20 Sense

20 Sense: Lulu Chang, designer of TFC Label and the brains behind Lulu & Your Mom

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Lulu Chang is not your average fashion blogger. If you’re looking for a Nasty Gal-bedecked trend follower with a second-grade-level arsenal of vocabulary, look elsewhere. After a few stints in fashion PR and a gig at Chictopia, Lulu made a name for herself, first, with a blog cataloging not just her fashion interests but her infectious way with words and a regular dose of raw self-reflection. More recently, she founded The Fashion Club label, a brand that fuses luxurious materials with a streetwear sensibility. Think basics with an edge–pieces whose allure is directly linked to their versatility. Like Lulu, they aren’t going to scream for our attention, or fit into any pre-conceived mold of what is capital-C cool. Naturally, that just draws us to them more.
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How old are you? 28
Describe your trajectory since turning 20 up until now. I was always very sure about what I wanted to do–my interests, my passions. But a friend of mine told me, “I think you might suffer from being ‘too talented.'” Now, let me explain what she means. When you grow up being perfectly capable of doing many things perfectly well, it can become hard to pinpoint what direction you want to go. The sky is the limit, but the roads are too many – at least for one lifetime. This is all especially confusing when you’re in your twenties.
What has surprised you most about your twenties? What has gone exactly as expected? Being offered a book deal by the time I was 23 was unexpected. I have yet to live up to my own potential. My greatest fear is to be “that guy.”
In a lot of ways, everything people have come to associate with me on the internet has come unexpectedly. I’m not much of a self-promoter and I don’t believe in stupid gimmicks. I love fashion, but in a way, I felt that to preserve the fashion that I love, I had to be a bit removed from it. I’m rather petite (5’3″), so in a way, I’m not the best model to convey the type of image I want to see. Sure, I could market myself as some kind of petite model, but that wasn’t the audience I wanted. I wanted my audience to be pure fashion lovers–people who want to see something new. They enjoy the thrill of being inspired–and connected–like me.
Do you feel like you’ve found your niche or are you still searching? I definitely have found a home in designing – it allows me to be more removed from the circus of fashion which is sometimes exciting, but also a turn off in many ways.  My blog used to be much more personal, but I separate content now. Fashion is what the blog is about. Fashion is what I create. And personal [content] goes towards my long awaited book. The more confident and bold I feel, the better the work.
What excites you more about life: the enigmatic experiences or those with extreme clarity? Both. These enigmatic experiences are what allows for self reflection–they enrich your body of work–because that’s what we all are, an entire collective of experience, taste, and talent. Sure, I could continue to blog about this or that–or I could accept one less gift or two [as I do now] and write about what I’m really into so that when I make clothes it still feels…honest. And of course, extreme clarity is what propels you forward. We live on the internet now – if you’re not evolving, you’re dying.
What have your twenties taught you about romantic love so far? Friendship? I think of romantic love as a series of moments that fill you up and then just as fast, spill out. It’s important to recognize these feelings as they’re happening. It can have a tremendous impact on your life. I don’t believe in soul mates or happily ever after. But it is very inspiring to feel so in love–whether it was a sentiment that was shared or not, it’s yours to keep.
What motivates you?  I just want to make beautiful things.
Where do you get the most inspiration? How do you snap out of a creative rut? The street is endlessly exciting. Subversive culture is my jam. At the end of the day, the best inspiration comes from your own unique upbringing, what you see, who you meet–they influence you. Fashion on the internet has evolved in a way that girls from one part of the world are dressing like girls in another, which is great…but also not so great…because it has nothing to do with where the second girl came from.
Biggest pet peeve about the blogosphere and/or fashion world? Favorite aspect of each? What I love about the blogosphere is that it is very interconnected. What I dislike about it is that it is very interconnected. In a way, it doesn’t leave much room to celebrate “the other.” What I love about the fashion industry is that it is unpredictable. One agency, one product, or one editor could potentially change your life and it is your job to be ready for it.
If you had to create a twenties survival kit what would it include? Haha. Okay mine would be one titled “Everything You Ever Wanted” and it would include Jeremih’s Late Nights Mixtape (for all your romantic love needs…) ,a subscription to 032c Magazine (Berlin is still the creative mecca and the fashion director is Rihanna’s stylist, so, there you go), Volvic water from France, and the Criterion Collection of movies (because I just can’t choose). I would say Breaking Bad, but you do enough morally questionable things when you’re in your twenties without it so…
Do you plan to do anything with writing in the future? I miss your old story-like blog posts and the snapshots from your life! They were rad. Thank you, I’m really glad you enjoyed them. They were almost a bit too personal – but mostly I removed them to keep the blog strictly fashion. I lacked discipline in my early twenties. I am working on my book now but because of how painful it is to revisit certain memories it has taken me a long time. A lot of my stories relate to being an outsider looking in. When I found love the stories became a bit more dynamic. But I’ve always been kind of a loner – ironic, I guess.

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