in the snow. What are some of your tips for navigating winter weather and still looking cute?
KC: Before I moved to Chicago I just had a few pairs of closed-toe shoes but now I have so many. I definitely think about that when designing shoes. I have a ton of boots and booties – actually, that’s my favorite look. I think you can still look cute and then add a pair of boots or booties but obviously with suede you have to be careful. I love boots or booties with leggings and a great oversized sweater and I love scarves and hats and that sort of thing.
SS: You’re a mom, designing two lines and still juggling so many other things. How do you juggle it all? What’s your secret?
KC: I’m still looking for the secret! It’s hard. It can be really difficult at times but I can work on the shoes and the jewelry at home from Chicago while the kids are in bed or napping. I mean, my kids come first. They’re my priority and being a wife is a very close second. I’ve turned down a lot of things that have come my way and I only take the things I absolutely want to do. But when I work I think it makes me a happier person which in term makes me a better mom and wife.
SS: Has your style changed since you had kids?
KC: Yeah. I’m definitely more into practicality but at the same time, I still wear what I love and what I’ve always enjoyed wearing. I think just because you’re a mom you don’t have to sacrifice fashion. The only thing that’s really changed is that I wear more flats.
SS: How has your style changed or evolved since you were a teenager?
KC: I really had no fashion sense when I was 18. I was still wearing jean skirts and platform sandals. I think that’s how it should be when you’re 18. Fashion wasn’t even my radar but I don’t think it should be on your radar then. You should be having fun and focusing on school and everything. Once I graduated from high school and moved up to LA I started having all these photo shoots and wearing all these amazing designers and working with stylists, that really piqued my interest in fashion and that’s when I really started taking a liking to it.
SS: I think we all look back at what we wore at the age and cringe a little bit – but you were in the public eye then. Do you regret dressing the way you did or do you feel like its all a part of life?
KC: I think it’s all part of growing up. Yeah, there are definitely outfits I look back on and I’m like ‘what was I thinking?’ but I think everyone has those moments. I think it’s funny more than anything.
SS: Going back to the jewelry – what do you think the big trends will be in the next few seasons?
KC: It’s funny because chokers are coming back, which is hilarious to me because I always wore a choker my junior and senior years of high school. I like them, I think they’re a great look. Also just those very dainty pieces that you can sort of mix and match are really big as well.
SS: What sort of girl do you design for? Who do you see wearing your shoes and jewelry?
KC: Any girl who wants to look great without breaking the bank. Everything is affordable but right on trend.
SS: What advice do you have for budget-concious girls who want to look super stylish but can’t justify spending too much on clothes?
KC: I think you can get away with pretty much everything being affordable. You just need to get a couple really great basics. I love a leather jacket, that can go really far. I also love a great black blazer but my favorite blazer is from Topshop and I wear it all the time. It’s not like you have to spend a ton of money on those items. You can mix and match everything.
SS: Where do you look for inspiration when you’re designing?
KC: It just depends. I’m always looking at fashion magazines and runways. I follow a bunch of fashion designers and inspirational people on Instagram and constantly screenshot stuff. With the jewelry, for example, I really wanted to focus on California and the beach, like the really laid-back boho vibe. I think what we’re going to do with every collection is really find a story behind it and then design it.
SS: Do you see yourself designing more lines? Maybe clothes or handbags?
KC: It’s already a lot to juggle and the clothes make me nervous to jump on board with because I just want to make sure I have enough time. Handbags would something thAt I think I could manage just because it falls under the accessories umbrella, but I’m not sure. We’ll see.
SS: What advice do you have for girls who are reading this who would love to have their own fashion lines?
KC: Keep fighting for your dream. I met with a few shoe designers before Chinese Laundry. I had one big shoe designer in particular say he wanted to do a line with me and I was so excited and then it never went anywhere. I just kept fighting for it and I didn’t give up. You just have to keep going
SS: I have to ask – I saw the Instagram picture Britney Spears posted of you and her. What was that like?
KC: She’s the one person I’ve been wanting to meet like, my entire life. That was awesome and she was so sweet. That was a really cool moment for me.
This interview also appears here.