Gone To See The World


Fashion Designer



The Kooples






Warby Parker

Describing her style as comfortable, adventurous, and eclectic, with a penchant for the unexpected, Ren left the world of pencil skirts and business suits to make pants to see the world in. “I now spend my work hours in clothes that I feel are comfortable yet confident, as well as expressive of who I am. Dressing in general is all about communication; it tells people what mood you’re in and what you intend. The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin, confident and in control.” Ren is part of the team that runs Matter, working with artisans and craftsmen from around the world to create designs and pants for the modern nomad. “I love the people I work with, the stories we discover in the making of our products, the collaborations, great feedback from our customers, and the combined satisfaction from designer, artisan and us when it all comes together.” Ren’s decision to follow her passion stems partly from a line by Confucius: “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. This has guided me for the last ten years,” she says. “Being fulfilled at work isn’t necessarily about finding that single dream job, but discovering what you love and designing your work around that, purposefully including them into what you do.” While passion can get you started, Ren says that it takes time and exploration to find out what works and what doesn’t. “If you’re just starting, say yes to everything and take the time to reflect on what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, what’s important to you, and where you can make the most impact,” she says. “The lesson now is that success comes with focus and learning where and when to say no.” Running her own business means that Ren and her partner both understand that work is seldom a 9-5 job, and while their time is flexible and under their control, the downside is that it usually means she can never fully switch off. “A big tip I’ve learnt is leaving empty time, and not trying to schedule everything in to be as productive as possible. Leave time for connection, the space for which can be planned but not the actual occurrence. Leave buffer space for a shift in mindset from productive mode to connective mode.”

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