My Uniform: Super Smalls Founder, Maria Dueñas Jacobs

My Uniform: Super Smalls Founder, Maria Dueñas Jacobs

We photographed New York City-based Maria Dueñas Jacobs in her home before the city started sheltering in place. Her West Village apartment is a dreamy spot, clearly loved and lived in by someone with exquisite taste and a playful nature, which certainly extends to the designs she creates for her children's accessories line, Super Smalls. As a mother to three girls, she certainly knows a thing or two about jewelry that makes kids freak out. As always, we wanted to know how she developed her enviable style—and, since we spoke with her after our world changed, we were also curious to see how she was coping with the new (temporary!) normal. And to steal some of her tips!

ON EARLY STYLE

All the clothes in my mom’s closet were black or white. She felt like having a fashion uniform made it easier. I remember thinking it was a weird and limiting thing to do, but now I see it was a strong – and smart – fashion choice. My dad is Spanish and dresses in a classic Spanish aesthetic – lots of jeans with blazers – which I wear a lot too, but in a cooler fashion way :) Sorry, Papá! But I took some twists and turns to get there. At age 10 my style was a mix of tacky and sassy. Whatever you’re picturing in your head right now, it’s that, plus something neon pink. By 15 a lot of low-rise jeans and tube tops had made their way into rotation. This was the era of my parents telling me to please change my outfit before leaving the house. I am so, so grateful social media didn’t exist back then! At age 20 I was living and going to college in New York City and definitely fancied myself a “fashionista.”  I was obsessed with fashion magazines and shopped at consignment stores and Zara in an attempt to recreate the high-fashion looks I loved. My style has evolved from my twenties – this is a good thing! – but I did hold on to some gems from my college days which I bought as investment pieces or that have a ton of sentimental value.

 

ON HER CURRENT STYLE

It depends on the day, but I think my looks generally lean boy-ish/chill/modern or super feminine/pretty/embellished. No matter what, I like to keep the silhouettes the same: tailored and comfy. I never repeat an outfit I didn’t feel comfortable in! 

 

ON FIRST FASHION INVESTMENTS

I’m half Italian and growing up, we used to go to Rome each Christmas to visit family. This was back when internet shopping didn’t exist and Italy still had its own currency. My sister and I used to wait all year to visit the Prada outlet in Montevarchi (approximately 2 hours from Rome) and ransack the place! The combination of the outlet prices and the exchange rate meant we could buy Prada and Miu Miu dresses and shoes for as low as $50. I still have a soft spot for outlet shopping. And Prada and Miu Miu :)

 

ON OUR NEW (TEMPORARY) NORMAL

I’m experiencing lots of highs and lows. Probably I’m taking in too much news and definitely spending too much time with my kids. Kidding! The time at home all together is such a blessing and a treat but it’s also really hard. We’re passing our time reading, crafting, playing pretend, snacking and throwing all attempts to limit our screen time out the window. Also, I’m trying to work on Super Smalls and continue to nurture our #smallbutmighty community and get some sparkly sets to as many kids as possible! 

 

THREE THINGS WITH MARIA DUEÑAS JACOBS

Your uniform, in 3 pieces:

Currently: Sweatsuits, jumpsuits (always and forever!), jewelry.

 

3 things you always have on hand for your minis:

Snacks, water and sheets of Super Smalls stickers which (according to my kids) have actual, magical powers.

 

3 professions you’d pursue if not for your current career:

Interior designer, toy designer or graphic designer. After working on Super Smalls  for over a year now(!), I found out my favorite part of the process is designing, which definitely isn’t what I thought it would be. I don’t know that I have any innate talent for working with interiors/toys/graphics, but I love all three!

 

Thank you, Maria!

Maria was photographed at her home by Taylor Jewell

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