We are in Beverly Hills sitting by the pool with Tori Praver...
She’s in a swimsuit (her own namesake brand, of course) and her two children are splashing around the pool. Her boyfriend (now fiancé) has just arrived. Her mom is here too, helping with the kids (Praver started her business with her mum 10 years ago).
In person, Praver looks like a supermodel. She’s far too tall, lean and athletic to look like a regular model – she has that super status about her. She’s super friendly, too. And from the few hours we spend with her, a super mother. “I think every mom is super mom! It’s not easy, no matter how chic some moms make it look. Working mom or not, motherhood is challenging, and we all deserve that title,” she says.
Which brings me to my next observation: she’s real, which I love. So many people are afraid to pull open the curtains and reveal their true selves. Not Praver.
We were delighted to feature this original story of Tori in the November edition of GRACE Magazine. Here, we share her original interview, and the spectacular images of Super Praver, shot photographed Julie Adams. Hair and makeup by Helen Robertson
We talk a lot about being present – but in this super connected world, it can be hard. How do you make a conscious effort to be present – can you give examples such as phones off at certain times, one-on-one time etc…
I think about this often. It’s so hard to disconnect and be present in this modern world. Since my babies were born, bedtime has been a sacred little routine. Bath, books, snuggles. We talk about our day, tell stories, ask questions. I cherish this disconnected time with my babies.
What has been the most challenging stage of motherhood and how have you overcome any challenges?
Mom guilt – it’s something you just can’t get away from. I find myself always feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t feel guilty about. Whether it’s going out to dinner and getting a sitter, ordering take-out instead of cooking, putting on an iPad so I can eat my lunch… all silly things! I recently decided that I was going to live my “mom life” with a different perspective. A happy mama means happy kids. And that is KEY! We must do what we need to do to survive and be calm, happy mothers.
How do you feel about the term ‘a supermom’ – do you think it places unrealistic expectations on mothers? Does the ‘supermom’ even exist?
I think every mom is super mom! It’s not easy, no matter how chic some moms make it look. Working mom or not, motherhood is challenging, and we all deserve that title.
You started your business with your mom. Have you always been close? And how does she inspire you and support you?
We have always been very close and she supports me on a daily basis! From helping with my kids or giving advice, there’s not one day she does not support me in one way or another. She is my inspiration to be the best mom I can possibly be.
What are your most vivid memories of growing up in Hawaii?
Always being surrounded by ocean and nature, spending every day on the beach… Being able to jump in the ocean on a whim. I so miss living that way.
You were the youngest face of Guess at age 17. You’ve said before “I really wish that I had time to be a kid” – if you could go back in time, is there anything you’d do differently?
I don’t think I would change my childhood because I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but I do feel like it made me grow up fast. I had to be independent and alone a lot. It was a feeling I wasn’t necessarily ready to have, and ever since, I have loved being around lots of people.
There are so many different forms of exercise out there – what have you tried and tested over the years that you think works the best and why?
I love hot yoga. For me, it checks all of the boxes. Sweat and detox, amazing cardio and strength training. Plus, you get a meditation session out of it at the same time!
What kind of foods do you eat in a day?
I have toast with butter and jam every morning. It’s like a ritual to sit and have my coffee with my toast and I love it. No diet will ever take that away! Haha! I usually have a salad or a smoothie for lunch and for dinner, some sort of protein and veggie. I eat chocolate every day and usually have a glass of wine as well. You only live once!
As a supermodel, there’s a lot of pressure on how you look and people often assume models are all very confident and self-assured, but in such a competitive industry, this isn’t always the case. Have you ever felt insecure about your looks?
Absolutely! It’s such a hard industry. I was always so hard on myself and felt like I had to be thinner and work out like crazy. I was never content with how I looked and just loved myself for who I was. I think the industry has changed a lot in the past few years and we are now embracing all shapes and sizes. I really hope this helps the vision of beauty for the young woman of our world.
Congratulations on 10 years of Tori Praver Swimwear! What were the early days like? Were you doing everything from featuring in the campaigns to sending the swimsuits?
Thank you! The early days were crazy!! I was working as a full-time model, designing two collections a year, traveling to Bali and the factory, and making sure I was at every event and trade show. It was crazy, but so much fun!
When was the turning point – that moment where you suddenly realize you’ve gone from start-up business to thriving company?
I remember when I found out Barneys would be carrying the line. It was a real “I made it” moment; it was my dream to see my suits in that store.
The fashion industry has changed significantly over the last decade – in your opinion, what are some of the biggest changes?
What’s your advice to aspiring fashion entrepreneurs?
Know your market, be prepared to be copied, and always stay inspired by keeping your creative mind open and welcoming.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love when a woman tells me she loves my brand and how well my suits fit. That’s the best feeling in the world, to know you make someone feel good.
And what do you find the most challenging?
Staying innovative. The industry is so saturated, it’s very hard to create and be different each season, coming out with designs that set you apart. You have to stay inspired and really be creative at all times.
We live in a culture of ‘busy busy busy’. What’s your favorite way to unwind and switch off?
Yoga has always been my escape – an hour to unplug, meditate and focus on me.
Best ever advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
Nobody knows your baby like you – always go with your gut instinct because you’re usually right.