How Marriage and Motherhood Changed Kristin Cavallari
by j.p. anderson
Three months after giving birth to a second son with husband Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, fashion figure Kristin Cavallari is back in the game and busier than ever.
Lila jacket, Tory Burch ($995). 45 E. Oak St., 312-280-0010. Dress, Escada ($2,875). 51 E. Oak St., 312-915-0500. 18k yellow gold Perlée diamond bracelet ($45,600) and 18k yellow gold Ludo Heritage diamond, sapphire, and enamel bracelet ($82,000), Van Cleef & Arpels. 933 N. Michigan Ave., 312-944-8988. Glove, stylist’s own
Talk about a working mom: From cohosting E’s style-savvy show The Fabulist to designing a popular shoe line for Chinese Laundry—all while raising sons Camden and Jaxon and cheering on hubby Jay Cutler as he leads the Chicago Bears into a new season—Cavallari gives new meaning to the term. In an exclusive interview for Michigan Avenue with All-Pro Bears guard (and Cutler pal) Kyle Long, the fashionista shares what she loves about Chicago, how Jay stacks up as a father, and why motherhood is even better the second time around.
Kyle Long: Hi Kristin. How’s Jaxon doing? And how did you come up with the name?
Kristin Cavallari: He’s doing great. He just started smiling about a week ago, which is the best feeling in the world. He is a good little baby. He’s a happy baby, except that he’s not a great napper, so I’m working on trying to get him to take better naps right now. He’s sleeping well at night, which is all I can really ask for. I saw [the name Jaxon] in a magazine when I was pregnant with Camden, but we had already picked out his name, so we just held onto it. We decided if we had another boy, that’s what we would name him.
KL: I love those names, Jaxon and Camden.
KL: I’ve gotten to hang out with Camden a little bit, and I’ve seen Jaxon being rocked away to sleep. How do their personalities differ?
KC: It’s a little soon to tell because Jaxon’s so young. Jax loves to be held—obviously, he’s a baby—but Camden was the same way. They’re both—when Camden was his age—just really smiley, happy babies. Camden is incredibly sweet and sensitive, but we don’t know how Jax is going to be yet. We’ll see.
KL: I asked my mom, because she has three boys, how different it was the second and third time around. This is number two for you. How has this experience been the second time?
KC: Well, it’s a lot easier in the sense that you know what to do and expect, so you have a lot more confidence. But you have zero time to yourself now. Camden takes a nap at one o’clock, so when Camden’s going down, Jax is just waking up to eat and play, so there’s literally no time. But it’s amazing and really sweet seeing Camden love being a big brother. Plus, you’re definitely more relaxed with the second one because you’re not stressed out by questioning everything that you’re doing.
KL: It’s been documented that you want a large family. What is it about big families that appeals to you?
KC: [Laughs] I think I said that before I had any kids… but no, it’s great. Before we had children, Jay and I both wanted four, and now we’re thinking three, but we’re just going to have to see how it goes. Right now the last thing on my mind is having another baby, but it is a ton of fun. We love having kids; Camden is going to be two in August, and it’s such a fun age. He’s just starting to talk, and he makes us laugh every single day. So I do think we’ll end up having another one, but then we’re done. It’s a lot of work, and being pregnant for a full nine months isn’t the best thing in the world.
Lila jacket, Tory Burch ($995). 45 E. Oak St., 312-280-0010. Dress, Escada ($2,875). 51 E. Oak St., 312-915-0500. 18k yellow gold Perlée diamond bracelet ($45,600) and 18k yellow gold Ludo Heritage diamond, sapphire, and enamel bracelet ($82,000), Van Cleef & Arpels. 933 N. Michigan Ave., 312-944-8988. Mini charm clutch, Jimmy Choo ($1,550). 63 E. Oak St., 312-255-1170. Black shoes, Tamara Mellon ($995). Nordstrom, The Shops at North Bridge, 312-464-1515. Glove, stylist’s own
KL: I can imagine it’d be tough. What are some things that make you laugh about Camden when he’s walking around?
KC: He’s just hilarious. Like I said, he’s starting to talk, and some of the things he says are just so funny. Once he can say a word, that’s all he says. Right now he’s saying “up” all the time, so everything is up. He wants to go up, up, up. And he loves bugs—he’s obsessed with ladybugs, and Jay got him into worms. He and Jay will find worms outside, and he loves to bring them back into the house, which drives me crazy. But he’s hilarious. We’re trying to potty train him right now and it’s not going too well, so Jay has him peeing outside. He goes and pees in the bushes.
KL: What is Jay like as a dad?
KC: Jay is a great dad. He’s incredibly hands-on, and he has been since day one. It’s so sweet seeing him with Camden and Jax, and there’s nothing sexier than seeing your husband as a great dad. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in this situation.
KL: It seems like he’s really involved.
KC: Yes, he’s very involved.
KL: The fall is right around the corner, and we can’t talk about Jay without talking a little football. Are you excited for the season?
KC: I am. Football season is always fun in our house. I’m not looking forward to Jay not being around to help me with the kids as much, but it’s going to be a ton of fun.
Jacquard dress, Hervé Léger ($2,700). Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Shops, 312-440-4460. 18k white gold Oiseaux de Paradis diamond earrings, Van Cleef & Arpels ($37,000). 933 N. Michigan Ave., 312-944-8988. Bracelets and ring, Kristin’s own
KL: So what are your favorite things about autumn in Chicago during football season?
KC: Well, because I’m a fashion girl, I love fall clothes. And what’s great about the football games is that Jay’s whole family goes, so it’s a great way for us to hang out and catch up with each other. I don’t know if I’m going to take Camden to any games this year because his nap is usually at one o’clock—and without his nap he becomes a real crab—but I think next year is going to be great. I’ll be able to take Camden on the field before the games, and he’ll get really excited. I’m really looking forward to that. But since Camden was a tiny baby, I would dress him up in a little Cutler jersey or a Bears jersey, even for the away games. I’d put a full set of gear on him and watch the game. It’s so much fun.
KL: You mentioned fall fashion. Obviously, you have a great sense of style. You’re back on TV hosting E!’s The Fabulist. How has that been?
KC: It’s been a blast. I feel incredibly lucky that it’s my job because it shoots just one day a week in New York—so I just pop in and out of the city, and I get to talk about everything I love. We cover all the latest trends in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, and it gives me a chance to do what I love, but then I can be home the majority of the week as a mom, which is my main focus.
KL: Absolutely. It’s one of the shows that I have to TiVo and watch after work when I can’t catch it.
KC: I’m sure you’re so excited to watch it. [Laughs]
KL: So, what sparked your interest in fashion? At what age did you start wanting to be involved in the industry?
KC: It was really when I graduated high school and moved up to LA. I started doing all these great photo shoots and getting to wear great designers, so that’s when I was introduced to it and it fired my interest.
KL: And now you’re designing for Chinese Laundry. I’ve seen some of your shoes, and my favorite style is the Celestial D’Orsay pump in nude. What’s the hardest part about designing shoes?
KC: You’re hilarious. The hardest part about designing shoes is that I can’t just design what I want to wear; I really have to think about every girl. I work with a design team at Chinese Laundry who knows what colors are going to be hot, what the trends are going to be, so it’s really a great collaboration. Some designs that I love don’t end up coming out because it’s ultimately up to the buyers to decide which shoes get made depending on what they buy. So there have been times that my heart has been broken because a shoe I loved didn’t end up making the line.
KL: So, who are the designers that first inspired you, and whose work do you continue to appreciate these days?
KC: Definitely Louboutin—that label will always be one of my favorites—as well as Saint Laurent and Brian Atwood. Atwood does a great job, and I get a lot of inspiration from him.
KL: Your Twitter bio might as well be titled “Renaissance Woman.” It reads “Wife, mother, jewelry and shoe designer, and host of The Fabulist.” That’s extensive. How do you balance it all?
KC: Sometimes it can be hard, but that’s why The Fabulist is the perfect job for me—it’s only one day a week, so I can literally do a trip in 24 hours. I can come home, be a mom, and wear sweats the rest of the week. I’m lucky I can make my own hours to work on the shoes and the jewelry when the kids are sleeping, and I only go to LA occasionally for meetings or photo shoots. I feel lucky that I’ve been able to call these jobs “work,” and it’s been a blast.
Jacket ($3,290) and skirt ($1,950), Tom Ford. 66 E. Oak St., 312-605-5041. V-neck cutaway crop top, Topshop ($68). 830 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-6834. Vintage 1920s Art Deco bird pins, Lulu’s on the Avenue ($210 each). 900 Shops, 312-888-9149. Molded stacked cuff, Maison Martin Margiela ($1,790 each). Blake, 212 W. Chicago Ave., 312-202-0047
KL: One way to get even easier access to your fashion sense is your official Kristin Cavallari app, where you give tips on health and beauty. What inspired that, and has it been fun to be able to connect with fans through that platform?
KC: It has been. I am extremely passionate about health and wellness, so I really wanted a place where people could go and hopefully learn some things. The app is a great representation of who I am—it really reflects my personality. I try to give my fans a little sneak peek into my life, so I’ll put up some personal pictures on occasion. I’m really into cooking, so some of that is featured, too. Instead of doing a blog, I thought this was a different way to connect with fans and put a lot of information out there. It’s a great place for people to get a sense of who I am and what I care about.
Madeline gown, Azeeza US (price on request). 900 Shops, 312-649-9373. Wool floppy hat, Topshop ($56). 830 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-6834. Yellow cushion-cut and white multi shape diamond Bow Motif bracelet (price on request), 23.07 carat fancy yellow radiant-cut diamond ring (price on request), and multishape fancy yellow cushion-cut and white round diamond leaf brooch (worn on hat) (price on request), Graff. 103 E. Oak St., 312-604-1000
KL: I wish I had thought of an app. You’re pretty big-time now.
KC: [Laughs] I’m sure you could get your own app if you wanted one.
KL: Jay and I can make our own. So, you’ve given back to numerous charities. What drew you to philanthropy initially?
KC: For a few years I was bouncing around doing a lot of stuff, and luckily I’ve never been personally affected by a major disease. Then I met Jay, who has Type 1 diabetes, so I decided to put all of my focus into the Jay Cutler Foundation, which he founded to help kids with the disease.
KL: I know you’ve lived in Southern California, but what do you appreciate about living in Chicago? What are some of your favorite places?
KC: I love Chicago because my mom is here, along with that whole side of my family. It’s a great city. The people are so friendly. There’s always lots to do, and the lake is absolutely beautiful. We like going to Rustic House for date night, Girl & the Goat, and Summer House, which is pretty new—it reminds me of Santa Monica. And because I’m such a health nut, Karyn’s Fresh Corner is great for smoothies and quick stuff, and Mercadito has great tacos, so we go there a lot. I like to shop in the Gold Coast; I call it the Beverly Hills of Chicago.
photography by jack perno. beauté: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-3 ($33). Neiman Marcus, 737 N. Michigan Ave., 312-642-5900. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow sheer in N°20 ($58). 935 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-5500. Dior Diorskin loose powder in 002 ($52) and Diorshow brow styler in 001 ($29). Saks Fifth Avenue, 700 N. Michigan Ave., 312-944-6500. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish natural in Give Me Sun! ($32) and Plushglass in Pretty Plush ($20). 40 E. Oak St., 312-951-7310. Bobbi Brown rich lip color in Bare Pink ($26). Neiman Marcus, see above. Scott Barnes Body Bling Platinum ($42). Space519, 900 N. Michigan Ave., 312-751-1519. Phyto Intense Volume mousse ($24), Phytovolume Actif Volumizing ($29), and Phytoplage protective sun veil ($24). Anthony Cristiano Salon, Trump Hotel, 401 N. Wabash Ave., 312-268-2440; nordstrom.com. Styling by Helen Berkun Hair by Anthony Cristiano for Anthony Cristiano Salon Makeup by Karan Mitchell for Mehron at DLMLA.com. Video and edit by James Gustin and Tony Burke/Figfilms.net. Shot on location at 850 Lake Shore Drive Luxury Apartments, 312-915-0850