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COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Jennifer Chan, Fashion and Beauty Editor & On-Air Host

COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Jennifer Chan, Fashion and Beauty Editor & On-Air Host

What does it mean to go after your dreams? Does it inspire thoughts of making it big in Hollywood, or quitting your daytime job to travel the world in a camper van? Chasing dreams can mean a plethora of things, depending on the person, and no one can say that something cannot qualify as such (even when your dreams might be living on a deserted island in a bamboo hut with a pet parrot). But what makes going after these dreams a distant reality is the fact that everything requires a sacrifice, and in most cases, it’s what differentiates the dreamers from the go-getters. It takes a special kind of courage to acknowledge the fact that what you’re going after is going to take a mental and physical toll, and still go through with the plan with the hopes of reaching the desired destination sooner or later. 

Jennifer Chan knew exactly what her dream is from a very young age, and spent a lifetime building an impressive career to get to that point. After many sacrifices and years spent restlessly gaining knowledge from her peers, Jennifer is now a veteran in the beauty and fashion editorial space, as well as an experienced on-air host with a tenacity to go above and beyond in everything she does. She is an avid spokeswoman for diversity for women in beauty and fashion, and constantly inspires many to go after their dreams and make a difference. If you would like to know more about our latest Cool Face of Bastet Noir and how she got her foot through the door, keep on reading! 

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Who is Jennifer Chan?

I’m a fashion and beauty editor, travel journalist, and on-air host with over 17 years experience in the industry. I’ve lived in New York, Paris, London, and Chicago, and am based in Los Angeles. I was raised in Houston, Texas and went to Pepperdine University in Malibu — I consider LA home and established the majority of my career here. I’m all about living that glam life, and have made it my mission to empower women through fashion and beauty. I believe when you look good, you feel good — no matter your size, shape, or color. I’m a champion of diversity and love connecting with real women through my work. Aside from fashion and beauty, my greatest passion is traveling the world, so I’m frequently here, there, and everywhere — as much as my jam-packed schedule allows.

Currently, I am a shopping writer/editor for as well as the regular style and beauty on-air expert for Access Hollywood. I also consult for PR clients and contribute (editorial and social media) to incredible travel outlets like Lonely Planet and JustLuxe. I hustle hard, but I genuinely love that I do, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In the past, I’ve worked for, E! Online, WWD, Real Simple Magazine, Stylecaster, IPSY, and the Kardashians — and have also appeared on Extra, KTLA, and MSNBC to name a few.

What’s your morning routine like?

I work east coast hours with the PEOPLE team, so I’m an early bird. I always try to squeeze in some level of fitness before I sit at my desk all day. Some days, I’ll make it to 6AM boxing, other days, I’ll do an early walk in my neighborhood just to breathe fresh air and clear my head before my work day. I like to catch up on the news, catch up with friends in other time zones, or put on a true crime podcast (my guilty pleasure) during this “me” time.

I drink iced coffee with oat milk in the morning and usually intermittent fast until lunchtime. My work-from-home ambiance is a little moody: I always light a candle to start my day and tend to write best in dim (almost dark) lighting with classical music playing for hours on end. It calms me as I pitch, write, and produce articles, conceptualize TV segments, consult for clients, and manage three overflowing inboxes around the clock.

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

You are a renowned fashion and beauty editor, style guru, and host who frequently appears on Access Hollywood, Extra, KTLA, The List, MSNBC, and Sky News, just to name a few. With so many titles to juggle, we’re dying to know how your journey started, so could you tell us a bit more about that?

I started winning writing contests when I was in elementary school, and one day my third-grade teacher pulled me aside and made me promise that I would become a writer one day. When I was 11 or 12, my brother advised me that if I could find a way to combine my writing skills with my passion for fashion and beauty, that would be the right career path for me. It was then that I decided to become a fashion and beauty editor.

During my senior year of college, WWD dubbed me their junior editor (I was actually their intern) and I covered LA Fashion Week and industry events for them on the regular. I assisted at photo shoots, wrote trend stories, conducted interviews with designers, and corresponded with fashion publicists on behalf of the publication. I was mostly taking night classes so that I could intern full time during the day, and seeing my name in print in WWD before I had even graduated college was such a surreal moment. I was hooked on the editorial world from there on out. I also interned at InStyle and in the PR department at Neiman Marcus before graduation and was the fashion editor of our campus newspaper at Pepperdine.

In 2005 I graduated from Pepperdine and moved to New York, where I became the style assistant for Real Simple Magazine before joining the team at as the assistant editor. I returned to Los Angeles in 2007 to further my career as a celebrity style expert in the editorial world. From there, I helped launch Tyra Banks’ website where I was her style and beauty correspondent, copywriter, and social media lead. I started doing on-camera work and had a video series for her website that was all about street style and embracing all body shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. We were early adoptees of championing the inclusivity and diversity movement. It was very personal for me because as a young girl, I never saw anyone who looked like me in the media. From there, I moved on to E! Online to become their senior fashion and trends editor, and within 30 days we launched an entirely new beauty and fashion platform for the website. It was a really pivotal role in my career for bringing digital fashion, beauty and celebrity all into one place, and we worked tirelessly to bring red carpet coverage to our viewers around the clock. It was an exciting place to be.

Being on air is my passion and I look forward to doing more of that this year. It’s a dream come true because I always wanted to be on TV and connect with people. I’ve sacrificed holidays, missed birthdays and other things in my personal life because of my passion for what I do, but at the end of the day, my work is a labor of love. I love being able to inspire and uplift others. It’s full circle for me and goes back to why I always wanted to do this, to help everyone feel confident and empowered through fashion and beauty.

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Hosting and writing are two very different jobs, especially when considering that one requires being extroverted and loud, while the other one can be done without mouthing a word out loud. How do you balance the two, and how does the preparation process differ?

I wake up every day pinching myself that I get to do what I love for a living. Writing and hosting are both natural abilities and passions that I am proud of. It’s rare to do both, but I think they lend themselves to each other.

At the core, I’m a storyteller and a communicator who loves to inform and inspire people. As a writer, I’m creative, quick, and nimble. I pitch, write, and produce every day, so being good with words is a given and having writer’s block is not an option. I try to write and publish meaningful content that will resonate with readers everywhere and help them in some way or form.

When I’m on air, it’s all from memory. Whether I’m on TV or hosting live events — I actually don’t have the luxury of a teleprompter — so I’m quick on my feet, as prepared as possible, and most importantly, having fun. I believe that live selling is the way of the future, and I’ve been having a blast with that, too.

Three tips you have for someone starting out:

Work hard and be kind. There are no shortcuts to success, but your character and tenacity will be your greatest resume builder.

Stay grounded and grateful at all times. Check your ego at the door and don’t lose sight of where you’re going. To that end, remember that every opportunity is a blessing, and nothing should be taken for granted.

Know your value. It’s not always easy, but don’t be afraid to speak up, negotiate your worth, or raise concerns when your conscience nudges you to do so.

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Jennifer Chan is wearing The Sici Playsuit, custom-made for her

Biggest setback in life and what you’ve learned from it?

I unexpectedly lost my mom at the age of 30. At the time, I was a true workaholic with a very demanding job, and I quickly learned that life is short and work is not everything. I am proud of my career and the incredible achievements I have under my belt, but now I know that the most important things in life are your loved ones and the memories/experiences you have with them.

Favorite female empowerment speech

I don’t have one in particular, but I love Brene Brown and Michelle Obama. They’re both such inspirations. I'm pretty sure I was a feminist long before I knew what the word meant.

What’s in your Bastet Noir cart?

Feminine, elegant dresses, always! I love showing a little leg, but I tend to cover up on top, and Bastet Noir has so many silhouettes that are alluring yet elevated. I love wrap dresses, playsuits, mini dresses — I can never have enough black or rich jewel tones in my closet (and they look great on camera!)

If you liked Jennifer’s story, there’s plenty more to come. Just hit that sign up button to get in our inner circle of coolness and shop ethical and eco-friendly dresses!

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