Mother and Muse
Family person, top model and designer of her own collection: our cover star Bianca Balti shows how versatile women are. A conversation about sustainable maternity fashion and the education of daughters
Close your eyes and imagine the friendliest, warmest place in the world. Flooded with love, light, and laughter. We feel transported to this paradise when Bianca Balti opens the door to her wonderfully nested tree house in the mountains of West Hollywood. The model is unvarnished and wears ochre velvet trousers, an overlong cashmere cardigan, and Birkenstocks. Her trademark, the bright blue eyes, shine. Her excited daughters Mathilde, 11, and Mia, 3, jump and squeal behind her. The Italian is the epitome of the supermodel with a storybook career. Discovered in a supermarket in her hometown of Lodi in Lombardy, Bianca soon becomes a sought-after catwalk beauty, muse and everlasting campaign face for Dolce & Gabbana. She adorns every imaginable magazine cover, becomes a mother for the first time at the age of 23 (an iconic moment when she runs Dolce & Gabbana's Runway Show with a pregnant belly in 2015). Motherhood and a conscious lifestyle are the focus for the 35-year-old today. Since her first pregnancy, she has also been thinking about creating her own collection for "the best nine months in a woman's life," as she puts it. Now the time has come.
Madame: Bianca, congratulations on your beautiful collection. How did this come about and why in L.A.?
Bianca: When I was pregnant with Mathilde, I found little pretty and fashionable maternity outfits. In my second pregnancy there was a good choice, but sustainable? Hardly ... But it must be possible to combine these two aspects. That's how the idea for the Bianca Balti Collection came about. I familiarized myself with the processes, researched resources and slowly began to engage a small team. But not in my beloved Italy, but in the city of sustainability: Los Angeles. L. A. has really incredibly creative energy.
Madame: Can a collection that is worn for a maximum of nine months be sustainable at all?
Bianca: That's exactly the claim I make. I wanted to create a collection that would leave room for growing belly and breasts, but could also be worn after pregnancy. I also want all materials to be produced sustainably and vintage fabrics to be used extensively. All work steps take place locally in L.A. and exclusively by women for women.
My life has become much more responsible since I became a mother. I first had to learn to become more selfless.
While we're talking about the collection and Bianca's warmth and unwavering desire to make a "good" product from start to finish are contagious, hair and makeup stylists are preparing the model for our shoot. They don't have much to do, Bianca's complexion is flawless, her hair perfect even without styling.
Madame: The overarching theme for the photo shoot today is Mother & Muse, with you as the perfect cast. You seem to find it very easy to switch between these two roles in front of the camera.
Bianca: Thanks, that honors me. I always say - and I firmly believe - that we women can do everything without having to give up anything. We are unbelievable creatures, we can be the best mothers, workers and lovers at the same time.
Madame: In your opinion, how do you educate girls today?
Bianca: Good question. I think it needs many examples. I would like to show my daughters that life has many facets, including dark sides. Then I want to give them a sense of duty, ambition and passion. And how important friends and family are. I want my girls to feel completely natural when they make life choices later on: they want to take a career, be successful, have children themselves, lead a social life and be sexy and feminine.
There's hardly a better message for daughters.