From Marie Claire
In a bi-weekly series, we’re interviewing changeable executives, founders, CEOs—basically, bang-up ladies—on their “power suit” a.k.a. the accouterments they abrasion every day for accessible bathrobe to beat whatever the job throws at them.
CEO and Architect of Henning, Lauren Chan, has a career end-game: “to admonition women who accept been afar because of their admeasurement in appearance feel according and capable.” The above plus-size archetypal and annual editor (she served as Glamour’s appearance editor for three years and formed at Vogue above-mentioned to that) angry designer/entrepreneur says this mission formed gradually from her accomplished assignment adventures and culminated in her own plus-size affluence accouterment brand.
Henning, launched aftermost year, offers affluence ready-to-wear pieces for women sizes 12 to 24. The cast primarily focuses on basic pieces—work-appropriate blazers, an accustomed covering jacket—since they are the architecture blocks of everyone’s wardrobe.
Photo credit: Bryan Bedder – Getty Images
“I anticipate that the accumulation bazaar has fast appearance trends bottomward pat and unfortunately, the customer, myself included, is actual acclimated to alone actuality able to boutique a alternative of watered bottomward semi-trendy pieces that aren’t absolutely appealing,” Chan says. “If fast appearance is all that’s accessible to these women, again what we’re cogent them in agreement of messaging is that this is all they’re worth. It’s important to me to rebrand additional admeasurement appearance and the bodies that absorb it as aspirational, impressive, successful, and equal.”
Chan comes up with the designs herself and wear-tests every piece, authoritative abiding they’re absolute afore they hit the market. The artist shares that a lot of Henning apparel accept applied additions to them, like a hidden button in the button-downs to anticipate buttons from bustling accessible and gel band on the close ancillary bond of pants to anticipate adjoin thigh chaffing.
Chan makes the accomplished action of designing and starting one’s own aggregation complete easy, but don’t be fooled, Chan put in the adamantine assignment to accomplish her business happen. “I was like, Okay, what does it absolutely booty to get a appearance cast congenital and off the ground?” she says. Her antecedent analysis had her active about the Garment District, animadversion on branch doors to ask if they fabricated additional sizes and were accommodating to booty on a new client. “I anticipate that a lot of the aboriginal analysis was actual easily on in a way that I hadn’t accomplished before,” she says.
Photo credit: Christina Emilie
As for her brand’s name, Henning, Chan formed with an bureau alleged Red Antler (clients accommodate Casper and Allbirds) to abstraction it. Henning is meant to be abstruse but to Chan it bureau “a acquisition of women, a comedy on the chat hen.” Chan acknowledges that it’s been a agrarian ride active her own brand, abnormally in a time back abounding big and baby appearance brands accept been hit adamantine by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When she aboriginal heard about the pandemic, she was afraid about the bloom and assurance of anybody she formed with. It took a few canicule for them to all amount out an alternating process, and again she anticipation about the furnishings of the communicable on her business. “There’s so abundant dysfunction at the accepted moment,” she says. “One of the acquaint I’ve abstruse as a startup architect is to embrace the abhorrence of the unknown, frankly. I’m alone actual focused on not accepting too worried, blockage focused, and blockage positive.”
In befitting with this mentality, Chan went advanced with the barrage of a covering anorak aftermost month, abacus a allusive bulletin abaft it: For every anorak sold, Henning will accord $50 to Food Bank for New York City. Henning joins a continued account of added brands who are advancing calm to abetment those in need.
Currently, Chan is benumbed out this beachcomber like the blow of us: at home. Ahead, she shares the ability accouterments she wears to the appointment and what she’s currently cutting as a WFH bang-up lady.
“I accept approved to accumulate [current WFH] accepted actual agnate [to my approved one]. I usually deathwatch up amid 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m., depending on what I accept to do that morning or if my dog starts barking at me. I booty affliction of her and accomplish myself coffee. I accessible up my addendum because I accept a active agitation account and afore I get any assignments from anyone else, I like to arena myself in what I said I would do that day. Again I accessible my inbox and acknowledgment any acute emails.
I get dressed aboriginal again go through my adorableness routine, which is actual simple. I ablution my face, I put on my serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and SPF. [If I’m activity into the office] I’ll bandy on some NARS buttery beaming concealer and Benefit’s fail affidavit countenance pencil. Again I’ll backpack my accoutrements for the day, which can ambit from packing bolt swatches to cafeteria to a change of apparel for after that night.”
Photo credit: Christina Emilie
“My appearance has afflicted so abundant over the accomplished decade and I anticipate that’s an aftereffect of accepting all of these altered careers. Back I was a model, I would dress actual anatomy acquainted and feminine for castings. Again back I was an editor, my appearance was added office-appropriate, colorful, and I took added [fashion] risks. Back I became an administrator and formed for myself, I accomplished I didn’t accept to dress any blazon of way.”
“Most canicule I would say I’m in jeans (brands like Citizens of Humanity, Good American, and American Eagle), white sneakers, a bodice (from For Days) or turtlenecks (from Universal Standard), and a blazer. This is a season-less uniform, but I do about-face out article actuality and there like a bodice back it’s summertime. I additionally adulation a pantsuit.
But, like best people, I’ve been alive from home for the accomplished few weeks, so my compatible has changed. If I accept canicule with video affairs I’ll abrasion adaptable straight-leg jeans and loose, bendable button-downs—and on canicule area no one has to see me, I’ve been active in comfortable sweats.
Photo credit: Lydia Hudgens
The added affair that makes up my closet is outerwear. I started accession jackets that I adulation back I was an editor and I didn’t accept a huge account for clothes. My action was that if I invested in abundant coats, I could abrasion them assorted times a anniversary and drag my accouterments that way. Since then, I’ve accumulated a cardinal of coats that I adulation from our Henning covering anorak to best shearling pieces to menswear coats.
For accessories, I like Adidas superstars and Nike Air Force One sneakers. I’ll about do a mid-sized assignment bag and again my Henning canvas tote because if I don’t charge any added accumulator that day, I can aloof bend the canvas tote up into my handbag. It helps me to not accept to about-face my backpack every day.”
“Chic, sharp, and strong.”
“Lean into what makes you altered because that’s what makes you great.”
For added belief like this, including celebrity news, adorableness and appearance advice, adeptness political commentary, and alluring features, assurance up for the Marie Claire newsletter.
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