Lauren Chan Reflects on Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in Fashion

The SI Swimsuit rookie and entrepreneur was honored by the by the State Assembly of New York for her work in the industry.
Lauren Chan

Lauren Chan.

Lauren Chan has been a trailblazer in the fashion and modeling industries through all of her various, intertwined career opportunities. From being a plus-sized fashion beat reporter and a fashion features editor to creating her own inclusive clothing brand, walking the runway for major designers and starring in SI Swimsuit’s 2023 magazine, the Canadian model has made major progress toward her overall goal: “to make folks who have felt left out of fashion—and therefore our culture—feel included and capable and powerful.”

This weekend, the Henning founder was honored by the State Assembly of New York in observance of the Lunar New Year. Chan was recognized for her dedication to making fashion more size and ethnically inclusive.

“🏮🐉 This is one of the most moving moments of my life, given my emotional ties to my Chinese heritage, my experience in a bigger body, and the intersection of those two identities. 🥹 My beloved Chinese grandmother is no longer with us, but I desperately wish she could have been there this morning. When I was young, she routinely asked me why I was heavier than others…and, yes, it stung. As I got older, I understood that she was acting out of protection and care—a hard-coated love that fellow descendants of immigrants will understand,” Chan wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. “I wish she could have seen me turn the stigma of size into something worth celebrating—something that didn’t, in fact, hurt my chances at success, acceptance, and love but instead fostered them. And that there is now a Lauren Chan Appreciation Day in New York City! 💥🤯.”

Chan posed in New York City’s Chinatown and rocked a cherry red off-the-shoulder top with matching opera gloves and black slacks with bold ruby heels.

“What I’d love for you to take away from this honor: We do not need to be scared of a world that does not accept us; we can create one that does. ❤️🧧 Thank you very, very deeply to @amgracelee and @marklevinenyc for including me alongside the other honorees, @therealphilliplim and the @fungbros. Gong Hay Fat Choi! 🐲🫶🏼,” she continued.

Fans were quick to applaud Chan and the waves she has made through the industry in the comments section.

“As another Asian in a larger body who had a grandmother who did the same, I am so floored by this,” one person gushed. “I think if I saw women who looked like you who were celebrated for their beauty while I was growing up, my life outlook would have been a lot different. I adore you!”

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.