Regular Racked readers may already be familiar with blogger-turned-designer Chanelle Laurence, the cool girl behind badass streetwear line, Valley High. In fact, the Style Scroll regular tells us she originally founded her blog, The Penelope Times, and vintage e-shop back in 2009 as pathway towards a future fashion label. (Done and done.)
Raised in Simi Valley, Laurence's first passion was dancing: she toured Asia for three years as a backup dancer for Taiwanese actor/singer/director Wang Leehom. "I've been dancing my whole life — jazz, hip-hop, and I did tap and some ballet when I was little," she tells us, but she didn't necessarily want a lifelong career in dance. "I didn't want to choreograph or own a studio," she says.
It wasn't until she met her business partner, (and now fiancé!) Christian Odeja, that she decided to take her interest in fashion seriously. "My friend hooked us up [and] he was going to FIDM at the time," she reveals. When the two began dating, Odeja convinced Laurence to enroll in the college and earn a fashion degree. While in school, the two made a goal for themselves to one day create their own label. "We wanted to build a family and be our own bosses," she says.
"I didn't really think about how full circle [I would come]," Laurence admits. She designed her own prom dress in high school, and "it's funny because I was voted 'Worst Dressed'. This one girl hated me because I hung out with her boyfriend, but it was totally on a friend level!"
Now gearing up for Valley High's spring launch, Laurence and Odeja recently nabbed a Merchant Factors scholarship for the Agenda trade show. (Congrats!) We met up with Laurence post-workout at Beverly Hills Juice, where we discovered her favorite social media platform, her "cheesy" spirit object, and more.
What are you drinking today?
My usual: Banana Mana with apple, triple ginger, and coconut. A banana mana is when you take one of their pressed juices and turn them into a smoothie with frozen banana and your choice of almonds or cacao. I always go with this one because it has a bite while still being creamy and delicious, and I always opt for the almonds.
Most spontaneous thing you've ever done?
I booked us a trip to Europe on a whim. We didn't go the next day but I just did it for us in a November and then we went in April; we just went and didn't plan anything. We just wandered around Europe for a month.
What's your spirit object?
I feel like my spirit object would be mac and cheese.
What's a superpower you wish you had?
Maybe to teleport. I'm really lazy, so I'd probably go to a place that I'm too lazy to go to, like back to Simi Valley to see my friends. One of my really good friends lives in San Diego, so I'd go there for a couple of hours and then come back.
If you were the Powerball winner, what would you buy?
A house in the Hills. I'd probably invest my money and give some to my friends and family. That's probably really boring, but those are all of the things I really want right now.
Silver or gold?
With rings I like silver, with necklaces I like gold.
Advice you'd give to your younger self?
5am or 5pm?
Oh my gosh, 5pm. I used wake up at 6am and work out every day at 7, but ever since Valley High started I'm so drained.
Favorite decade in fashion?
The Sixties. In a ten-year span it went from prim and proper to mini everything — crop tops, the Space Age thing was so cool. There was a huge transitional period for the world.
Which three designers would you love to get in one room?
Karl Lagerfeld, [André] Courrèges, and YSL.
Instagram, Snapchat, or Periscope?
Well, Instagram I love for our brand; it's really fun to curate the photos and people are really into it. Snapchat I love for being silly and humorous because that's my personality. And I love Periscope when I'm really drunk and I'm somewhere boring. It's so fun just to have people around the world talk to you...I got like, 5,000 viewers one night and I was doing nothing. But to answer your question, for me personally, Snapchat; for our brand, Instagram.