How did the moms of El Salvador inspire you?
What's most incredible is their fierce determination. They've struggled so much and for so long but remain resilient and soulful. The women I met are true leaders '- they're educating themselves, each other, creating important infrastructures in their villages and planning for the futures of their children.
Your mom's from El Salvador. It must have been incredible going back for this cause.
She lived there for the first eight years of her life before moving to Los Angeles. While my sisters and I were growing up in California, we actually went to visit relatives quite often. I remember being surprised that it seemed so different and yet so similar to my own life. I've visited many times as an adult, but I think that my trip with CARE was probably the most powerful of all because I met with local women and was invited into their homes. During one of our visits to a local rural community, one young girl told me that she walked five miles with her baby to meet with us.
In addition to CARE, you've served as an antismoking activist. Beyond fashion, how do you hope to inspire the world?
I admire women who constantly challenge themselves and become more interesting and more experienced throughout their lives. My mom is that kind of woman: She always welcomes opportunities to try new things and travel to new places. I hope to be that kind of woman '- and an inspiration to my daughter and to other women who seek the same.
Read about other celebrity moms like