spotlight feature: lauren chan

spotlight feature: lauren chan

the first time i met the drop-dead gorgeous Lauren Chan was years ago when she was the fashion features editor at Glamour. she was interviewing me for an article and the convo immediately felt like two friends chatting away about life, and it's been that way ever since. just two canadian girls living out their dreams in nyc... we were bound to become friends.

Lauren is a size inclusion advocate who began her career as a model at Ford Models in new york. but if that’s not enough, she also freelanced as a fashion writer, eventually landing full time at Glamour. from there, she successfully launched Henning, an ethical luxury womenswear for women size 12 and up. Henning was eventually acquired by Universal Standard in 2023. go girl.

oh, also Lauren was a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie last year, i mean no big deal. if you haven't SEEN those pics yet... just check them out here. HOT.

a curve ball came when the pandemic forced Lauren to pause and reflect. leading her to come out to her former husband and then the world. she has since continued to navigate life with a new found appreciation for her authentic self (and new love).

i can’t think of anyone better to kick off our 2024 spotlight series than Lauren,  a woman with such a generous spirit and a very honest hot take on female burnout below.


Eden: You have an incredibly inspiring career and I LOVE your ambition and motivation. You have had so many incredible highs. What would you say is your biggest motivation?


Lauren: Despite having had many different gigs, my motivation has always been the same: to empower folks who have been left out of fashion because of their size, however I can. Whether that’s been through representation as a model, content as a fashion editor, or product as a brand founder. It’s been incredibly fulfilling. This is a tough business, so having a mission that is deeply personal is vital to me.


E: You've also pushed through some difficult moments with compassion and grace. In the past few years you came out, went through a divorce, and found love again. How did you uncover the truest version of yourself?


L: That’s very sweet of you to say; thank you. And the answer is therapy, ha! During COVID, I was able—silver lining?—to slow down work-wise and focus on what fulfills me outside of my career. I spent a lot of time and energy learning myself and taking care of my wellness. That ended up leading towards an emotional ending and a new beginning… now, I keep myself well by continuing therapy, meditation, and carving out slowness where I can. 


E: You have such great go-go-go energy but we all know that burnout (particularly female burnout) is so prevalent among millennials. Can you talk to us about burnout?


L: I learned all about burnout while I was in the middle of it, running my fashion brand, Henning. When Henning was acquired by Universal Standard, I felt like I let out a huge breath of air that was five years in the making. My honest opinion on this is that sometimes you’re in situations where you don’t have the luxury of preventing burnout. Knowing that, I make sure to relish in the periods of my life when I can prevent it. That means practices like only being online from 10:00am-4:00pm, putting my phone on Do Not Disturb at night, keeping a gratitude journal, etc. 


E: Let's talk about clothes. How has your relationship with clothes changed over the past few years?


L: I used clothes as a shield for a lot of my life. Since coming out, I feel like I’m finally using them to attract people, not keep them at a distance. It’s a new thing for me! And it’s been a lot of fun to discover my femme side. Maybe I’ll go back to suits someday soon…


E: It’s January, so while I’m not a resolutions person, I have to ask if you are…


L: I’m a manifesting person. So I don’t necessarily have resolutions of things to “fix,” but I certainly have things I want to nurture. Keeping them top of mind keeps me on track, which is a nice feeling for the top of the year. They’re things like being intentional about my online presence, continue to grow professionally, learning about new kinds of mental wellness, spend more time off of screens, etc. 


E: What's next for you in 2024?  


L: I’m super excited to be working on new spaces like TV, podcasting, etc. Stay tuned there! ;)


Thank you Lauren!

Follow Lauren on IG here to keep up with her!