Activewear Designer Lauren Vickers On Body Confidence
Activewear designer Lauren Vickers and I first met at a […]
Activewear designer Lauren Vickers and I first met at a fashion event. It was for a prestigious lifestyle brand that saw models, influencers, beauty editors and various famous folk gathering at a wildly expensive Sydney harbour-side home. We didn’t know one another. I’m not important – nor famous. And yet – this activewear designer and popular model was genuinely open and friendly.
We spent the afternoon throwing back exotic cocktails and exchanging hilarious anecdotes about pretty much everything. Our picture appeared in the social pages of the Sunday tabloids that weekend and we looked golden, glowing and happy as heck. The credit for the light-heartedness has to be handed to Lauren. There’s just something about her that brings out your best.
I wasn’t even sure what it was … so I went to the activewear designer and fashion model and hit her with some pretty personal questions. That way, I could fully grasp what it was that’s so freaking awesome about her. And also, let you know this is a woman you need to know – and, you really do – plus, you might like to think about her latest activewear range cause fact is it’s beautiful and of peerless quality. Kind of like Lauren herself.
Ah Lauren, you know I think you’re awesome. Let’s explain to everyone else why that is … So, firstly, gorgeous girl – tell us about you and who you are?
I wear many hats these days! I’m a model, presenter, personal trainer and I run an online activewear boutique called Paco Loves Luna that stocks eco friendly workout wear.
This year I’m celebrating my 20 year anniversary since I started modelling and one of the reasons that I have continued to work for so long is that I never stuck to doing just one thing. I love the variety in my work and I have a serious passion for health and fitness, so I started to work my career around it!
Please tell me how your activewear project Paco Loves Luna came to be …
I have lived all over the world for my work, and particularly when I was in America – I was working with some great activewear brands that I hadn’t seen out here in Australia before. People would always stop me in the street, the supermarket and the gym asking where my tights were from, and I knew the quality was amazing – so I decided to bring them out here!
Why environmentally friendly? It costs more? It’s hard work? Tell me …
I personally love the message and ethos behind sustainable brands, and when I offered my customers the choice between activewear that was eco-friendly or not, the preference was resoundingly for the eco-friendly activewear items. I’m more than happy to support these smaller brands leading the way and doing the right thing, because garment production can be really harsh on the environment.
Is it more difficult to go ethical – IE: more expensive, more complex etc?
It’s definitely more complex to find the right manufacturers and more expensive to produce sustainably, but it is improving! With time, it will become more of the norm, and this will bring the costs down.
How did you actually make it all happen?
I just decided to go for it! I had someone give me some really great advice once. They said ‘What can you do today, with the resources you have right now?’ and it really struck a chord with me.
Even if you get one tiny little thing done each day, it’s a step in the right direction, and often it just takes that one little step to gain some momentum and throw yourself into everything. I started to build the website before I even had products, I spent hours and hours researching the processes and finding new labels that were eco-friendly to stock, I worked on the colours of my logo and had someone design it.
I thought up the campaigns and how I wanted to present it. There is always something you can do to get going, even if it’s just sketching some ideas or jotting down your train of thought.
You’re a beautiful woman – a model. You likely could just trade on that … but you’re doing something important and good. Can you tell me what’s driven you to do this?
Thank you! I love that my career has given me so much experience in so many areas, and I’m not really afraid to give anything a try. At the end of the day, what is the worst that can happen? I could spend more money that I wanted to, but money comes and goes. I would rather live a full life where I have taken risks and ended up on an unexpected path, while still doing something I love, than sitting back wondering ‘What if?’
If I can help women to move better and feel better whilst getting a boost of confidence, feeling great in the activewear they’re wearing (whilst doing something better for the planet) – I’m all about that!
How do you feel about the world beautiful? As in – what do the words ‘A beautiful woman’ to you?
Beauty shines through in many ways, and the best of all is when you see a woman feeling confident in her own skin. A woman who feels strong is beautiful, a woman who feels proud is beautiful, and a woman who is okay with showing vulnerability is beautiful. I’m a firm believer that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ages and races and I love that fact that the photographic industry is embracing more diversity than ever before.
I worry that in Australia (probably everywhere?) that what’s regarded as beautiful is very, very limited … your thoughts on that?
I do think it is getting better. Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more than the typical cookie-cutter looks fronting campaigns, big and small. It takes time, but there are some that are leading the way, and others that take a little while longer to catch on. When I first starting modelling, more than half the booking board looked the same. If you wander into an agency or casting now, you’ll see a lot more diversity, and there is a greater demand within the industry to see different skin colours, body shapes and even abilities.
Have you always loved the way you look? In fact, do you love the way you look?
I, like pretty much every woman I know, look in the mirror often and see things I don’t like. I imagine a lot of it can come from the fact that I grew up in an industry that picked me apart aesthetically on a daily basis.
I am learning to catch myself and appreciate the fact that I’m healthy and strong, and that there is so much more to me than the size of my waist, or a wrinkle on my face. I love the way my body can push me through long hours, heal itself easily and get stronger each day.
Do you have low points – and if yes, how do you talk yourself out of them?
I think everyone does! It’s absolutely okay to sit with that for a while if you need to process something, and I think the best way to get yourself out of that headspace is to have a grounding group. You know those people in your life that will bring you back to earth real quick if you start to sound ridiculous? They’re also a great sounding board when you want to talk through your business ideas and they pick you up and support you when you need it most.
I also try to remember to write things down when I’ve had a great day or a great moment. That way I teach myself to be grateful for many little things, and if I’m feeling down, I can go back and be reminded that tough times pass and awesome things happen all the time.
If you don’t, how would you suggest women who do have low points pull themselves out of it?
Like that advice that came to me when I really needed it – “what can you do today with the resources that you have available right now?” Just think of the first step and take it from there. If all else fails, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll do my best to help you work through it. We’ve all had dark moments, and sometimes you just need say it out loud to work it out.
Do you have a beauty role model?
I’m inspired by so many people, it would be hard to pick just one. I think there is something to be said though, for the people who take the time for themselves to stick to their beauty rituals and they always look so immaculate. It’s SO hard to juggle everything sometimes, and they just always seem so put together. My great grandmother was like that – she would wear real stockings, always set her hair before bed every night and even painted around the half moon on her nails. I wish I were that patient and organised.
Do you have three all-time favourite products?
I have three skin products which I have been obsessed with for how gentle they are:
- Sukin Cream Cleanser – I use this first thing in the morning when I wake up before I go and work out.
- Cinch Face Spray – perfect for a little extra glow, and light enough to wear before the gym. It’s a super easy step too for moisturising and brightening.
- Burts Bees Micellar Water – this is great for getting off shoot makeup which is made to last. I love that it’s really gentle, but effective on my lashes and has the most delicate scent of honey.
What’s in your handbag right now? Shoot me a pic if you could!
That would be hideously embarrassing – there is so much in there! Often I run from meeting, to job, to job, to job so I feel like I have my entire life in my handbag.
I always carry deodorant, eye drops, lip balm, touch up makeup, hand cream, a camera, a water bottle, a phone charger, about 10 different lip shades (why?!), baby wipes, a pen and notebook (I’m old school). Usually I’ll carry a smaller bag in my car for events.
Your life looks terribly glamorous from the outside – is it really how it seems?
God no! I spend a lot of time working behind the scenes, and there are only really little snippets of my day that I choose to share. I think people would be so bored if they saw all of the planning that goes on behind the scenes.
Also, this year I implemented a new rule that unless I was working or attending an event, I wasn’t to wear makeup on my skin. So most days I rock around barefaced, in activewear – completely in disguise 🙂 It did make the texture of my skin feel amazing though!
When you do feel most at peace?
When I’m somewhere that’s warm and near the ocean. It’s always been really calming to me to be moving, out and about in nature, and in the sun. Sydney has always felt like home and I have some great chill out spots along the coast that I go to when I need to zone out and get out of my own head for a bit.
What makes you laugh?
Animals and kids especially. People who have real conversations without their phones. Getting lost in cities and somehow figuring it all out.
You feel sexiest when …
I get to wear beautiful matching lingerie. Usually everything is a nude bra and g string in my line of work.
You wish that all young girls and women could look in the mirror and feel and think what?
I wish they would look in the mirror and pick something they love about their body, and about their spirit instead of picking out the things they don’t like, and feeling inadequate.
If you could tell your 14 year old self anything it would be …
Go with your gut. You have a very strong instinct and it’ll take you longer to trust it than you should, but it’s ALWAYS right.
Your favourite Paco Loves Luna pieces are and why?
Everything from the Flow Collection is heaven to touch, but I have a new set coming soon called the Light to Love with the most gorgeous print – and the leggings alone are made from 16 recycled plastic bottles!