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Eva Chen was a style icon and Instagram influencer long before she had kids – but since adding “mom” to her list of roles, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships and children’s book author at success has inspired not only for the fashion buff, but their children as well.
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It helps that Chen’s own children — daughter Ren, 7, and sons Tao, 5, and baby River — provide plenty of nourishment for her books and longtime partnership with Janie and Jack. “I have a built-in chat group of three kids!” she told SheKnows via email (while recovering from a COVID diagnosis!). “I hear their likes and dislikes day in and day out, so the collections I’ve done with Janie and Jack always have a sporty element as well as dressier elements. A bit up and down, that’s exactly how I like to dress too.
Chen’s latest collaboration with the brand is a Lunar New Year Collection inspired by his latest book, i am golden, and the line pieces pull details, like lotus flowers, straight from the pages. The book is described as an “ode to Chinese joy and family” and Chen teaches her children to honor both.
“Being Chinese for me, over the last two years in particular, has become an even bigger part of who I am,” she says. “The animosity and racial attacks towards Chinese elders, those in particular, touched me. In many cultures – I know it’s not unique to Asian culture or Chinese culture – to cherish and honoring your elders is so important, and seeing all these horrible things happen to my people and people who look like my parents and grandparents, made me look more at my own upbringing and feel closer to who I am – and be even louder and more declarative and proud to say that I am Chinese.
“And among the many things that I love about being Chinese-American, the closeness of family and family structure is something very important to me,” she adds. “The idea that family always comes first and should be prioritized is something I carry on with my kids. I also feel like the celebration and the joy of eating together is something I really love and that I also want to instill in my children.
Chen also shared must-have products that help her parents. Keep reading for her totally relatable picks — and, of course, her style inspiration (including one of our favorite Eva Chen poses).
The podcast I’m listening to right now
“Oh my god, it might be a side effect of being on a conference call literally from 9am to 6pm every day, but I don’t listen to podcasts too frequently and will focus on a book (or Instagram) instead. Like all other parents i am currently obsessed with dr becky and i have a baby who insists on eating solids so i am Strong starts and Children eat in color.”
Books my kids are currently obsessed with
“Apart from mine? Ha! Too many to name! Ren likes it How to train your dragon series, Tao loves Richard Scarry’s books. River… isn’t quite there yet in terms of reading. But it’s really fun to watch the kids embark on their literacy journey and how much they love the books.
What I’m reading myself right now
“I read a book called The Palace of Magnolias, a historical fiction novel about the Frick Collection and his family that oscillates between the present and the past. It’s a great read, quick and easy, and I learn all about the museum I’ve visited dozens of times!”
The snacks I always keep on hand for my children
“Oh boy, I’m trying to think of something under the radar or offbeat and not be THAT boring mum who says ‘fresh fruit’, but kids really and really love raspberries and can slam a box of raspberries if quickly that my wallet squeaks.
The beauty product without which I never leave the house
“Does hand sanitizer count?” Even before COVID, I always had sanitizer in my bag (and even before COVID, I wiped down airplane seats!). My favorite is AMASS, which smells of cinnamon and cloves.
Apps that make my life as a parent easier
“I love my baby monitoring app Nanit – it’s my go-to TV version! But less of an app and more of a hack is that I use the ‘snooze’ feature for Gmail to remind me of appointments you because if something is not in my calendar, it literally does not exist. I set 2-3 reminders for every commitment I have, otherwise I forget!
The parent accounts that I love to follow
The screenless toys that keep my kids busy
“Does their little brother River matter? Ren and Tao are fascinated by him…and luckily he thinks they’re cute!
Movies I really like to watch with my kids
“I think I was more emotional watching Luca than them! I love Pixar movies so much they always make me cry heartily.
Kid-Friendly Music I Don’t Hate Playing Around the House
“So Tao has a thing for classical music, actually! His favorite song is Ride of the Valkyries or Flight of the Bumblebee.
My favorite subscriptions for children
“National Geographic for Kids!” We have a subscription and we love it. Ren and Tao love animals and we have a whole pile of them. It’s their version of The New Yorker.
My favorite bath and skincare products for children
“Tao recently discovered the delights of bath bombs. And since we’ve only just recovered from a household full of COVID, we’ve been through a boatload! the Boogie Wipes brand bath bombs are good because they are free of glitter, dyes or anything else that would make cleaning even harder than it already is.
The under-the-radar kids’ brand I love
“We’ve used the Ollie Swaddle for Tao and River and it’s something I’ve given so many friends. It’s literally a stretchy sling that my two boys felt super secure, swaddled and wrapped in. security…and it’s incredibly easy to use.
The clothing brand that helps me be a “mom” in style
“I can’t think of a specific brand (I’m going to blame the COVID brain or the mommy brain on that) but when in doubt I’d say a colorful sweater and pulled back hair and big curls earrings can really distract from everything else (exhaustion! food stains on jeans!).
For even more parenting recommendations, click here to read more about the other stylish moms featured in our Momsessed series.