Apr. 20 2020
She’s dressed to invest. Lauren Chan has worked for Glamour, modeled for J.Crew, and even appeared on the cover of Bumble’s first-ever magazine. Now the former fashion editor is the founder of Henning, a plus-size label worn by celebs, politicians, and street style stars. “We talk a lot about sustainable chic in the fashion world,” says Lauren, “but unless you put your money where your mouth is and buy clothes you believe in, it’s just talk. Part of our mission is showing people how to invest in their own image.”
As Lauren launches Henning’s new collection tomorrow, she tells us how she handles her mornings… from a remote Pennsylvania cabin with no cell service, because: quarantine.
7 A.M. My dog, Pepper, is my alarm clock. She’s a rescue, so she loves to jump up and down just to make sure we’re still paying attention. I open the Notes app, because I have a running to-do list in there. It puts me in the “work zone” without inviting anyone else’s energy into my head, like my inbox does.
8 A.M. Our lease was up this month! We were supposed to move! Terrible timing, right? So we rented this cabin in rural Pennsylvania because we had nowhere to go anyway… We drove down here and quarantined for 14 days. It’s rough, but we’re on a lake, so every morning, we get to walk with Pepper for 30 minutes and just be outside. We never see anyone else, and Pepper is very happy. She’s going to be bummed when we can finally go home… but my husband and I will be thrilled!
8:30 A.M. I’m Canadian, so I love Tim Hortons coffee. It’s not that good, but it reminds me of home. I make it with creamer and Stevia.
9 A.M. Shower and skincare time. I wash with Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel, and a few times a week, I’ll also scrub with their Daily Microfoliant. Then Sunday Riley’s Good Genes Serum and then Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Cream, some SPF, and Glossier’s lip balm. I like Bumble and bumble’s dry shampoo because it’s got volume, and you’ve gotta look the part on those Zoom calls! But that’s basically it.
9:30 A.M. My brand director and I FaceTime. We’re lucky because the new collection—which launches tomorrow—was made entirely before the pandemic. So far, we’ve stayed steady in both sales and Instagram engagement, which is amazing. We’ve definitely shifted our tone… But we know fashion is a point of optimism, and something that makes everyone feel more empowered in their own life. Obviously, that’s a big reason why I love it!
10 A.M. When I flip through magazines or scroll through websites, I like finding an intersection between trends and classics. I know The Newsette loves “oat milk dressing.” Well, our spring collection launches tomorrow, and we made a monochrome khaki chino suit because I saw it on Gigi Hadid in Vogue, on Liu Wen in Paris, on Emily Weiss… but where is it for plus size women? Nowhere! We’re launching a leather jacket tomorrow, too.
11 A.M. This is when I review what Henning puts online. More than ever, I’m asking myself, “Is it ethical to have a fashion brand right now?” And every day, I’m like, “Yes. We have to survive this, because if we don’t, there might not be any brands advocating for high-value, cool clothes for plus size women. That’s unacceptable to me. And we’re not saying, “Buy clothes so you’re cute!” We’re saying, “If you like this and if you can responsibly shop right now, it’s here for you.” It fits into what we hope will happen in fashion, which is a movement to fewer, better things. There’s no perfect answer, but there are better answers. We want to be the better answer, and that’s why we’re still working so hard.