Vicki Psarias - How a Leeds filmmaker bagged a new modelling career
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 July 2014
Copyright â¸ 2013 Kirsty Mattsson
Vicky Psarias doesn't do things by halves. As a short film director she's garnered numerous awards, including Channel 4's 'Best Filmmaker' title; as a blogger, she's launched not one but two successful sites (her honestmum.com blog receives 80,000+ views a month); and now, in her first foray into modelling, she's bagged a worldwide campaign.
She was approached by luxury baby bag designer Nova Harley via her fashion blog mummysgotstyle.com to model their range internationally, her image taking centre stage in stores, catalogues and advertising spreads in the UK, US, Korea, the Middle East, South Africa and, well, pretty much everywhere there are mums with a need for a fashion fix.
‘I was touched and surprised to be asked to model for this celebrity-favoured baby bag company,’ said Vicki, who lives in Leeds with her husband and two sons, Oliver and Alexander. ‘They asked me to model for the brand worldwide (a childhood dream come true!) after I reviewed one of their beautiful bags on my website. My blogs have become a thriving business in the last few years. I set up honestmum.com when my first child was 10 months old as a way of finding my voice again when on maternity leave from a writing/directing career, and now I have thousands and thousands of views a month and a roster of high street and designer clients who advertise with me.’
She worked with Leeds-based photographer Kirsty Mattsson on the fashion shoot – ‘it was so much fun; we literally laughed throughout the whole thing’ – and was excited, if a little unnerved, to see the end result.
‘It’s been really quite strange to see myself online and in the Nova Harley catalogues,’ she said. ‘They’ve also now said they want to use me to advertise in papers and magazines, which is exciting. My husband keeps calling me his model wife!’
So, what advice does this honest mum have for other women who want to stay stylish while battling through the warzone of parenthood?
‘I actually feel like I’ve become more stylish since having kids,’ said Vicki, whose family own The Olive Tree chain of Greek restaurants in Rodley, Headingley and Chapel Allerton. ‘I’ve always been fashion-mad, but I think having my sons has allowed me to really hone my style, buying investment pieces that will last forever as well as high street impulse buys as I keep up with trends.’
She’s adopted a classic mum-about-town look for everyday, with pretty tea dresses and biker boots or skinny jeans, Converse and cute tees, but enjoys ramping up the glamour by night with vibrant body-con dresses and timeless LBDs.
‘I suppose experiencing a changing body shape while pregnant then working hard to get my body back afterwards means I value it more than ever,’ she explained. ‘I do wish women didn’t feel so pressured when it comes to baby-weight though. It takes nine months – 10 really – to grow a baby, so why not high-five yourself and let your body heal before even considering dieting. Go easy on yourself; you deserve it.’
Comfort is usually a major consideration for mums with young children, but Vicki argues that a little effort can go a long way when it comes to staying stylish.
‘I always joke that the mother needs a change of clothes as well as the child in the first few months, when it’s much more about comfort than style,’ she said. ‘But I do believe that making a little effort makes me feel better.
‘My top tip is red lipstick – it makes you look fresh even on a few hours’ sleep. And I also swear by vitamin E oil. It really is the secret to youthful looking skin – trust me, it knocks years off.’
Nova Harley is a new name in luxury changing bags for mums who want to stay stylish while charting the chaotic waters of parenthood.
It was created by mother-of-two Nova Harley: ‘When I had my son, Max, I couldn’t find anything on the market that oozed the style and quality I was looking for. The response from stylish mothers and celebrities looking for something unique has been overwhelming.’
Reality star Kerry Katona, TV presenter Laura Hamilton, actress Lucy-Jo Hudson and X-Factor winner Sam Bailey are all fans of the range, which is currently sold throughout the UK, US, Australia and the Middle East.