Stylist Claudia Cifu On Mothering in Short Shorts and Taking Her Daughter’s Fashion Advice

It’s impossible to miss stylist and consultant Claudia Cifu and her five-year-old daughter, Paloma Freya. The two are adorable peas in a pod, with their coordinated, relaxed chic vibe (which translated well into Cifu’s kidswear collection for the Finnish label Vimma.) 

Though Cifu was born in Finland to Chilean parents, she lived in New York for over 15 years before moving back to Helsinki four years ago to raise Paloma. Cifu’s time in New York comes through in her style, which feels both downtown minded—Carhartt worker trousers with a cropped, well-worn leather jacket—and in-the-know—a black, puffed sleeve Mara Hoffman dress with orange Vans. Though she’s only five, Paloma weighs in on Cifu’s choices. “I like to hear Paloma’s opinion when decorating the house or getting dressed,” she says. 

Like any child, Paloma is constantly inspired and fickle. “Her idol changed from Elsa [from Frozen] to Wednesday [Addams], and therefore her whole wardrobe experienced a revamp as well,” says Cifu. “She had the cutest sparkly high heels and gave them to her friend. She soon was requesting another pair of heels but in black—since anything sparkly or glittery is not to her liking anymore.” 

Still, Cifu’s experimental sensibility trickles into Paloma’s outfits, as seen in outfits involving a red polka dot skirt and a Supreme leather bag, or a metallic princess skirt over a long sleeve shirt. Cifu, whose own mother taught her the value of thrifting, also shops secondhand for Paloma. “Kids grow all the time so it’s silly to put money into clothing if they can only wear it for a short amount of time,” says Cifu. “She gets excited when she sees a thrift store because there are so many things that she can find.”  

Cifu says her daughter has helped with time management and creativity. “I chose my creative projects with care since my time is limited and therefore sacred!” says Cifu. A special project she is dedicated to is the first media company run by BIPOC Finns, “Ruskeat Tytöt”—which translates to “Brown Girls”. “It gives a voice to the people whose stories haven’t been told,” says Cifu, who is on the board. “If I had representation like that when I was growing up in Finland, it would have been life-changing.” She is also a supporter of up-and-coming veteran and up-and-coming Finnish labels, including Rolf Ekroth, Jimi Vain, and Hedvig. 

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