Laurel Pantin Fashion Features Director, InStyle US

Stalking her online, you get the impression Laurel Pantin has had a bit of a dream career in the publishing business. From gigs at Teen Vogue and the no-longer Lucky Magazine to Editorial and Fashion Director at The Coveteur and her current role as Fashion Features Director at In Style US, it all reads much like a fashion lover’s hit list. Texan born and bred, she now calls New York home, somehow managing to exude an air of effortless cool whilst navigating the cutthroat publishing world, the frenetic energy of NYC as well having, not so long ago, become a first-time mum. I’m already exhausted.

Thing is though, she’s much more than the moving parts of her resumé. Laurel Pantin is hilarious, whip-smart and radiant, with the sort of glowy skin that beams like a mirror at sunset, or a selfie filtered through Facetune half a dozen times. She also has what can only be described as an uncanny knack for throwing an outfit together and somehow coming off as super casual while, at the same time, instantly iconic. Maybe it’s that slick and powerful pixie crop she’s currently sporting?

Let’s rewind for a second. When Laurel was a young girl, she stood in front of her bedroom mirror and proceeded to hack off her long, blonde ringlets with an old pair of scissors. When I bring the episode up, she tells me that she’s never been overly attached to her hair. Change is fun. Case in point: when we shot this story, Laurel’s hair was long and thick and wavy. A few weeks later it was cropped and blonde. Now it’s a confident and totally chic pixie cut, an altogether practical move when you have a young baby, a high flying job and little-to-no downtime.

With such a willingness to chop and change all areas of her life, you’d think from the outside she’s entirely fearless. Not afraid to chase adventures overseas, from living everywhere from London to South Africa. Not afraid to chase her dream job. Not afraid of challenging herself. And definitely not afraid of taking risks with personal style; from vintage to high street to hand me downs and sequins, always managing to look insanely comfortable, yet unlike anyone else.

Though if she’s honest, even she has her moments. Moments when she’s not so fearless. She’s had anxiety about the future. Anxiety about her career, her identity and more recently with postpartum anxiety, an unexpected challenge she faced early on as a new mum.

But isn’t that all of us? Sometimes we are fearless. Sometimes we are petrified. Sometimes we are both, all at the same time. Laurel shows that that’s ok. As long we can find the courage to bring all of who we are, and the conviction to be uniquely ourselves. These are all things that, with time and age, Laurel Pantin seems to have in spades.

Words, Carlie Fowler. Images, Chloe Horseman.

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