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Kym Ellery On Fashion, Motherhood, And Living In Paris

Kym Ellery is the founder and creative director of fashion brand Ellery. She lives in Paris with her partner Jeremy and 18-month-old son Armand. We spoke to Kym about fashion, motherhood, and life in Paris.

Kym Ellery grew up in rural Western Australia with her parents and older brother. When asked about those early years spent between the desert and Perth’s coastline, Kym describes it as a beautiful place to be brought up, entirely immersed in nature. “I feel very blessed to have had that experience,” she tells The Inarra. 

Her parents are one of eight children, and migrated to Australia from New Zealand for a new life. Every year, the family ventured across the ditch to visit cousins, second cousins, and great-aunts, and uncles. “We’re a big bunch!” Kym says. “I always imagined having my own family one day, but I was very career-focused. I trusted that it would just happen at the right time, and it did.”

At 23, Kym founded her eponymous luxury fashion brand, Ellery. Designed in Australia and made in Paris, it was an international success story, and is renowned for its classic design, meticulous craftsmanship, and unwavering commitment to quality. 

In a history-making move, Ellery became the third Australian brand to show at Paris Fashion Week in 2015 and slowly earned an A-list following with clients including: Rihanna, Beyoncé, Cate Blanchett, and Emma Watson. 

Over a decade later, the mother-of-one is enjoying a different pace of life. Kym moved to Paris in 2015, where she now lives with her partner Jeremy and 18-month-old son Armand. Ellery operates out of the capital and Kym’s short picturesque walk home from the design studio is one of her favourite times of the day.

“After working in the fashion industry for over 20 years, motherhood has been a welcome and refreshing change,” she reflects. “I’ve been blessed with a little boy who is very happy and calm, and, although I’m biased, extremely charming. I treasure my new role as a parent.”

“My friendships are invaluable. As I get older, I have noticed how rare it is to find people with integrity, truth, kindness, and a good sense of humour. Once you find these people, you must hold onto them dearly. Motherhood is a new chapter, a time to better curate the people around me, remove the bad and strengthen bonds with the good.”
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But they say it takes a village to raise a child. So, what happens when you move to the other side of the world? “Paris is the complete opposite of Australia, but like anywhere, you find your niche in the city – a friendship group who become like family. There are obvious challenges such as the language barrier but I didn’t move to Paris because it was easy,” Kym says.

“As for the difference between French and Anglo parenting, there is a great book I have read twice now called ‘French Children Don’t Throw Food’ by Pamela Druckerman. It is so well written, clever, and very funny. It shares her perspective as an expat mum in France and observes how the French raise their children. I can relate to a lot of what she says, it’s a bit of an ‘Emily In Paris’ for new mothers.”

Despite the challenges, Kym feels at home in Paris and is looking forward to her son growing up immersed in culture, with opportunities to travel and learn. “I’m happy knowing that my son will speak at least two languages, and spending time in Europe means I can offer him different cultural experiences,” she says. 

“France is a socialist country so living here is very different to visiting the city for Fashion Week. Life is very simple. It’s all about eating fresh, seasonal produce, enjoying special moments with friends, broadening your knowledge, and finding pleasure in everyday moments. It’s this way of thinking that makes me love living in Paris.”

Navigating a new country as an expat can be difficult, especially as a new mother. But Kym has leaned on friends, old and new, for love, advice, and support during this period of change. 

“When I was writing down all the things that I was proud to have achieved last year, friendships were at the top of the list. I realised that the bond with some of my friends has grown deeper, and with the arrival of a child, you feel a new kind of love from your friendship group,” she says. 

“My friendships are invaluable. As I get older, I have noticed how rare it is to find people with integrity, truth, kindness, and a good sense of humour. Once you find these people, you must hold onto them dearly. Motherhood is a new chapter, a time to better curate the people around me, remove the bad and strengthen bonds with the good.”

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With over two decades of experience in the fashion industry and a new Parisian lifestyle, we were eager to learn about how Kym’s style has changed during this new chapter too. On her maternity and postpartum wardrobe, she shares, “I chose pieces from my existing closet, and it was great to see them become everyday essentials.”

“The height of my pregnancy was during the summer months, which I actually found quite easy to dress for. I wore lots of cotton shirts and blouses. I also had a wonderful one-shoulder dress that was silver like a disco ball; it was unexpected and fun.”

Since becoming a parent, it’s not just Kym’s approach to getting dressed that has changed. The new mother has found joy in simple, everyday rituals, from having breakfast with Armand to playing together. On weekends, the trio hunker down at Jeremy’s family home in Aix en Provence, a haven “surrounded by nature, animals, and fresh local produce.”  

As she settles into her newfound role, what is Kym looking forward to the most in 2024? 

“I have some exciting new projects in the works, one being in the arts and design world creating collectable, limited edition furniture,” she says. “I am also really looking forward to European summer, because it’s such a beautiful time of year. I’m excited for swimming lessons with Armand, and Jeremy and I can’t wait to take him to the beach. He loves the waves, he’s already fearless!” It seems Armand takes after his mother.

 

Words by Danielle Fowler

Photographer: Karen Paulina Biswell | Stylist: Clare Buckley | Assistants: Ariane Laval + Tennille Smith

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