BABYWEARING – FROM NECESSITY TO STYLE STATEMENT
Artipoppe Babywearing Story | By Amalia Saftoiu
For the past two years we have been living in Moscow. A city where I find women are not afraid of expressing their style and femininity. Strong, diverse and multifaceted femininity. I find that being original, elegant and following your own style is almost considered etiquette.
As for myself, having had the opportunity to work and live in countries with a diverse background, I understand the impact the way you dress can make, that it is beyond just clothes; the way you dress is a communication tool, and a sign of respect in some situations. All of my previous work places in Europe, U.S.A., Middle East and Central Asia had a strict office dressing code policy, and naturally I have a certain affinity for learning how to develop a style that is adaptable to my environment, my needs and who I am. Whatever I thought I knew about this changed with the arrival of the children, and adding to that a body in transition, or transformation, the effect of the passing years on what I used to like, and yes, I was ready to start fresh and reinvent my style.
Babywearing my son started as a mindset, a positive projection used to deal with the uncertainty brought by our high risk pregnancy and the scenario of a premature birth. After reading about the benefits of kangaroo care (the act of carrying your baby), I started picturing myself carrying my baby, and that became my daydream. A positive image that kept me company counting the weeks, hoping to carry the pregnancy for one more day, and one more day, and one more day…
A few months after the birth, during one of those long nights holding my baby, sitting in our gliding chair, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across a dreamy motherhood image. I saw a confident woman, a happy mother, a content baby, the power of their beautiful bond, all these wrapped together in a glowing fabric. Magic! I clicked on the picture and read the description of the wrap: natural mulberry silk, natural baby camel, turquoise mercerized cotton. It sounded like wizardry to me. I wanted to grab it, wrap my baby, leave the house together and rediscover the world, and myself. And so my Artipoppe hobby and adventure began.
I never expected myself to get so happily caught up in a hobby; dive into the world of handwoven wraps, blends, patterns, carries; flirt with the idea of being an amateur babywearing model; have family fun with photo shoots in Paris, Florence, Amsterdam; all while getting insight into a business mind that I admired tremendously and along the way getting inspired to reassess and redefine my career aspirations.
What makes babywearing so appealing to me is that it is centered on my baby, my relationship with my baby, his comfort; and that it is just as much about myself, my style, what I wear, my play with color combinations, stylish patterns, luxurious yarns. It is a refreshing, and revitalizing feeling. I have never seen a pair of old jeans and a baby burp stained t-shirt look more fabulous than with a gorgeous splash of color wrapped around the mother and the child, just as I have never seen something more stylish, feminine and extraordinary as a mother dressed in an evening dress and carrying her baby close to her in a beautiful baby wrap or ring sling. I admit that I look at the fashion magazines now differently – not drawing moustaches on the covers, but drawing ring slings or wraps to make the outfits complete. And yes, I am more likely now to buy clothes to go with my favorite wraps, be that just a simple t-shirt in a right shade of red, blue, green, pink, etc. While black and white is my ultimate love, I have never worn so much color since we started babywearing.
Since the wraps I wear are the first thing people will notice about me, I prefer to go for something that represents me, and I am at the same time looking for the story behind, the why behind the wraps. It starts with the quality of the yarns. After spending a few winters of my life in countries like Kazakhstan, Norway, Russia I do know that not all wool or cashmere is created equal, or will pass the same test of cold and time, so I can spot the difference in quality with my eyes closed, and independent of the price tag. I love Artipoppe’s search and passion for luxurious yarns, be that the softest cotton and the silkiest linen, the most precious underbelly vicuna, their exclusive qiviut, the shiniest seaweed and silk yarn. By wearing certain wraps, I want to support originality, commitment to quality, dedication beyond the business success, dedication to an idea.
Artipoppe as a brand is taking babywearing to the next level. Making it inclusive, accessible and translatable to a larger audience of parents, opening a window into what babywearing can be for the baby, the mother, the family, outside the traditional roles or the traditional images in the modern society, while still projecting a contemporaneous image.
Beyond what Artipoppe means to me through my relation with the people I have met through this hobby, beyond the confidence boost it has given me, the inspiration, it is part of our lives now during pretty much every occasion, and our Artipoppe wraps are joining us on our walks, visits to the playgrounds, dining out events, and traveling. So beyond their functionality, the Artipoppe wraps became and are my shell, my canvas, my introduction card and my style statement.
Babywearing is also bringing our family together. With every carry, with every walk we have been taking together, my husband and I and our children, it is helping us verbalize our beliefs and intentions regarding our parenting mission. We started babywearing from necessity and have found our gentle parenting style as a family along the way during our Artipoppe experience.