Being Mama: Vanessa Traina
For this almost-mama (she’s about to give birth any day now!), life is about to change. A lot. But for that, former model and current fashion stylist and entrepreneur Vanessa Traina can’t wait.
Vanessa Traina is about to have a baby boy. She doesn’t know when – though when we speak, in February she’s about 36 weeks along – and that’s the way she likes it. “I try not to control too much,” she says. “With things like birth and labor, so much of it is simply up to your body.”
The former model-turned-entrepreneur (whose mom just happens to be bestselling author Danielle Steel) is now the executive creative director of fashion brands The Line and Assembled Brands, and can’t wait for her newest creation – that baby boy – to arrive. “I’ve had a dream pregnancy,” she says. “We got pregnant right away – basically, we decided we wanted to, and then that was it.” “We” is Vanessa and her husband, Charlie de Viel Castel, French investor and founder of jewelry line CVC Stones – the pair married in 2016. “I didn’t have any nausea or sickness, which I really feel lucky about. I’ve actually had a lot of energy, apart from in the first trimester.” Luckily, she adds, those first three months coincided with summer vacation, resulting in a lot of naps for Traina.
In fact, Vanessa says she’s been using pregnancy as an excuse to rest up and restore herself before the baby comes. “Working in fashion is mental,” she says. “I’ve really been using pregnancy as an excuse to relax and take care of myself. I’ve had a lot more nights in, which is unheard of in fashion. Usually every night there’s a party.” While Vanessa is still heading out to dinner with girlfriends, late-night shenanigans are off the table for now. “Right now I’m into massages,” she says, laughing. “Like, a lot of massages. Before it was too late to travel, my husband and I took a few short trips to places that have great spas, like Big Sur.” And yes, she adds, she chose the destinations with this in mind.
As for the birth itself, Vanessa is sanguine. “I feel prepared, but not completely, you know? I’d prefer to deliver vaginally, but I know that our bodies don’t always do what we want them to do. I really just want my son to be healthy and safe.” For advice, she’s turned to mom Danielle, who has seven children. “My mom is amazing,” says Vanessa. “Anything you want to know about kids, she’s your woman. And luckily for me, she’s wanted to be part of the experience from the outset.” Vanessa and her mom have been shopping “almost constantly” and Danielle will be there when Vanessa goes into labor. “She’ll be there for the birth, like she was when my older sister had her two kids. I know I’ll rely on her for advice around breastfeeding and sleep.”
So far, pregnancy has been a dream run for Vanessa. She misses sushi and snacks more than usual, and has had to change her regular Ballet Beautiful workouts from the morning to the evening (“I can’t get up that early any more!”), but mostly, it’s been life as usual for the stylist. Exercise, she says, has kept her sane, and she’s continued to rely on the natural skincare products she’s loved for years, calling out brands like Erbaviva and Kahina Giving Beauty in particular. Of course, pregnancy has some hidden benefits – chief among them, fuller, thicker hair. “My hair has never looked better!” she says, chuckling. “It’s longer and fuller than it’s ever been. That’s certainly been a nice bonus.”
For this fashion insider, the hardest part of pregnancy has been giving up her regular wardrobe. “The worst thing is that none of my clothes fit! The whole process is mind-blowing,” she says. “You’re giving up your body to nature, and of course, it all happens the way it’s meant to, but it’s hard to know that you can’t control the process at all.” To that end, she hasn’t bought any maternity clothing, apart from leggings from Blanqi (“I put them on as soon as I get inside, and they do not come off!”). “I bought my favorite jeans in a bigger size, and then just oversize, comfy sweaters because most of my pregnancy was during winter. And comfy shoes! No more heels for a while.”