Saturday, March 2

Laura Brown Shares How an Instagram DM Led Her to a Sézane Collab

Welcome to our podcast, Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr. Think of it as your direct line to the designers, stylists, beauty experts, editors, and tastemakers who are shaping the fashion-and-beauty world. Subscribe to Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Community is at the center of everything that Laura Brown does. 

After InStyle stopped publishing its print edition in February of 2022, Brown left her role as the magazine’s editor-in-chief to launch her new media venture, LB Media.

Brown is taking her decades of experience working at the intersection of fashion, Hollywood, and media to new ventures.

Whether that’s her new collaboration with the French brand Sézane or becoming the chair of (Red)’s Creative Council, community-building comes first. 

“It’s not like I am the most virtuous, most altruistic person, but I think anything I did as an editor, I wanted to build communities and I wanted people to feel invited,” Brown said.

For the latest episode of Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr, Brown shares what it was like starting her own company, how an Instagram DM led to her Sézane collaboration, and more.

For excerpts from their conversation, scroll below.

Could you give our listeners a brief little debrief on what your mission is with LB Media?

The idea is sort of taking things and people in the sort of luxury or fashion or Hollywood or arts kind of sandbox and working with them to involve and benefit the greater world.

From the sandbox to the beach kind of thing, because it’s so much more interesting.

All the skills that I have and all the people I work with and I love fashion and I love Hollywood and I love all of that, but geez, that becomes a bit vacuum-sealed after a while and a bit interested in itself.

So anything I’ve been doing so far is about sort of bridging these two sides as partners to be helpful if it is something for the community, if it’s something to fight disease, like AIDS, all different sorts of things. 

It’s not like I am the most virtuous, most altruistic person, but I think anything I did as an editor, I wanted to build communities and I wanted people to feel invited.

Now if I can I do that even more broadly, I find that unbelievably rewarding.

Tell me a little bit about how your life has changed over the past year.

I’ve always maintained this—and I don’t know if I’ve said this before—I’ve always said freedom of movement, to me is the greatest success.

If you’re able to some degree choose where you can work and go, I find that really thrilling. I’m able to manage my own time.

If I have a day where I call it like, “giving a command performance.” If there’s a bunch of Zooms, and a meeting, and this and that and the other, an event that night, I’ll do that.

But the next day, I might be like, “I’m not doing any calls today.”

Because there’s a whole lot of rituals within the publishing business. You go here, you gotta go to this event, you gotta go to these shows. 

A lot of it was just stuff for the sake of stuff or busy work, which I’m really not a fan of busy work.

So yes, it’s held true in that I have more mobility.

Talk to me about this upcoming collab with Sézane.

I’d known of them very peripherally—because they’ve only really started to expand in the States in the last couple years.

I found this DM from Morgane [Sézalory], which she originally sent me—wait for it—at the end of January 2020.

She said, “I don’t know if you know Sézane, I’m one of the most sustainable, feminine, largest French brands. I’d love to collaborate with you.”

It’s LB x Sézane, but the sub header is called “French Enough.”

It’s just sort of like, “Look, girls: We’re just getting by. We’re being cute. We can just be French enough.”

There is a sweatshirt with this slogan on it that they designed and it’s so cute.

I love them as well because of the humor.

Can you talk a little bit about some of the pieces themselves? What are you personally most excited about?

There is a really fabulous leopard coat and there’s a really great pale blue velvet suit, which is super banging. I really, really liked it.

All the colors are kind of ’70s. They’re sort of brown, blue, white, leopard. 

They’re not too extreme. You can mix them with everything.

There’s a really great turtleneck—a printed floral turtleneck—I’m a big fan of.

There’s a really, really great pair of patent sort of chocolatey Mary Jane’s that I really love.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Next, check out our interview with Who What Wear’s associate director of special projects, Kristen Nichols.

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