During Fashion’s Night Out in New York, Lucky Brand Jeans held a competition for fashion bloggers to step away from the keyboards and do some designing of their own. The 'Jean-ius' contest prompted them to design a fresh denim concept using only the materials provided by Lucky Brand Jeans, and naturally our own Senior Fashion and Beauty Correspondent Jennifer Chan took home the win, judged by none other than Tim Gunn.
When we first tracked down Jennifer to work for us, we had no idea she was a budding designer, but we did know she had the type of experience needed to provide in-depth analysis of the fashion world. She has worked for InStyle.com, ELLE.com, and Tyra Banks to name a few and studied on both coasts at Pepperdine and Columbia. This experience has served her well, publishing many stories with us, but to honor her NY Fashion Week victory we let her relax and let us ask the questions.
JustLuxe: How did you first get into the world of fashion?
Jennifer Chan: I modeled in high school and started interning in PR and special events then switched to the editorial side. I was published in a few local lifestyle and fashion magazines before I started college and knew I had found my calling. I was an intern dynamo in college — I couldn’t get enough! InStyle, WWD, Neiman Marcus, FOX News Channel, etc. and was also the fashion editor of our campus newspaper. I got incredible experience learning the ropes of the editorial, event coverage, PR and styling side of the industry during my internships.
JL: What drew you to enter the jean-ius competition?
JC: The PR company contacted me and sent me the kit. I was honored to be selected as one of the few bloggers, so I decided to participate (despite having zero free time) because I love Tim Gunn and thought it was a really fun contest! Friends joke that they never see me in jeans (admittedly, I'm dress-obsessed), but I have this crazy addiction to buying jeans because I love the challenge of the perfect fit.
JL: Are you a blogger moonlighting as a designer, or vice versa?
JC: I'm definitely a blogger/editor moonlighting as a designer— just this once! I've never really explored my talents designing anything before this contest. I took Apparel in high school just to learn the basics of sewing, but never went beyond that, despite being naturally creative. I always figured my talents in fashion were more on the editorial side, but I've become quite savvy as a stylist, here and there— jimmying up things, to simply 'make it work!'
JL: Tell us about your winning design, where did the inspiration come from?
JC: I wanted something that was modern and versatile— that could work for guys or girls, no matter what your style is. Here's the summary I submitted for the contest:
"I love the versatility of denim and its incredible ability to make any outfit feel homespun, genuine and truly American. I wanted to add this element to any outfit (a chic LBD, a tough motorcycle jacket, a bohemian maxi skirt ensemble, etc.) with a unique accessory that packed major impact and infinite functionality. This circle scarf can be worn draped loosely around the neck, caped atop the head for an alluring hood, or slung around arms for a makeshift bolero; and is also unisex, inventive and useful (slip your cell phone in the pocket for a true hands-free experience!"
JL: What about the design process? Did you need any help or was this just another day in the life of a JL senior fashion & beauty correspondent?
JC: The vision actually came to me quite quickly because I knew I wanted it to be simple to construct, and I've been a bit obsessed with my own circle scarves lately. I thought it would be cute worn as a hood layered under a motorcycle jacket, for a fresh spin. The difficult part of the whole process was that we had to use every item in the craft kit— and some of those components were not cute! I got creative and invented ways to use the items without obstructing the design, so it still looked chic. For example, I strung all of these buttons on thread and hung it inside of the scarf to act as a weight so it would drape properly, instead of using them as decorative items— which probably would have ruined it all together.
A day in the life of the JL senior fashion and beauty correspondent is a crazy one! I juggle a variety of deadlines, non-stop events, appointments, meetings, trips (I was en route to San Francisco, Montreal and New York) during this contest, so let's just say I was crafting this scarf into the wee hours of the night!
For her efforts, Jennifer was awarded a year’s worth of Lucky Brand Jeans, and the opportunity to sit down and chat with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, so check back soon for her interview with the fashion legend himself.
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