Fanola Babe, Lauren Ladnier is a content creator, walking nail art Pinterest board, and a passionate Matcha enthusiast. She is the kindest and funniest girl, and Fanola had the pleasure of having a FaceTime date with her. We interviewed Lauren and got to learn more about her, her jobs in fashion, her views on content creation, and more.
F: You grew up in Mississippi, but you moved to New York City. What made you want to move and how was that transition?
L: I went to New York for the first time the summer before my senior year of high school. I remember being so happy that I was able to convince my family to let me attend a fashion camp in NYC! It was the first time any of us had been to New York and we all fell in love (except for my dad who didn’t enjoy all the walking haha). It was at this camp that I learned about LIM College, which is where I ended up going to school. LIM was the best fit for me personally since I wanted to focus more on the business side of fashion. Although I contemplated staying in Mississippi for school, I knew that New York would yield more opportunities in terms of fashion. I definitely got homesick a lot when I first moved, but the more I became comfortable with the city and the more I explored, the more I loved it.
F: At what age did your love for fashion begin?
L: My mom says since the age of 3- so I guess you could say I’ve loved fashion for a while! When I was young I would throw a fashion show for anyone who would watch. The clothing usually was my mom’s and was always too big, but I loved styling all the looks and strutting down our hallway. As I got older I started to think that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I remember going to the public library with my sketchpad and looking at all the magazines so I could draw and recreate the “hottest styles.” However, as I continued to get older, I saw movies like Thirteen Going On 30, and started to become fascinated more with working at a magazine. Little did I know, my first internship would be at my dream magazine at the time- Seventeen Magazine.
F: You have worked at Barneys, Nylon Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue. How was your experience of working at such established fashion companies at such a young age?
L: Amazing! Teen Vogue was my first real job out of college and I worked there as an Accessories Assistant. Working at a magazine was my dream, so it was pretty unreal when I found myself alone in the same elevator as Anna Wintour. However, prior to my first real job I interned several times at both Seventeen Magazine and Nylon Magazine. While interning, I tried to experience as many departments as possible. I was everything from a bookings intern to a beauty editorial intern! Although I loved working at magazines, the digital age made it difficult to feel stable in such an industry. It was because of this shift that I eventually found myself at Barneys’ corporate office. I started as a Fashion and Merchandising Assistant and worked my way up to Assistant Fashion Director. I learned so much during my time at Barneys. It was definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had, but I learned and grew so much while I was there. I’m still friends with so many people that I met while at Barneys- it was an unforgettable experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
On what she plans to do next:
L: I thoroughly enjoy content creation and I’ve really enjoyed working with brands lately to create content for their sites. I’d love to continue working with brands, but I’m open to other creative projects as well! I love fashion and want to stay in this industry, but I’m always down to try new areas within the industry.
F: How did your career in content creation begin?
L: I've always enjoyed taking pictures, but when Instagram came out, I remember finding myself focusing more on the styling that went behind the shot. I really enjoy all the little details that go into making a picture special. I feel like I just recently started getting followers because of my nail pics getting reposted, but I've always enjoyed posting, even when I wasn't getting followers or likes, I just really enjoy creating.
F: Anyone who follows you on Instagram can see how talented at nail art you are. How did your passion start for that?
L: I loved nail art as a kid, but I wasn't any good. It wasn’t until I was in college that I really started to practice. I would actually paint my nails as a form of stress relief while studying. I would take a break when I felt overwhelmed with school and paint my nails- it was a break, but a productive one so I could validate it! Towards the end of college, during my internship at Nylon, I was told about a nail salon in Brooklyn and soon found myself bringing all my nail art ideas to them. I quickly became obsessed with their amazing precision and gel designs (compared to my regular polish designs that would chip instantly). After I graduated and got a job I really didn’t make the time to paint my own nails so I continued getting them done. HOWEVER, since quarantine, I've been doing my own nails again and it's so fun, I realized how much I miss it! It's great being able to do a fun design anytime one pops into my head- that’s the great thing about regular polish haha.
F: What self care habits have been really valuable to you during this time?
L: Since being home I try to drink three quart size mason jars of water a day (which is about 3 liters)! In addition to drinking more water, I've been trying to mask more. I love me some detox masks, but I also try to balance it out with hydrating masks as well. I've also been placing more importance on sunscreen lately, especially since being back home in Mississippi, since I'm always outside.
F: What are some ways you've kept your hair healthy during this quarantine?
L: I religiously use the Fanola orange Nutri Care Serum and I truly love the Nutri Care Mask! I remember when I first used the moisturizing mask I was shocked that I could actually feel a difference in my hair. Love these products so much!!
On her obsession with Matcha:
When I was young my family would get sushi and I fell in love with green tea ice cream, but it was always a rare special treat. When I was in college I remember Starbucks had a Green Tea Frappuccino and that was the closest thing to green tea ice cream that I knew about, so I would always get one before class as an end of the day treat. Then I thought, "What if I tried the liquid version haha?!" Soon matcha spots started opening up and now I have a lot more options to choose from! I don't really like coffee, but I do have it on occasion. So for me, Matcha is my main source of caffeine. I honestly find so much joy in finding and trying new spots that serve matcha!
F: If you could share one piece of advice for someone looking to follow in your footsteps, whether that be a career in fashion or content creation, what would it be?
L: I would say to make as many connections as possible. But more importantly, make genuine connections with people because you never know where that connection could lead you down the road. Every job I’ve ever had, I got because of a connection that either led me there or vouched for me during the interview process. Another piece of advice, in regards to instagram, but also life, is to be yourself and let your personality shine. When your personality shows, people tend to feel more of a connection towards you. Post funny memes, go with the silly caption, don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself (but only if you want to!) I think it's important to be yourself and be true to yourself! I also think it's important to have a relationship with your followers as much as you can- be a real person that they can come to with questions. You’re no better than anyone just because you have a higher number of followers.
F: What is the one thing that you want to accomplish in your career, your absolute dream?
L: To be happy doing what I'm doing. Obviously you're going to have bad days, but at the end of the day, I want to know I’m making a positive difference.