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Art of Style

How 3 mother-daughter duos inspire each other’s style

The holiday season always plays a big part in how we connect and come together with loved ones – this year, more than ever. Here, MEGAN LOGUE asks three loyal NET-A-PORTER customers how fashion and style can be just as important when it comes to the unique and special bond they share with their daughters…

Fashion

Alexis Stoudemire and her daughter, Ar’e, Miami

On how their love of fashion began

Ar’e: Growing up, I was always watching my mom get ready to go to different events and galas. Getting dressed up together is something I’ve always loved. My mom always taught my siblings and me that the way you present yourself is another extension of your identity.

Alexis: As a family, we’ve lived all over and also had the opportunity to travel to different cities around the world. It gives you an insight into different cultures – and fashion is a huge part of that. I’ve had the honor of attending fashion shows, meeting designers and wearing their creations. I love learning about the craft behind each beautiful piece.

On personal style and how it evolves

Ar’e: I switch my look up day to day. Sometimes I’ll keep it really simple, in jeans, sneakers and a graphic tee, and other times I’ll feel like going for a more feminine look and slip on a dress. It all depends on my mood and what I’ve got going on that day.

Alexis: My personal style fluctuates in a similar way, but for me it’s all about what’s in my diary that day. Because of the pandemic, many events have been canceled or transferred over to Zoom, which means I’ve barely worn high heels. However, Ar’e will tell you, even when we weren’t leaving the house, I was still getting all dressed up. Wearing a beautifully put-together look makes me feel good; I’ll twirl around the house if I have to!

On daring to be different

Ar’e: I love how my mom always wears color – every time she walks into a room, she brightens it up. Even if we’re just walking to the corner store, she’ll always dress in something unique that you would never see on someone else. I’ve always thought that was really cool.

Alexis: It’s true: I always like to bring a tropical element to my looks. Even when we lived in New York, where the palette tends to be darker, I always embraced colorful pieces. It’s a reflection of my personality. That’s definitely something I’ve noticed Ar’e does, too.

On sharing clothes

Ar’e: I’m always ‘shopping’ in my mom’s closet. Unfortunately, I can’t fit into her shoes anymore, but I love her bright Gucci sweaters and tees, and, of course, her purses.

Alexis: I think she’s being eyeing my Alaïa recently, too! Ar’e will often come and ask for a bag to go with her look, so we’ll pick something out together; sometimes it’ll just take a while for those pieces to make it back into my closet! One great investment was a Self-Portrait dress I wore to an event and Ar’e ended up borrowing it for a school dance.

Wearing a beautifully put-together look makes me feel good; I’ll twirl around the house if I have to!
Alexis Stoudemire

Sobia Shaikh and her daughter, Lyali, San Francisco

On finding their love for fashion

Lyali: I can’t pinpoint a specific time or reason when my interest in fashion began. I think it has just always been an inherent part of my personality; it definitely comes from having a model mom. The thing I admire most about my mom’s sense of style is how bold she is. She never shies away from bright colors and patterns, but the way she owns her look makes anything she puts on look super-classy.

Sobia: Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fashion fan. However, I was scouted by a model agent when I was about 16 years old. I modeled for 11 years and really got to know a lot of designers in Pakistan. That’s where it all started for me, by learning more about the craft and the people behind the pieces.

On why confidence is key

Lyali: I really love the whole ‘Y2K’ look. My style is sort of early-2000s meets modern-day, with a touch of my mom’s influence in there, too. Confidence is the thing I admire most about my mom’s sense of style. She’s always bold with her choices and doesn’t feel the need to stick to one style.

Sobia: I am 51 and, over the years, I have worked on myself – physically, emotionally, spiritually. That exploration has shaped my identity and I have become much more confident as a result. The more comfortable I’ve become with who I am, the more my style has evolved. Lyali has always been very self-assured. She has a strong sense of self and that translates into her style. That’s something I really admire about her.

On influencing each other

Lyali: My mom taught me how to carry myself with grace and have confidence in my own fashion choices.

Sobia: Lyali has a really good eye. I always call her into my dressing room when I’m dressing up – she always helps me pick the right shoes or bag to finish my look. She’s still two years away from going to college, but I am a little panicked about who is going to advise me when she goes away!

On sharing clothes

Lyali: I definitely don’t hesitate to ‘borrow’ pieces from my mom’s wardrobe; I started a few years ago and, at this point, I treat her closet like it’s my own. Recently, my mom has also started to borrow clothes from me, too – so I’m not the only thief! There isn’t a huge amount of overlap in the brands we wear, but we do both love Zimmermann and Golden Goose.

Sobia: Lyali is at the age now where she’ll pop into my closet and pick things out. She’s always borrowing my shoes. Sneakers are fine; however, I have a pair of Valentino combat boots she’s been eyeing up, and I will not be sharing those!

I have worked on myself – physically, emotionally, spiritually. That exploration has shaped my identity and I have become much more confident as a result
Sobia Shaikh

Olivia Lee-Davies and her daughter, Shelley, Hong Kong and San Francisco

On finding your personal style

Shelley: Whether it’s slipping on a beautifully constructed white shirt or just a strong lip color, I find fashion can be very empowering. Personally, I love the contrast of pairing more casual clothes – even loungewear – with a wonderful piece of jewelry.

Olivia: I like to keep up to date with new trends and emerging designers, but I think it’s important that any piece highlights the woman wearing it, first and foremost. I’m 69 years old; every new trend won’t work for me!

On owning your look

Shelley: My mom taught me that caring for yourself and your appearance isn’t a question of vanity but a symbol of self-care. Growing up, I probably took for granted how stylish she is. You need to have a certain kind of body language to pull off glamorous outfits, and she’s got it. She has a lot of fun with fashion and really uses the piece she wears to play with her identity.

Olivia: I’m only 5ft 2in, so it’s important that I emphasize my best features when I put a look together. I’ll always make sure the silhouette works for me. I would say my look is quite chic and sophisticated. Friends have told me they put extra effort into their look when I meet up with them, which is very flattering.

On the importance of sustainability

Shelley: My interest in sustainable fashion came about in 2010, after I made a documentary about going plant-based, Planeat. Exploring what we put into our bodies led me to think about the importance of what we put on our bodies, from clothes to clean beauty. I discovered Mara Hoffman’s beautiful and eco-friendly designs on NET-A-PORTER, along with athleisure label Girlfriend Collective. However, my all-time favorite purchase has to be a gorgeous Stella McCartney gown I wore to a friend’s wedding.

Olivia: Shelley has really gotten me interested in shopping more sustainably, too. I love the adidas by Stella McCartney workout gear, and I’ve swapped my leather pants for vegan alternatives. They’re so reasonably priced and comfortable.

On staying in touch through fashion

Shelley: Luckily, my mom and I have always been similar sizes, so when I was a teenager, I inherited some amazing pieces from her. Now, we have very different aesthetics, but I still trust her opinion and consult her about styling dilemmas.

Olivia: Due to Covid, we haven’t seen each other in over a year, apart from on Zoom. Under normal circumstances, when Shelley visits Hong Kong, we’d go to events and balls together and I’d always prepare her looks. Now, I’m still shopping for her and sending her links to pieces I think she’d look great in, but at the moment, her stock reply is, “Mom, we’re in lockdown…”

My mom taught me that caring for yourself and your appearance isn’t a question of vanity but a symbol of self-care
Shelley Lee-Davies