Charming and quirky Marni and Helen Yu Kuo are a must-follow duo on Instagram (@hyu915), where they deliver some of our favorite daily screen-stopping moments. Whether scoping out a new art exhibit, savoring dumplings at off-the-beaten-path restaurants, or hunting down old Céline accessories, this San Francisco–based style setter and her mini-me daughter have an aesthetic and flair all their own. We should also mention that Marni loves a dance party—a girl after our own hearts!

The pair are frequent visitors to Barneys New York, San Francisco, where they warmly greet their favorite sales staff and have a regular table at the newest Freds outpost. We met Helen and Marni for lunch and a Margot Tenenbaum–inspired dress-up session full of decadent diamonds, ladylike handbags, and more. Read on for a few Instagram tips from the ultimate pro Marni, work-life balance perspective from Helen, and their most treasured jewels. —Jenna Wise for The Stone Set
DELVAUX Bag available in Barneys Madison, Chicago, and San Francisco / SIMILAR: DELVAUX Brillant S Mini Leather Satchel

How did your journey to Instagram stardom begin?
Helen: I had a blog called What Helen Wore Today that documented my outfits, but once I discovered Instagram, I gravitated to the platform since it was easy to just post pics of my outfits. When I got pregnant with Marni, the outfits became focused on maternity wear, which grabbed the attention of other new moms-to-be.

It was all pretty organic and word of mouth but definitely skyrocketed once Marni came into the scene. I started to post pics of #marniandme and #whatmarniworetoday. Marni has always been a happy-go-lucky spirit. I wanted to share her joy with the rest of the world, and it seems to resonate with my followers.

Marni: Hmmm stardom? What does that mean, Mama?

What are the top five essentials to get the Marni look?
Helen:

1. An oversized coat
2. Gnome bonnet or beret
3. Gold initial necklace
4. Sneakers
5. Deadpan smile and a side-eye

ANA KHOURI Simplicity Ring / STEPHANIE WINDSOR ANTIQUES Wasp Mixed-Gemstone Brooch / STEPHANIE WINDSOR ANTIQUES Mixed-Gemstone Butterfly Pin

Marni:
1. My pointy hat
2. My camel coat
3. My Marni necklace
4. Dress
5. Sneakers

How would you describe your personal style? What do you love about fashion?
Helen: Tomboy chic with a hint of fun. I love fashion because it’s the obvious and most powerful form of self-expression. For me, fashion is about wearing things that bring you confidence, joy, and comfort.

Marni: That’s a hard question. What is fashion? I like to wear comfortable clothes that look cute.
What’s it like being a working mom in tech with a creative side project?
Helen: I came across an article where Jeff Bezos of Amazon advises folks to stop striving for “work-life balance” and instead to think of it as a circle. That really stuck with me. I love how my job in tech complements my family life, and together both experiences help inspire my creative side.

What are your favorite pieces in your jewelry box?
Helen: Right now it’s my Céline initial necklace and my vintage diamond ring that was worn by my grandma and passed onto me by my mom.

Marni: My Marni “M” necklace.

SHOP ALL JEWELRY
JENNIFER MEYER Rainbow Open Heart Necklace
What strikes your eye right now at Barneys?
Helen: Anything Céline by Phoebe Philo and a Barneys shearling camel coat! I’m dreaming about this one.
Marni: The red-framed Céline cat-eye sunglasses.
How does living in San Francisco shape your style?
Helen: I love a good trench, and San Francisco has the perfect weather to wear one all year round.
Marni: Umm, it’s maybe like a Gucci-look style.
What are your go-to Freds orders?
Helen: The chicken soup and fries!
Marni: The penne arrabbiata.
Describe your dream day.
Helen: Going back to Naoshima Island in Japan with my family.
Marni: Dancing to “Smooth Criminal” with Michael Jackson.
What are your three favorite things in the world?
Helen: Family, family, family.
Marni: My mommy, my daddy, and spaghetti.
What’s something about you no one knows?
Helen: I’m afraid of heights.
Marni: I had a vanishing twin.

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