“bite my lip, and close my eyes. take me away to paradise.”
I first met the fashion duo behind the curated vintage brand Hey Jude – Lauren Clark & Lyndsey Chow – at Eco Fashion Week where they impressed me with their handpicked collection of garments styled in a fresh, new way. They share their story here….
What was your motivation behind starting ‘Hey Jude’?
We had been talking about opening a store together in the future for a few years but the process of getting there seemed daunting. When we started Hey Jude is felt like a tangible way to get our business going without the initial overhead and risk.
Describe a typical day at work?
Our days are always a bit different which is what we love the most. Often we meet around 9, grab a coffee and do some work on our laptops for a few hours. Grab sushi or a salad for lunch. We’ll price, steam and pull clothes for markets or shoots we have for the upcoming week. On days we go buying we leave around 7am and drive as far as we can and spend about 10-12 hours picking.
What brought you to Vancouver?
We both grew up in small towns (Lauren in Vernon and Lyndsey in Ladner) so I think we were first naturally drawn to Vancouver because it was the closest city. Now this is our home and we couldn’t imagine not living here!
If not in Vancouver, where would you live?
In a perfect world, New York.
You often travel for work – any favorite destinations?
Our favorite buying trips are when we are able to pack a bag and stay the night somewhere. We try to make sure we plan our stops so we end up somewhere we love by the end of our shopping. Although we aren’t left with much time we love to check out restaurants and live music in the places we stop at. Seattle, Portland and New York are favorites. Although we get fed a lot of wine when we stay in BC and crash at Lauren’s parents in Vernon!
How do you treat yourselves after you reach a creative milestone?
I think we treat ourselves with time off! Normally we’ll just take a few day breather and then get right back to work; although, we’re usually never fully turned off from emails and social media. After Eco Fashion Week we took off to LA for 5 days which was SO needed for some relaxation and inspiration.
Where do you find inspiration for your color palette & seasonal collections?
I think it’s whatever we are wearing ourselves. Hey Jude really is an extension of our personal style and what we are finding inspiring. We can’t say we ever have much of a plan going into it. The collection usually curates itself as we pick and in the end we say “oh, so this is our theme.”
What does collaboration bring to your work?
There is such a good energy about working with other local up and comers, whether it is photographers, models, or entrepreneurs, a new creative process always seems to happen with each project. We think it is really important to support each other and be inspired by other peoples crafts and talents. It is also amazing to work with others that are established because it offers us amazing insight into a successful business; which is the best way to learn.
What is the best part about working with your friend?
The best part is getting to spend so much time together. Our road-trips are ridiculously fun. It also has helped us both in that when one of us is feeling overwhelmed or off (like when we were both moving the week before our last pop-up!) usually the other is holding it together so we support each other in that way. On the same note, that can also be the most challenging part. When one of us is feeling a bit off, it obviously effects the dynamic between us, so we always need to recognize that and be able to work through it with communication and support. It’s really like having a second boyfriend!
When you need inspiration where do you get it from?
Whenever we’re feeling less inspired we’ll spend a few hours on blogs or tumblr. Just looking at a bunch of photos can get our mind going again whether it’s fashion, interior design, interesting photography, nature, international cities etc. If there is still a creative block after that, a yoga class will always help us calm the mind and get re-focused.
What is the most significant investment you have made in your business?
Probably our time. We’ve put many, many hours into this baby of ours!
Do you remember your first fashion event or first vintage fashion purchase?
Lauren: I remember my first vintage purchase being a brown cropped leather jacket that fit me perfectly. I think I found that in grade 8. In high school I took Fashion Design and we went on a field trip to Vancouver to go to a fashion show and that really stuck with me. I had it set in my head I wanted to move to Vancouver and go to school for fashion after that.
Lyndsey: I remember my mom always loved going to thrift stores when I was young kid, but I didn’t really appreciate it back then. Now I think my love for hunting vintage was definitely inspired from my mom always taking me!
Who are your favorite designers?
Lauren: I really love Acne, Alexander Wang and Rag and Bone.
Do you have a favorite ‘Hey Jude’ photo-shoot from your archives that you have worked on?
Usually, whatever the last shoot we’ve done becomes our favorite! We are really happy with our recent Fall ‘13 shoot we did with Danaea Li. She’s extremely talented.
What piece from the ‘Hey Jude’ collection is among your favorites?
We had this absolutely gorgeous silk kimono that had this intricate embroidered fringe. It sold but we still dream about it!
Who is your muse?
Lauren: There are so many! Jane Birkin, Kate Moss, Carine Roitfeld and Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. I also really love how theatrical Daphne Guinness is.
Lyndsey: I don’t really have a specific one! I love getting inspired from different people and what’s around me, from street fashion to nature to music.
Photo credits to Danaea Li