Fashion Writer Liz Segran On Helmut Lang, Toddler Spit-Up, And 42-Pocket Vests

Some top tips and tricks from Fast Company’s No. 1 fashion expert, Liz Segran.

Fashion Writer Liz Segran On Helmut Lang, Toddler Spit-Up, And 42-Pocket Vests
[Photo: Unsplash user Kris Atomic]

Our Staff Recommender series is back! Here, Liz Segran, our resident fashion expert, shares her hacks for working remotely, the app that has saved her “hours of time,” and where she thinks the fashion industry is headed. For a weekly dose of Liz in your inbox, sign up for Moving The Needle here, her newsletter that is packed with industry analysis and great articles.


Summarize Your Role At FC In 140 Characters

I get to read & write about fashion all day. I’m interested in brands making the world a better place by changing what people buy & wear.

Advice For Working From Home

I’ve worked remotely ever since I joined Fast Company three years ago. During that time, I’ve gotten pregnant and had my first child, who is now a toddler. Working from home has really helped my workflow. My most productive time is very early in the morning, so I sometimes start work at 5 a.m. to get several hours of work in before my daughter wakes up and begins to systematically destroy the house one room at a time. It helps that I don’t spend time commuting or–on really hectic days–picking an office-appropriate outfit to wear. (Hello, sweatpants! Is that spit-up on my T-shirt?)

But as an extrovert, I do miss being around coworkers. There are a couple of things I’ve found that help me feel more connected to them. I’m pretty much always on Slack. I don’t want to miss any celebrity gossip or inside jokes, like the time we had a detailed 20-minute discussion of the merits of this 42-pocket vest I was considering for a workwear story. Here’s a short snippet:

Liz Segran: What can you even do with normal vests with four pockets?

Rich Bellis: Like, nothing. I have so many keys and peanuts and paperclips and tiny figurines to stash away.

Liz Segran: Genius. It’s 3 p.m., you’re hungry and boom, eight-week-old peanut.

Rich Bellis: Except when you have no idea which of your 42 pockets contains the solitary peanut you’re seeking.

Liz Segran: But life would be so boring without the peanut search.

Anjali Khosla: I have to exit this conversation.


Best Work Hack

This year, I discovered the scheduling app Calendly. It syncs with your Google calendar and allows other people to see half-hour slots when you are available for meetings. They can then book some time directly into your calendar. This has saved me hours of time and annoying back-and-forth emails scheduling interviews. The basic version, which has everything you need to book meetings, is totally free.


A post shared by HELMUT LANG (@helmutlang) on

Biggest Trends You’re Seeing In Fashion

  • The “fast fashion” concept appears to be waning. People seem tired of buying poorly made clothing that will inevitably end up in a landfill after a few weeks of wear. Instead, a spate of companies–like Cuyana, Everlane, and M.Gemi–are creating classic products designed to last years.
  • In high fashion, we’re seeing brands like Helmut Lang abandon the idea of one creative director with a single, unified vision for the brand, but rather inviting many creative minds to bring diverse points of view. I predict other designers will follow suit, since consumers want to be constantly surprised.
  • L.A. is fast becoming the U.S.’s fashion capital, with lots of brands opening headquarters and manufacturing facilities there. Reformation, Buck Mason, Van Holzhausen, and DSTLD are all doing really innovative things on the West Coast. Rebecca Minkoff and Tommy Hilfiger both skipped New York Fashion Week to do unconventional shows in L.A.

Best Instagram Post You’ve Seen This Week

I've never experienced anything like totality

A post shared by Stella Maria Baer (@stellamariabaer) on


Your Favorite FC Story This Month

I loved this thought-provoking story about the little free pantries that are popping up all over the U.S.