For the past three years, I have been lucky enough to work for and with the true Queen Bee of Rebel Mamas. Her name is Lisa Corbo and in the city of Toronto, her reputation as a pint-sized firecracker with a fierce love of fashion and a balls-to-the-wall approach to street style precedes her.
What the general public may not know, however, is that she is also an incredible mother – someone who has seemingly mastered the art of juggling career and family, and who has managed to do it all the same way she does everything else: with style and grace.
Her daughter, Sofia, has become a dear friend of mine. She’s smart, driven, humble, hilarious, and trust me when I tell you that girlfriend inherited the fashion gene BIG TIME (#shegotitfromhermama). She is an absolute gem – living, breathing proof that Rebels have the raddest offspring of all.
MY MOTHER THE STYLE ICON
BY: SOFIA CORBO
I think at some point, everyone has that sobering moment when they realize their parents are just…people. And that is a scary reality to have to confront as a twenty-something-year-old dealing with twenty-something-year-old shit.
Even before Nikita started “The Rebel Mama”, I always knew my mom was different. Born to Italian parents in Melbourne, she grew up travelling between Italy and Australia. Having a mum who spent her youth as a beach bum in Melbourne, living in Milan as it exploded into a world fashion capital, and jump-starting a career in fashion between the two cities, it’s hard not to be a little envious.
She’s creative, smart, and one of the hardest working people I know. She lives and breathes fashion, and has a passion beyond compare. Ten years ago, my parents joined forces and opened a business together. They’ve been working tirelessly to bring a fresh perspective of a luxury boutique experience to Toronto ever since.
Alongside all of that, did I mention she has one of the most definitive, forward senses of style I’ve ever come across? Well she does. And I swear, I’m not just saying that.
But before I was ever able to appreciate any of the things above, there was a time where I would long for my mom to be “normal”. You know, the type of mom who bakes cookies and drops you off at the movies; “regular mom stuff” (whatever that means).
Throughout my childhood, I suffered through moments where I’d silently like to die in a pool of my own embarrassment. Let me take you back for a minute. It was probably 6th or 7th grade and in my mid-pubescent glory (wild curls, brows to match, braces, a nice hunk of baby fat… I could go on) I saw the silhouette of a woman strutting confidently towards the school entrance. I brushed it off until she got closer and realized it was, you guessed it, Mom.
“Crap” I thought, “Parent-Teacher interviews”.
Let me set the scene. Floor length leopard coat, all black everything, massive shades in tow, which I assume were for the purpose of blocking out the haters she may have encountered in our mildly unexciting neighbourhood.
“Isn’t that your mom?” my friend asked, to which I replied reluctantly, “Yes. Yes it is.” “She reminds me of Lady Gaga”. And not the subtly outrageous Lady Gaga of 2016. No, this was in reference to Just-Dance-lightening-bolt-on-face-Gaga. The Gaga who, at the best of times, could be a polarizing figure.
However, as time went on and I lost the desperate need to fit in, I had a moment of clarity: I have a cool mom. I have a mom who fought melanoma and drove herself home from her own surgery. I have a mom who took an experience like cancer and turned it into an opportunity to dedicate her time outside of running her own business and being a mom, to support Princess Margaret Hospital with an event she’s run for the last five years. I have a cool mom. But more than that, my mom is strong, loving and a fighter. My mom can take anything that comes her way and find a way to make it positive. She’s not afraid of aging, or to wear a mini skirt, or speak her mind because someone might not like her opinion. I don’t know anything else, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
And with that said, Rebel on, Rebel Mamas. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Because someday, your kid will have one of those moments of clarity too. And then they’ll give you a hug for no reason. But trust me, there is a reason.
I can only hope that someday, someone will go up to my kid and say, “You know you have the cool mom, right?”
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