Meet Lena Waithe, Our VIP Customer

26 January 2022

Lena wearing our Clay V2 Hoodie as seen on her Instagram

Words by Joseph Furness

She’s an actress, known for her roles in ‘Westworld’, ‘Ready Player One’, ‘Dear White People’ and ‘Onwards’. She's the producer of thought-provoking projects ‘Them’ and ‘The One and Only Dick Gregory’. She's a writer, renowned for penning the ‘Queen & Slim’ screenplay and episodes of Netflix’s ‘Masters of None’ (one of which scored her an Emmy). She's the creator of ‘Boomerang’, ‘The Chi’ and ‘Twenties’. Her name? Lena Waithe. The dictum she lives by? Be unapologetically yourself. 

On a crisp December day, an entourage-less Lena Waithe popped by Seventh’s southeast London studio dressed in an effortlessly cool winter ensemble – viz. a mustard beanie, khaki jacket, flannel shirt, grey joggers, motif-adorned socks and Union x Air Jordan 1 Highs. The industrious Hollywood luminary scheduled her stop in just a few days prior: whilst in the Big Smoke, she was eager to meet the Seventh community – especially our founder, Bukki Ojo – and pick up a few of our recently-dropped pieces. 

Lena on Jimmy Kimmel wearing our Clay V2 Hoodie

Straight off the bat, it was discernible that the Chicago-born sensation felt at home within the Seventh studio: she navigated the multifunctional space and the people that populated it with aplomb and swagger. Subsequent to greeting every member of the Seventh community with a fist bump and an unnecessary but polite self-introduction, Waithe trawled through the rails to get to grips with the entire collection. Like most guests we welcome into our domain, she wandered from the Space Coats to the V2 Tracksuits to the Trucker Shirts like a kid in a candy store. 

After a matter of minutes, Waithe had revealed manifold layers to her personality, each more enticing and endearing than the next. Ergo, by the time we sat down to chat with her, we felt as if we were catching up with an old friend. Here’s hoping this is the first of many catch-ups. 

Lena pictured with our CEO Bukki and Creative Director Emmanuel on a studio visit

How did you discover your style?

Although my style has evolved over time, the people of Chicago – my hometown – have a unique sense of style. It’s not like New York or London style; Chicago style is super loud and colourful. People like Kanye West, Don C and Joe Freshgoods come from Chicago, and they always do their own thing when it comes to fashion.

So, I would say my sense of style combines Chicago’s influences with my travel experiences and the way I present myself in terms of androgyny. 

What is your favourite fashion moment of 2021?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say my Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh moment at the Emmys. It was a phenomenal night, and I was wearing an amazing suit that I’ll never wear again. 

People really appreciated the suit because it was a testament to Virgil’s brilliance. From afar, the suit looked like a simple black two-piece; but on closer inspection, you could see the suit was adorned with a velvet LV pattern. It was all about hidden luxury. 

Who else has been killing it with their fits this year?

Everybody, man. I love everything Don C wears; Pharrell always kills it; obviously, Tyler the Creator is always playing with fashion; Ashton Sanders always looks great. I appreciate the people having fun with it.

Lena on Jimmy Kimmel wearing our Clay V2 Hoodie

Going into 2022, what does your sneaker rotation look like?

Usually, I would want all of the latest sneakers, but recently I've been conscious about the sneakers I always gravitate back to. I think this is because I’ve been thinking about sneakers in the same way I’ve been thinking about my career: I wonder if people revisit things because it brings them a sense of nostalgia. 

I’ve discovered that by wearing the same sneakers over and over again, I’m forming a signature style. I don’t need to switch it up all the time anymore – I wear what I like, and I wear what’s comfortable. 

What shoes do you enjoy pairing with your Seventh Tracksuits?

I tend to go for high tops as I think they look great with the Seventh Sweat Pants. They work well with slides too – especially if you’re wearing them at home, but because I wear sweatsuits out and about all the time, I usually choose sneakers over slides.

Lena wearing our Clay V2 Hoodie as seen on her Instagram.

What accessories do you enjoy pairing with your Seventh Tracksuit? 

I usually go for a watch and a couple of rings – essentially, low-key hand and arm accessories. I keep it at that because the hoodie is a clean, minimal look that isn’t about showing off. It’s important to let the hoodie speak.

Whilst chilling in your Seventh Tracksuit, what music have you been listening to?

I’m listening to a lot of Coltrane and Sammy Davis Jr. right now. Also, a lot of vocal jazz: Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and a little Frank Sinatra. For some reason, I always gravitate towards jazz whilst in London.

What have you been watching?

I just finished ‘Dopesick’, which is dark but fantastic. Phenomenal, actually. And then I just started watching ‘Love Life’ – I know, I’m very late to the party. Unsurprisingly, the show focuses on a protagonist’s love life: the first season follows Anna Kendrick’s character and the second season follows William Jackson Harper’s character. I recently reached out to the creator of the show to praise him. Both the shows are great.

What have you been reading?

I recently read Will Smith’s phenomenal memoir. I’m currently in the middle of Sammy Davis Jr.’s first memoir called ‘Yes I Can’. I’m reading it as I work on the Sammy biopic: I’m listening to his music and reading his book whilst I write his life story.

Lena pictured with our CEO Bukki and Creative Director Emmanuel on a studio visit

What's your favourite line you’ve ever written?

I’m in the Sammy Davis Jr. project right now, and I know that someone once said to him, “Leave your troubles in the wings”. Of course, I had to put it in the project. It had to go in there because it’s so poetic, and I know it’ll touch somebody. That's the hope, at least.

What project are you most excited about in 2022?

I have to say I’m most excited about the Sammy Davis Jr. project. However, there are so many things that I’m looking forward to, including the next season of ‘The Chi’ and one very exciting unannounced project.

Where are you looking to travel to in 2022?

I’ve never been to Africa, so that’s where I’m trying to go next year. I recently discovered that the majority of my blood comes from Nigeria. Of course, I wanted to visit Africa before I did the ancestry test, but now I know which country I specifically want to go to. I know I’ll love it – I can’t wait. 

Finally, do you have a new year’s resolution?

No, I don’t do those, man! Just do the best you can; keep doing the best you can.

Words by Joseph Furness


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