If you’ve ever dyed the ends of your hair lighter than the roots, you have Alexa Chung to thank for it.

SHAPE (USA) - - Strong + Fit -

That alone il­lus­trates the style im­pact of this English phe­nom. How­ever, be­yond all her con­tracts (she’s the face of L’Oréal Pro­fes­sion­nel) and col­labs (in the past she has part­nered with Su­perga, AG Jeans, Madewell, and more), there’s a 34-year-old am­bi­tious woman who is de­ter­mined to re­de­fine her­self on her own terms. First up: De­sign her own cloth­ing line. Check. Next: Cre­ate a healthy, happy, lov­ing ex­is­tence. We sat down for a deeply hon­est chat. SHAPE: So fit­ness—what’s your work­out now? ALEXA CHUNG: I never pri­or­i­tized fit­ness un­til I got past 30 years old and re­al­ized I wasn’t in­vin­ci­ble. A few years ago, when I was liv­ing in New York City, I started do­ing Gy­ro­tonic classes, but that was more for pos­ture and align­ment than for fit­ness. So I started work­ing out with Mary He­len Bow­ers, who cre­ated Bal­let Beau­ti­ful (I still see her ev­ery day when I’m in New York). When I’m in Lon­don, I do the moves I can re­mem­ber on my own. And I walk—a lot. SHAPE: And what about stay­ing men­tally fit and happy? AC: The older I get, the more at­tuned I am to avoid­ing dis­as­ter. So I started see­ing a ther­a­pist awhile ago, who I now check in with when­ever I’m feel­ing wob­bly. But the only time I’m re­ally un­happy is when I feel my brain isn’t be­ing uti­lized. I’m also some­one who needs to be around peo­ple a lot or I spi­ral down­ward. My CEO [Ed­win Bod­son, for­merly of Haider Ack­er­mann and Ann De­meule­meester] and I laugh a lot. Run­ning a busi­ness is no joke, but the harder it gets, the more funny we find it. You have to re­al­ize it’s not the end of the world. SHAPE: Since you are on the cover of our beauty is­sue, can you tell us about your daily rou­tine? AC: I value sleep over van­ity, so I don’t wear much makeup un­less I have to look done up for an event. But I have dis­cov­ered that serums are im­por­tant un­der mois­tur­izer for hy­dra­tion. Cur­rently I’m us­ing a serum by Sul­wha­soo (us.sul­wha­soo.com) that I dis­cov­ered in Korea. I like to layer it un­der Au­gusti­nus Bader the Cream ($265, au­gusti­nus­bader.com). But I’m also happy to buy some­thing lower-priced at the drug­store for my face. One thing I’m com­mit­ted to is Nivea In­tense Heal­ing Body Lo­tion ($5, ama­zon.com). I like to mix it with rose oil, or some­thing else I love the smell of, be­fore I ap­ply it. I make a lit­tle dessert in my hand. SHAPE: And we have to ask, since so many peo­ple turn to you for hair in­spi­ra­tion, what are you do­ing next with yours? AC: I was just googling around, look­ing at hair­styles. I have to cut mine off, but my ears are too big to go re­ally short. So I think I’m go­ing to try an Is­abella Ros­sellini late-’80s, early-’90s look [a cheek­bone-length bob]. SHAPE: Speak­ing of style, let’s talk about your new line, Alex­achung, which launched last year. Af­ter col­lab­o­rat­ing with so many brands, why did you de­cide to do your own thing? AC: Peo­ple have got­ten to know me through so many dif­fer­ent medi­ums that weren’t nec­es­sar­ily me—I wanted to do some­thing that ex­pressed who I was on the in­side. So I went out and got fund­ing to do my own line. At first I felt like a for­eign ex­change stu­dent: I knew what I wanted to say but couldn’t speak the lan­guage. Now I speak the lan­guage; I un­der­stand what is pos­si­ble. I’m get­ting bolder and have more con­fi­dence in my eye. SHAPE: What else is on your agenda? AC: I tend to act on one-year plans. For ex­am­ple, I’ll be on va­ca­tion and think, Who would I like to come back here with next year? So for the fore­see­able fu­ture, I’d like to get my line on the Lon­don Fash­ion Week sched­ule, show­ing twice a year. I’d like to buy a home. I could see my­self fall­ing in love, since I’m a ro­man­tic at heart. And, of course, there’s that Is­abella cut!

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