Model Lais Ribeiro is married to former Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, and mom to 15-year-old Alexandre, diagnosed in 2013 with autism. Of advocating for her son, she says, “Once you find out all the tools you need for your children to achieve their goals, it makes it easier. I don’t like to compare. Every mom goes through their own journey.”
Lais has walked runways for a litany of A-list designers, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana and been photographed for Vogue and in advertising campaigns for brands like Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, GAP and American Eagle. She’s perhaps most recognizable as a Victoria’s Secret Angel (including a stint walking in the famed fashion show wearing the $2 million “Champagne Nights” bra). For this week’s Meet a Mom interview, she shares about her motherhood journey:
What is your absolute favorite part of being a mom?
The best part would be the unconditional love that we feel for each other.
Love that! Over the past 15 years, what have you realized about motherhood?
I try to learn from my mistakes. Motherhood is the most difficult thing in the world, and people expect way too much from us. I give so much respect to the mothers trying to do their best to raise their children. I have my family that always helped me, and many friends who have kids. I believe it takes a village.
Definitely. Looking at your social media, travel seems to be an important part of your life. Any tricks you use to travel with kids?
I’ve been really lucky with Alexandre. He’s always been pretty easy to travel with. I always make sure to pack his favorite snacks, coloring books, and download his favorite movie before traveling.
How do you stay in model shape as a busy mom?
I always make sure to keep my routine when I am home. After I drop off at school, I go straight to work out. After my workouts, I like to get in the sauna and ice.
Agree, self-care is crucial. What is something else you do to feel like you’re taking care of yourself?
I’ve recently started scrubbing my entire body daily with a Quinoa Firming Body Oil from NativeSpa. I like to dry brush, which helps with circulation. The oil has 30x more omega fatty acids than coconut oil. My skin is so smooth after I use it.
What’s your go-to, off-duty mom uniform?
I always have on comfortable clothing. I love being in sweatpants and a hoodie. The Alo Accolade sweatpants and sweatshirt are my favorite. I love the fabric and how comfortable it is.
You have been a philanthropist for many years. Can you please share a bit about the causes you, and your husband, are currently focusing on?
My family is very passionate about raising awareness for multiple charitable organizations. We are very involved in our philanthropic work and working towards a more sustainable future. I will be launching later this year two new projects: Eco-Bricks, a company that will produce net zero bricks from plastic sequestration, being 4-6 times stronger than concrete, and Bridge, an organization that raises money through activations to go towards non-profits supporting agriforest, mental health, financial education, and the oceans. My husband, Joakim Noah has an organization called Noah’s Arc Foundation, that helps children develop a stronger sense of self.
We love to support local businesses. What are your faves in Miami for:
Get your hair/nails done: I go to Ethan’s nails and facial. I’m Brazilian, so I’ve always been obsessed with nails, and they do a great job.
Eat dinner as a family: My son’s favorite restaurant is Mortons. We go there on Sundays; he’s a picky guy and he loves the food there.
Have fun as a family: We love going to the beach or chasing waterfalls.
Get coffee: I’m not a coffee person, but I do love green juice and make it every morning.
Workout: I transformed my garage into a gym and work out at my house. I have a trainer, and her name is Lana Pessoa.
Shop for yourself: I’m actually not a shopping person, most of my shopping is through my friend Juliana Juca, who’s a personal shopper and does it for me. I think after years of trying so many clothes it’s hard for me to go into a store to try something.
Shop for your kids: Gap, Kith