Maisonette Muse: TyLynn Nguyen
LA-based model-turned-lingerie designer TyLynn Nguyen is our latest Muse. This 6-foot stunner is living her mission of empowering women (and mamas) through her eponymous line of beautifully simple, sexy intimates. Here we learn the philosophy behind the brand, how she stays connected with her husband while raising three kids, and why family will always come first.
What does an average morning in your household look like?
I wake up at 6am, shower and drink my coffee in blessed silence until 7am, when I go wake the kids. They brush their teeth, get dressed, and then eat breakfast: Honey Nut Cheerios or eggs and bacon. When Hunter was born, Dad (Bee) was happy to take over school drop off. It gives him some time alone with the kids, while I stay home with the baby. Dad is out the door with Lotus, 5, and Czar, 2 by 7:50am. And the house gets a lot quieter once they’ve gone!
How would you describe your style and did it change after you had children?
I would describe my style as regal but uncomplicated – it has been that way since as long as I can remember. I don’t believe a woman should change how she expresses herself because she has a child. I believe my children are an extension of the love I have with my husband - they enhance it, and they make me feel beautiful and even more conscious of looking and feeling and dressing my best.
What are the pieces you gravitate towards for every day for you and for the kids?
I tend to live in denim, paired with beautiful, feminine tops and flats. For my sons, it’s easy tees and sweats – we live in California after all – and for Lotus, it’s light cotton dresses in pretty prints and color.
What is your philosophy on dressing kids? Dress them like kids or like little adults?
I really believe kids should dress like kids – I wouldn’t want them to miss out on those precious years of childhood by dressing them like adults. I always think of comfort first – and cuteness second – when it comes to shopping for my kids.
What was the biggest surprise about motherhood?
For me, I think it was realizing how much my children would teach me about myself. I always assumed I would be the one teaching them – but really, it goes both ways. They teach me things every day. Another thing I learned is that the best way to teach them is by example. They are watching every move we make, and so it is crucial to show rather than just tell children how to be. Showing love, kindness - that is something they see and repeat with their own actions.
My greatest challenge occurs when all three kids are screaming about something different! Tantrums are real, and we get through them. But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a patience tester!
The greatest lesson your own mother taught you?
My relationship with my mother is complicated and I still struggle with it today. That said, I think she taught me to be the example for my children, because she was not a great example for me. I see this as a positive thing, despite it being difficult, because it is what made me blossom into the woman I am today. So I thank her for creating me and for allowing me to experience the trials I lived through with her.
With three kids at home, how do you carve out time with your husband, and what does that look like? Do you follow any cardinal rules for keeping your marriage strong?
Bee and I are best friends. Our relationship has changed since the kids came along, of course, but not significantly. We just stick to a few cardinal rules to make sure we are spending time with each other like we did pre-kids. Every night, we make sure the kids are asleep by 7:30pm. That is one rule we always follow, and it allows us to have grown-up time every night, even if it’s just to curl up on the sofa and watch a movie together. We live by our iCal and are always aware of the other’s schedule. We commit to date-night at least two times a month.
What does a date-night look like for you?
Lately, our date night consists of hiring a sitter, getting dressed up, and heading to Malibu for dinner and a long walk on the beach. Now more than ever, we need that alone time to reconnect, be together, and dream together.
How do you and your husband’s backgrounds inform the way you parent your children?
Our backgrounds definitely inform the way we parent our children. I am black and white and Bee is Vietnamese. We are raising global babies and want them to see their own beauty and intelligence, the strength that comes from their diverse background. My parents were both bankers, and Bee was raised by an entrepreneurial mother. So much of who they are is instilled in us, Bee and myself, and we will always do our best to instill in our kids the great attribute our parents instilled in us.
You started out your career as a model, and have looked amazing throughout all your pregnancies. That said, many women struggle with their changing bodies during pregnancy – did you? And how did you deal with it? Embrace it or struggle with it?
I also struggled with pregnancy and the toll it took on my body. For me, it was mostly mental, and so I made a commitment to focus on the positives - and to look at everything through that lens. I was once told that pregnancy is the liaison between heaven and earth, and once that sunk in, the beauty of the experience really enhanced. It got easier with each pregnancy to just sit back and enjoy the ride, because I understood that this season of my life is fleeting, and so special, and once day I will miss it.
How did you get back in shape after delivering the babies? Were there certain self-care rituals that you followed?
For me, breastfeeding was crucial. It really took off the extra weight very quickly – that, and my genetics, I think. I am fortunate. Ballet has also been wonderful. Although I haven’t started it back us again yet, it did keep my body svelte during my last two pregnancies. I juice almost every day to give myself and the baby the added boost of vitamins and minerals. I have found that juicing combined with prenatal vitamins has kept my hair from falling out this pregnancy.
What was the inspiration behind TyLynn Nguyen Intimates? What was your mission?
I have always loved and appreciated good lingerie. As a consumer, I began to notice a trend - lingerie was designed for women, but often from the male perspective. I really wanted to break away from the idea that women wear lingerie exclusively to please their lovers. I wanted to create something that a woman would choose to wear because it made her feel good. My mission as I launched the collection was to help women love themselves and feel good in their skin, regardless of other people’s perspectives.
How did you begin? How have pregnancy and motherhood informed your decisions when it comes to the business?
I began TyLynn Nguyen one afternoon sitting at my sewing machine. I sewed my first samples and began the journey of my online retail store. I started researching ways to understand the lingerie market and slowly started to grow into what I am today. One of my biggest assets is my husband who has an incredible business background. Given that I am a creative person, the business part has come so much easier with him by my side. I know who I am as a woman and that has not changed since I became a mother. But what has changed are my priorities. I truly know deep down that family comes first. They are what makes life exciting and worthwhile, and so with every business decision I make, I think about how it will impact my family.
What was the most exciting moment for you with the brand? The moment you realized it was a success?
I think the biggest turning point for the brand happened about two years ago when Vogue wrote a piece about the brand – that created quite a stir and made me feel I had officially “made it.” That, tied with the time Bella Hadid wore our bra under a see-through top were the most exciting times for me. Since then, it’s been a steady climb and I’m just so excited for all that is to come!