Gorgeous, versatile, and feminine but with an edge. That’s Laura Garcia to a tee – both the woman and the clothing line. Born in Paris and raised between NYC and Rio, the mom of two (Gigi is 9, Roman is 6) has been making women feel pretty and confident in her designs since 2004.
Her swim line Abaete turned into a full ready-to-wear collection with a Payless shoe collaboration until she shut it down right before having her first baby in 2010. What followed was a hard, confusing stint:
“I was a new mom, felt totally clueless, and had no job – I was completely lost. I went to work for a big conglomerate where I designed private label for Nordstroms, Brooks Brothers, and some other brands. When you’re at a corporate job like that, you don’t have control of your time. You can go to work at 8am and get all your work done early, but you still have to show face until 6pm.”
Fed up with not seeing her children enough, she left to launch her eponymous line of womenswear, full of beautiful day-to-night pieces. She told us, “You can’t make your kids happy unless you feel happy and fulfilled yourself.” The collection launched at Barneys, which was a pinnacle for emerging brands and a career high point for Laura.
Read on for how she manages both her kids having celiac disease, being married to her college sweetheart, and her brilliant “healthy” margarita recipe.
Happy Mom, Happy Kids
I’m a huge proponent of focusing on your own personal relationships. I make time to see friends regularly and to focus on my relationship with Diego. We try and have a date night once a week – it doesn’t always happen, but we try. If you set the example that you deserve happiness, it lets your kids know they too deserve that and should always strive for it in their own lives. Plus, it instills self confidence in them.
When it comes to parenting, I have major boundaries with behavior and diet, but besides that, I’m pretty easy-going. I feel like if you try and keep them on a tight leash, they will eventually rebel. Most of the time, they love each other and want to sleep in the same bed, but when they fight, it can get ugly with punching, hair pulling, and awful screams. That really stresses me out!
The Celiac Struggle Is Real
My kids both have Celiac disease, as does my husband (it’s genetic). It took 5 long years to get that diagnosis, which was so frustrating. I’ve spent countless hours down internet rabbit holes and have mastered their diet – I have to know every single thing that goes into their bodies. Our favorites are Siete products made from casava flour and these totally decadent Goodie Girl cookies, the Girl Scout favorites reinvented in gluten-free.
The Hardest Part
Dealing with kids’ growing emotions is the hardest part of parenting. They go from silly toddlers to demanding little humans, trying to control you because they want to make their own decisions. Roman sat on the street screaming yesterday and refused to move unless we got in a cab because he was over walking. I felt like I was being held hostage by a 6-year-old!
When You Go Way Way Back
When you’ve literally grown up with your husband (we met in college at RISD), you know each other on the deepest level because you’ve seen one another through so much and there are no secrets, which is amazing. But there is also very little mystery, which would be nice sometimes!
Couple Friends Are The Best Friends
It’s hard to find couples where you connect with the woman as much as he does with the man, but it’s worth seeking out and maintaining those friendships. I feel so lucky to have a bunch of these, and a night out with any of them leaves both of us feeling happy and fulfilled.
Sit Back And Unwind
My drink of choice is a tequila (Casamigos Blanco) with lemon and stevia – a margarita without the downfall of a margarita! And even better with some good girl talk or sifting through Etsy for vintage 1950’s glasses, coasters, and bar sets.
She Got It From Her Mama
My mom taught me to take pride in my home – take your time decorating and invest in pieces you love and that you’ll have forever. When you truly love the things you own, you’re more inclined to want to spend time there and have friends and family over. We recently moved from Harlem to the Upper East Side, and I bought a vintage Karl Springer table. I’m teaching the kids to respect and take care of things. Well, trying, at least!
Chinese food without my celiac husband and kids. I’ll take any of it – fancy or not – but usually the dirtier the better.
I can’t stop looking at plastic surgeon Lara Devgan’s procedures and before/afters on Instagram. She’s amazing and gets plastic surgery-like results without going under the knife. She’s also a classically trained painter and sculptor. Oh and she has 6 (!!!) kids.