'Holidays don't get much wilder than swimming with sharks' - Cecile Reinaud

The founder of maternity-wear brand Seraphine relaxes by deep-sea diving in the West Indies.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2015


My two boisterous sons, Lorenz, 11, and Florian, six, act as my alarm clock, waking me up at 7.30am.  Mornings are all about time with my boys; we have breakfast together, I do the school run and then get ready for the office. My work style is Parisian chic; a Sandro dress or J Brand skinny jeans teamed with heels and a blazer from Zara. I spend three minutes styling my hair; I’m a speed demon with curling irons. I get to work at 10am and spread my time between the sales and marketing department and our design studio. I hired a creative director three years ago but I still get the itch to sketch. I’ll grab a salad with my colleagues or have a working lunch at Morton’s Club (right) on Berkeley Square or Ottolenghi, which is close to our Kensington store. I catch the train home – I used to drive but I traded in my car for an au pair who picks the boys up. I’m back in Belsize Park by 8pm, just in time to read a bedtime story.


I’m a real foodie and love cooking. Before starting Séraphine, I toyed with setting up my own restaurant. I usually whip up waffles or crêpes for breakfast, do an Ashtanga yoga class and then walk to Hampstead Heath where the boys can run wild. For lunch, I’ll make risotto or roast meat with ratatouille. My weekend wardrobe  is more casual; I swap my heels for Shoe Therapy flats (left). Saturday nights are for socialising; my favourite haunts are XO in Belsize Park, Home House and Sushisamba in Heron Tower. My husband Markus and I enjoy going to the Everyman Cinema down the road; we recently saw the brilliant Imitation Game. I love listening to Brazilian jazz and girlie pop music like Beyoncé or Jennifer Lopez. I’m a U2 fan, which shows my age.


I travel overseas at least once a month for work – my main destinations are Hong Kong, Istanbul, Paris, LA and New York. We set up a flagship store in the Big Apple in November and we’re opening in Dubai this year. My luggage essentials are a swimming costume, a comfy blanket and a Clarisonic cleansing brush for my face. We go on family trips to France every other month – either visiting relatives in my home town of Paris or relaxing and horse-riding at our holiday home in Avignon. Eurostar recently celebrated its 20th anniversary; I’m pretty sure I was on one of the first trains. My big passion is deep-sea diving, which takes us to the Caribbean, the Maldives and the British Virgin Islands. It doesn’t get much wilder than swimming with 40 sharks.


Both my grandfathers owned textile factories, producing fabric for design houses  including Chanel and Lanvin, and my grandmother taught me how to sew. I guess fashion runs in my blood. I’m part of a great entrepreneurs’ group called The Supper Club in London. I meet fellow members every couple of months to share tips and war stories. You’ll find the autobiographies of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon and HuffPo’s Arianna Huffington on my bookshelf. They talk candidly about burn-outs and setbacks. Men rarely write about that stuff. Séraphine is a proud supporter of Tommy’s, a charity that funds maternal and foetal medical research.

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