Meet Lara Einzig – she’s the gorgeous Aussie-raised, LA-based mother of three boys (including twins!) with an incredible fashion industry background (Topshop UK and Goop fashion director no less) and a new styling start-up Aquadorium that celebrates summer and beach lifestyle through personal styling, creative direction, content curation and brand collaborations. Oh, and she cycles her kids around Venice Beach. And surfs most days too. Sigh…
But don’t do the envy thing… Lara is also completely relatable and has the gratitude attitude in spades. Carving out her dream job in her adopted city of LA, this mama will have you inspired to clean out your wardrobe, get in the water more, follow your work dreams and dance with your kids. Lara grew up free range near the beach in Queensland, Australia, and after years in Sydney and then London, she is now recreating the beachside dream with her husband Dan and three boys, Ralphael, 6, and twins Flynn and Louis, 4. A big marketing role at Topshop in London, “everything you imagine a London fashion job to be – glamour, travel, fashion shows, amazing artists and designers, big budgets, celebrity parties, interesting collaborations” was followed by a move to be fashion director of Goop. “Gwyneth interviewed me at her home in London six weeks after the twins arrived. I was a bundle of nerves – feeling like I should still be in that post-partum cocoon but so intrigued and excited by the opportunity,” she recalls. “I used so many breast pads that day, terrified that I’d start leaking during the interview! We spent a lot of the interview talking about our birth experiences, and I just knew I had to work for her.” Lara is the kind of spirit mama you want in your corner. Whether it’s her advice on looking your best (“every mum should own that one dress that is super flattering but also offers the necessary smoke-and-mirrors, post-baby”) or just being honest about the reality of motherhood (“It’s not about being mother of the year – sometimes that feeling of just trying to survive is ok. And it’s 100% ok to talk about that”), Lara’s your girl… We caught up with Lara at her sunny Santa Monica home to talk style, substance and stuff that makes us laugh. Read on and get inspired… Words: Emily Armstrong | Photography: Denise Crew | Go to www.aquadorium.com
Can you tell us about your childhood in Australia?
I was born in Mackay and we had a home on the beach in Bucasia where I could see the ocean from my bedroom window and would fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Long, humid summers were spent at the beach or running through the bush. Our Sunday night treat was dinner at the local Resort, Ko-Huna – seafood baskets, virgin pineapple cocktails, stealing sips from mum’s West Coast Cooler! Holidays were spent on the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast, Caloundra – snorkelling, water skiing, boogie boarding. Pretty much everything centered around the ocean and nature, we all loved it. At 14, we moved to Brisbane where I attended high school and then university and my love of the city began. Although any chance I got I was on the Sunshine Coast with friends – Noosa, Sunshine Beach, Point Cartwright.
What has motherhood taught you?
‘You time’ is essential. It’s ok to sometimes put yourself first. If you’re not in a good place mentally, emotionally and sometimes even physically, the whole family will suffer. I have motherhood to thank for making me stronger, more efficient, more fearless, more empathetic and eventually, more ambitious… I’ve been able to leverage these qualities to launch my own business.
What’s your approach to raising boys?
One of the reasons we moved to California was to have an outdoor life – I knew that with three small (and very active!) boys that was essential. We’re outside as much as possible – boys need space to run and get messy. Raising three boys is tough so we keep things simple. Our love of travel is on pause because it’s a logistical feat to move them around, but it’s not forever.
What advice would you give to new mothers of twins – top survival tips?
Routine from day one. It will feel totally counter-intuitive for about the first eight weeks but believe me, stick with it (and be strict) and it will all fall into place. We used the Gina Ford book as a guide for sleep schedules, for all three kids. And it worked – they’re all excellent sleepers. And my only other tip – use any book or reference as a guide only – every baby is different so it’s about listening, and observing and adjusting accordingly. For us, all three boys needed more sleep than the guides recommended. I used instinct, trial and error and a sense of humour!
What do you recall about those days spent in the offices of Topshop?
I looked after the marketing for all UK stores, launched many of the US stores and I also ran some pretty big brand campaigns. Topshop was an incredibly exciting and dynamic place to work. A true fashion mecca. And as gruelling as some of the work was, I have only wonderful memories. It was everything you imagine a London fashion job to be – glamour, travel, fashion shows, amazing artists and designers, big budgets, celebrity parties, interesting collaborations. Much of talent came from the really young, hungry English fashion girls that worked there – they were the barometer of cool and the heart and soul of the brand.
Can you tell us about the launch of Aquadorium and what your vision for the business is?
Years ago, Aquadorium was a swimwear blog, a little hobby on the side. It’s now my wanderlust Instagram platform of surf, fashion, beach lifestyle inspiration and a place where I document my obsessions and collaborate with brands I love – there’s a couple of really exciting ones in the pipeline. Aquadorium is also the name of the fashion consultancy that I’ve recently launched – styling and fashion direction for brands and individuals and consulting on fashion marketing jobs. I wanted to do my own thing and still mother as much as possible, so I decided to create my dream job. The highlight this year was dressing one of my clients for the Oscars as her husband received a nomination. I now style this same client for all of her business shoots and endeavours. Working for myself is honestly one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done… motherhood gave me that and I am so grateful!
When did you move to London and then LA and what inspired the move?
I moved to London at 25, ready to get stuck in, earn the pound and travel through Europe. It was a right of passage for young Aussies – all of my older friends had done it so I wanted a piece. I went off on my own, planning to stay for two years but stayed for 12! Picking up a husband and three kids along the way. My husband and I wanted a lifestyle change and I wanted my kids to have the outdoor life and sunshine that I so loved growing up. Sydney was on the cards but at the last minute, we diverted our decision to LA.
How would you describe your role as a stylist? And what is the best and hardest part of your role?
Whether it’s personal styling or styling for shoots, my number one role is to quite simply, give my clients confidence and make them feel amazing. And that means stopping at nothing to get each detail absolutely right. You have to try and immediately establish a connection with them and be really in-tune by listening intently and intuitively pick up on any insecurities or issues. I really try and give my clients a little nudge in directions they wouldn’t usually choose for themselves. And then I try and add my own spin on the look, offering something unique so it’s not just ‘off the peg’ or fashion clone. The hardest part of the job is avoiding the ‘one for the client, one for me’ dilemma – catastrophic for the bank balance!
What’s the one fashion trend you’re loving right now?
Flat pointed mules. Stylish, practical and with a little edge.
How, in your opinion, has the fashion landscape changed over the last decade?
There’s so much great, on-trend, seasonless, budget-friendly fashion at your fingertips now – the new e-commerce only brands are cleaning up so the traditional bricks and mortar stores need to really up their game. I think Topshop is still brilliant at immersive brand experiences in their stores – memorable experiences that they can’t get anywhere else – they know it’s the key to the hearts of their audience.
How long were you on maternity leave for with each child and what did you enjoy most about this time?
With Ralphy, my first, 11 months. He was an easy baby, allowing me to galavant around London with him in tow. It was a bit like being on holiday, to be honest – I just didn’t find it terribly hard with him and I treasured every moment. With the twins? A whole other story. While I was on maternity leave at Topshop, I was offered the job at Goop and jumped at the opportunity so initially, I only had four months with them at home. With twins and a 3-year-old, you’re very house-bound and actually, I enjoyed having a simpler life and only achieving one thing a day.
How was the transition back to work?
It knocked my confidence a bit initially. And I found managing work stress much harder than before kids – I think having kids just made me softer and more sensitive. Both traits more needed in corporate environments, frankly, so I wouldn’t have changed anything.
Did motherhood change the way you approach fashion?
Not at all. When I was knee-deep in the baby stage and very home-based, of course, a certain uniform emerged. But for everything else, dressing up, keeping up with trends and good style was just something that made me feel great, a little escape, and that feeling of still being me and in control of my what I wanted to achieve.
What three fashion items does every mum need in her wardrobe?
An excellent pair of trainers to work from day to night, with jeans, skirts, dresses. A chic, compact shoulder bag for ‘hands-free’ running around. I would spend as much as you realistically can on this item. A great little handbag can be transformative. And every mum should own that one dress that is super flattering but also offers the necessary smoke-and-mirrors, post-baby.
Go-to fashion brands?
Isabel Marant, Zara, Reformation, Ulla Johnson, Peter Pilotto, Céline, Kalmar, Topshop, Faithful.
How do you juggle work with motherhood? What kind of support do you have?
I have an incredible live-in nanny who has my back – without her, I couldn’t have launched my business. She’s basically my start-up capital and has so far proven to be an excellent investment! I started this business so I could still be around my kids as much as possible which is lovely – but some days, no matter how much support you have at home, it can be really really tough! We’re only human.
Talk us through a typical morning in your home…
Mornings are so loud! Fighting over lego is usually the first activity, followed by a dance party (my poor neighbours). I drive my eldest to school and then rush back to take the twins to preschool, usually in the cargo bike. Sometimes if I’m really lucky, after some negotiation, my husband will deal with the twins and I’ll head straight up to Malibu for a surf. If I could surf every single morning, I would, but usually I’m trying to get as much work done as possible before pick up – sourcing for clients, on set for shoots, creating content for Aquadorium. If a local spot is breaking, I might nip out on my bike with my board for a quick session.
How do you unwind at night?
Bedtime for the kids is strictly 7:30pm. Then it’s wine, a good TV series with no social media after 9pm.
What are three time management tips you swear by?
Really nothing enlightening – I write lists and I’m super organised. And very good at delegating!
What is your approach to parenting - are you big on routines?
We thrive on routine during the week as our schedule is crazy-busy and my husband is often in London so I have to run a tight ship. The weekends are more relaxed and impromptu.
How did you handle any sleep deprivation?
Green tea, lots of comfort food and a splash in the ocean.
Is three the magic number?
Three is a beautiful number and much harder than anyone ever talks about. With a husband and three kids, you essentially have four different needs coming at you 24/7 before you can even think about your own. I sadly don’t think I’m cut out for another child but I would give anything to do it all over again.
What qualities are important to you in a person?
Positivity, good manners, compassion, kindness, gratitude and awareness.
What is your approach to health and wellbeing?
I aim for 80:20 rule but live on the edge of 70:30. Life is so busy that my health is often overlooked but I do always try to carve out a surf at least twice a week in Malibu, Santa Monica or further afield – it’s the key to my wellbeing. It’s completely thrilling, an endless challenge, it makes me feel so strong, it helps me meditate and work out any issues in my head and best of all, no one can find me!
Coffee or tea?
How would you describe the interior style of your home? Are you tidy or messy at home?
It’s California surf shack mixed with European minimalism. We love the indoor/outdoor feel and being a nature freak, I have a growing family of indoor plants and trees. I like that nothing is new or polished, it really suits our time and space. The house is a mess from the moment the boys wake up but I’m very strict about having a spotless house before they go to bed. Only then can I reboot and spend a relaxing evening with my husband.
What makes you laugh?
Everything! I have a very simplistic and somewhat immature sense of humor.
What makes you cry?
Cruelty and harm to children, the lax gun laws and the absurd political climate here in the US.
What are your beauty essentials/regular treatments?
I’m obsessively sun aware and can’t understand why Californians aren’t! For day-to-day, I use EltaMD UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen for the face and Biotherm for the body. When I’m surfing, Vertra Zinc for the face, Sun Bum SPF 50 Clear Zinc Oxide for the back of the hands, Sun Bum Lip Balm Pomegranate for the lips, Supergoop for other parts. I cleanse with Agera Salicylic Wash and EltaMD foaming cleanser. I use a good moisturiser by NeoStrata, Zo Medical Retamax for vitamin A, serum by Kiehl’s, Ella Baché eye cream that I’ve been using since I was 17. And an Après Surf face oil made by my friend’s brand Labbe, which is excellent hydration for salty skin. Twice a week I use a May Lindstrom face mask. Hair and body products by Kiehl’s and KMS. I wear Chanel foundation every day, for every occasion. I’ve just started visiting Kate Somerville in Melrose for facials – my biggest indulgence. My favourite fragrance is Soir de Lune by Sisley.
Favourite places to go in Santa Monica?
Bay Street for a surf. Shutters for sunset drinks and happy hour. Hinterland for dinner. Cassia for seafood. Summer concerts at the Pier. Tower 20 for homewares. Annenberg Beach House for lunch on the sand. Main Squeeze for smoothies. Santa Monica Swim Centre. Dolcenero for gelato.
Lara's little list of loves:
Surfing in Topanga. White Céline zipped ankle boots. Needsupply.com Spraying lavender water on pillows before bed. Baguettes and bagels from Gjusta. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask. Kassia wetsuits. Teaching my boys to swim.