Like mother, like daughter: The fashion connection between moms and their girls

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Mothers share so much with their children — and it goes waaaay beyond genetics. But these days, “sharing” has taken on new meaning, as the divide between a mom and her girl(s) has drastically narrowed in the fashion department. Just as moms influence their girls’ fashion choices, it’s almost as likely that daughters have an impact on what their mothers wear. And it sure seems like they’re spending a whole lot of time in each other’s closets. For Mother’s Day, we checked in with a bunch of fashionable moms and their daughters to find out who’s calling the fashion shots, what they’re wearing, and yes, what they’re swiping.


Mom: Tina Douglas

Daughters: Pop star Ashanti, 34, clothing designer Kenashia, 26

Hometown: Glen Cove, NY

When Ashanti and Kenashia (Shia) were growing up, their mother worked in corporate America. “I remember my mom always wearing a business suit . . . stockings, a bun and carrying an attaché case,” says Ashanti, whose style ranges from downtown to diva. Adds sister Shia, “We never went outside without being perfectly dressed.”

Since becoming Ashanti’s manager decades ago, mom’s business look has evaporated. “I try to have a street edge, but I don’t want to give the perception that I’m out of line,” says Douglas. “I feel comfortable in my skin and I can wear anything my daughters do. But when I wear, say, a crop top, I wear something under it.” All three ladies like to wear pieces from Shia’s Dymes Only collection.

“We definitely have a communal closet,” says Ashanti. Sometimes, Douglas finds out about a poached item through social media. “I’ll be on Shia’s Instagram and I’ll see my shoes or my jacket,” says Douglas. “And they both borrow my Chanel bag, which they gave me as a present.” The rule, says Douglas, is “you got to put it back in good shape.”


Mom: Dr. Jeannette Graf, 57, dermatologist

Daughter: Michelle Medoff, 22, singer-actress

Hometown: Great Neck, NY

This mother-daughter duo shares more than their dazzling blue eyes. In fact, there’s a family uniform: leggings or jeans, boots and tops. Medoff, who was Miss Long Island 2014, calls her own style “somewhere between simple and edgy.” Closet-raiding goes in both directions — mom steals cardigans and camisoles, daughter goes for bags and belts. “They’re out of my price range,” says Medoff.

Graf, who regularly appears on HSN with her eponymous skin-care line, acknowledges looting her daughter’s closet, “but, unlike her, when I borrow, I do put it back.” Graf calls her own style “hip, but I always dress for comfort. I want to look cool and like a hot 57-year-old.” Medoff dubs her mother’s look as “the perfect mix between age-appropriate and fashion-forward.”


Mom: Jewelry designer Simone Smith, 45

Daughters: Samaria, 19, and Nina, 14

Hometown: Manhasset, NY

The ladies of the LL Cool J family are fashion-focused, but it’s not all about dressing up. “I’m definitely a T-shirt and jeans girl,” says Simone Smith. “Everything isn’t always high-end. I’m happy to rock a pair of destroyed Gap jeans, and J. Crew is one of my favorite brands.”

Smith is particularly taken by the stylings of daughter Samaria, who’s a sophomore at the Fashion Institute of Technology and plans to go into the fashion biz someday. It’s a mutual admiration society — Samaria says her mom is “definitely my inspiration.” While the girls will sometimes nix mom’s outfit, more likely they’ll want to borrow. “Samaria’s always in my closet,” says Smith.

Bling is a thing at the Smith house, and the girls (including oldest daughter, Italia, 24, who wasn’t available for the shoot) are welcome to help themselves to mom’s Simone I. Smith jewelry collection. But one accessory is big-time off limits: The highlighter yellow Hermès Birkin bag that LL recently gave her for her birthday. “Even I don’t take it out much,” says Smith.


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