She’s lived all over the world and worked with some of the biggest names in the fashion business, but last year when Kiwi supermodel Kylie Bax discovered she was pregnant, she realised what she wanted most was to be near home.
Kylie had been living in Athens, Greece for a year with her husband, fashion photographer Spiros Poros, and their two daughters, Lito (7) and Dione (nearly 5). While she loves the country and its culture, the lure of the southern hemisphere proved impossible to resist.
“My daughters were both born in Los Angeles and I really wanted to have a down under baby,” explains Kylie (37). Watching the family playing on a Sydney beach with gorgeous three-month-old Danae, who’s the very image of her father, it’s difficult to believe how close the couple came to losing her.
“I had lost a baby to miscarriage before Danae,” explains the supermodel, who then took a whole year to conceive again. “It turned out I had a problem with my progesterone, which is the hormone that keeps you pregnant. It was only quick thinking and my ability to read my own body that saved Danae.
A few weeks into my pregnancy with her things just didn’t feel right. It felt like I was losing her.” Kylie rushed to the doctor, who sent her for tests. She and Spiros then had an anxious wait for the results. “That was scary,” she recalls.
“Later, my doctor told me I’d come close to having another miscarriage. But Danae’s a survivor.” Thanks to hormone treatment, Kylie stayed healthy for the rest of her pregnancy and in September she boarded a plane bound for Sydney where she and Spiros had decided to create a new life with their family.
“I looked very pregnant by then,” she admits, laughing. “I snuck onto the airplane and they were giving me sidelong glances!”
The move to Australia has been a big adventure, particularly as Spiros had never visited the country before and, although Kylie holidayed there as a child, she hadn’t been back for 16 years.
“Spiros and I sat down and talked about what would be the best place for our family and decided to try Australia because it seemed to have everything we wanted,” explains Kylie, who grew up in the Coromandel.
“We love beaches and the outdoorsy life. It’s beautiful here. There are good schools and plenty of business opportunities, and both here and in New Zealand people seem to have a positive attitude to life which we share.”
But for Spiros, it’s a long way from family and friends. “He was nervous,” Kylie admits. “I don’t think he’d even seen a picture of Sydney in a magazine until I put a few under his nose! But he saw the benefits for the family and wanted to experience Australia. Now he thinks it’s the best place to live. He’s really happy we made the move.”
The couple still have a house in Greece, as well as places in New York and Los Angeles. But Sydney is where they plan to settle. Currently they’re renting a house near the beach in the suburb of Brighton-Le-Sands while they try to decide where they want to buy their first Australian home.
“I’ve moved so many times, but hopefully this is where I’ll stop and establish some roots and create a home my family can enjoy,” says Kylie.
While she loved the heady days when she was travelling the world and shooting covers for Vogue, Kylie is ready for a new stage in her life. “Of course I look back at that period with nostalgia, but it’s over and it’s time to move on to other things that may be just as exciting,” she says. ”I think you have to live in the present and believe the future is there for the taking.”
During her pregnancy, Kylie stopped modelling completely. “I feel very private when I’m pregnant,” she explains. “I’m not into exposing myself. I don’t even like telling people.”
Now she plans to pick and choose modelling assignments that appeal and focus on her businesses – she has a line of children’s sheepskin boots that are made in Christchurch and is in the process of setting up an online clothing boutique. “These days I’m a real homebody,” Kylie confesses.
“I wasn’t sure at first how I’d be when I had children, but I’ve discovered I’d much rather be with them than flying around the world. Both Spiros and I want to spend as much time with our daughters as we can.”
While modelling is less of a priority, Kylie is still focused on getting her body back into super-slim shape. “Losing weight after a pregnancy is always different for me – it depends on the baby,” she confides. “This time I bought a cross trainer and I’ve been working out on that and eating lots of fresh, healthy food – nothing processed or canned.
I’d like to fit my size-8 jeans and I think I’m close, but don’t want to try them on yet in case I’m disappointed!” One of the bonuses of moving to Sydney is that a skin problem Kylie’s had for years has finally cleared up.
“I had a big issue with my skin after my first pregnancy,” she explains. “I had pregnancy mask – pigmentation all over my face. It’s only since I got here that it’s gone almost completely and now I have just a little on my décolletage area.”
Kylie puts her improved skin down to a combination of things. She found a doctor in Sydney who offers a non-invasive light treatment called Heliotherm that she believes has really helped. She also uses a home treatment called Cosmelan combined with the Aspect skincare range and massages her skin with a dermal roller twice a week.
“My face is my work so I’m not just being vain. But even if it wasn’t, it’s still my face and it was horrible not being able to get rid of the rash. Lots of women have the same problem and will know exactly how I felt.”
Kylie and Spiros are still very busy settling into their new life and there’s lots of practical stuff that needs organising, but there’s been time for fun too. The couple have great friends in Sydney, including Anthony Field, who is famous as the blue Wiggle, and his wife Michaela.
“I was introduced to Anthony by a friend in New York,” explains Kylie. “I ended up cooking a moussaka for the Wiggles after a show! They’ve got three kids so our families play together. We love going on the flying trapeze at Fox Studios and out on their boat in the harbour.”
Family is likely to remain Kylie’s priority for many years to come. In fact, she says there’s every chance she hasn’t quite finished having babies. “We love kids and I’d like to have a boy,” she admits. “Adding one more to the brood hasn’t been so difficult, so I’m not saying no.”
About Nicky Pellegrino
Nicky Pellegrino has been a journalist for over 20 years, both here and in the UK, and is a former editor of New Zealand Woman's Weekly. These days, as well as working on the magazine's beauty pages, she writes popular novels like Recipe For LIfe, The Italian Wedding and The Villa Girls. For more about Nicky check out her website www.nickypellegrino.commore of this author