The previous week I highlighted tips on traveling with your little one to NYFW and even shared two young fashionistas that demand attention during NYFW! But I was more curious about the mommies of these fashionistas. While reading about these two, I noticed their mommies were their Mommagers and play a huge role in their success!
Like many mommies, I was curious as to how they got started, who they were and how they balanced their careers, motherhood, and their child’s careers.
Arias Mommager Pam Mbatani is absolutely STUNNING and fashionable. She gave me some inside scoop on who she is and how her beautiful daughter got started in the modeling world.
As I get more into this interview, it’s very obvious as to why this little diva, at 5, is so comfortable and confident in these” fashion streets” She gets it from her momma”
Aria’s runway debut was when she was 2 at the United Nations for a panel on Fashion as a vehicle for social change, under the theme Fashion and Sustainability: Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good. The event included a discussion on Fashion and Sustainability followed by a fashion showcase of forty models wearing sustainable clothing representing different regions of the world at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
So, who is Arias Mommy?
Pam: I was born in South Africa, Cape Town, and raised in a township called Nyanga East in Cape Town. My family was the go-to house when it comes to fashion and beauty. In my community, if you needed a dress for a beauty pageant, prom or any event including hair, make-up or accessories, you know the Mbatani family is where you will get it. We used to set fashion trends in Cape Town. My love for fashion is in my DNA. After my studies, I worked for an advertising agency in Cape Town. I decided to move to NYC and continued my education at Queens College. I met my husband while I was studying. I also tried acting part-time and I was featured on Gossip Girl as a background actor, American Gangster, Blue Bloods just to name a few. I worked as a fashion stylist at a high-end store on Madison ave. I left to work in corporate for Estee Lauder companies ( La Mer), Hugo Boss, Rock in Rio and David Yurman. After years of a loving marriage, my daughter Aria was born. I decided to stay at home and take care of her. I have been a stay at home mom and I love every minute of it.
How do you manage motherhood +Arias fashion career + and + being a wife?
Pam: I have a supportive husband that helps me around the house. We both share dreams for Aria and are willing to do what it takes inside and outside of the home to help her be successful.
What does self-care look like for you?
Pam: Self-care for me is quiet time with a book, a nap, or a spa day or just a day with no scheduled events.
Besides being a fashionable mommy! What else can we catch you doing?
Pam: Event planning for charitable causes, empowering women through panel discussions, networking & implementing new business ideas.
How would your family describe you? Using 3 adjectives?
- Generous & Caring
What advice would you give moms that want to introduce their child(ren) to the modeling world?
- Never pay to model. You don’t need professional photos to submit to agencies. Make sure the child is having fun.
- Best IG for parents to follow on how to break into show business for their kids is @super_star_kids
Who is your favorite designer? And why?
- Sukeina. You can see the love of Africa in his designs, his craftsmanship, structured silhouettes it’s the celebration of womanhood. You can follow his IG @sukeina
What is your fashion aesthetic?
- Classy Chic
Sneakers or Heels?
- Heels for a night out but sneakers when running errands with Aria
Where does Aria get her confidence from?
Mom or Dad?
Mom ( My tribe is Xhosa and in our culture girls are taught “ishori” meaning confidence at a young age). We continue to incorporate culture and pride.
When did you start taking Aria to NYFW?
- She was 16 months when I first took her at NYFW. It was Naeem Khan show and we met Fern Mallis (the creator of NYFW). Fern took a photo with Aria.
How do you prep for NYFW?
- I make sure my schedule & Aria’s are free during NYFW. I put outfits together based on the designer or our mood. Sometimes Aria wears tops that make statements….or wears ensembles that display the pride of her heritage and culture which is African and Italian.
How did Aria get in the modeling & fashion business?
- I used to notice her mimic model poses & runway walk. Aria has a natural gift for performing and loves to dress up. A friend suggested I purchase an ebook by Super Star Kids Consulting. That was the best $29 I’ve ever spent. I followed the advice from the ebook and Aria was signed with a model agency in a few weeks. Soon after she booked her first big campaign with Uniqlo at age 2.
If you could work with any designer for mommy and me looks. Who would it be and why?
- With so many designers, how can I choose just one? I couldn’t so, it’s a tie…and these are who I chose;
- Fe Noel – we love to travel in warm climate destinations her clothes are comfortable, vibrant colors and stylish.
- Bibhu Mohapatra – elegant and timeless. It would be a dream come true to wear a mommy & me gown.
- Sergio Hudson – he inspires me. He is a parent that balances his time to create jaw-dropping statement pieces.
- Sukeina – his clothes make any woman feel powerful and ready to take the world.
What is your ultimate goal for Aria?
We would like for Aria to be a loving, compassionate, confident, generous, respectful, authentic happy young lady.
- It is obvious Aria loves fashion and acting and modeling. So, we want her to excel in all she does, and be a positive role model and voice to young girls, and inspiration to mothers on how mothers nurture and cultivate so much in their children.
- We have been praying and believing that she will land gigs, commercials, movies, etc. And we believe God hears and answers.
This interview was really informative, Pam’s tenacity to see her daughter succeed is amazing. I have no doubt that Arias’s name and face will forever ring bells. I look forward to seeing more mommy and me moments from these beauties!!