Pressing Forward: In Conversation with Lawrence R. Brown

For our Restore Collection 2023 and the introduction of our signature hair scarf, 'Mana', we see a spirited individual in a state-of-the-art meditative moment. We talk to Lawrence Reuben-Brown, a full-time actor, model and action performer, who started his career in the digital media industry in London and South East Asia. Now based in London, England, Brown's desire is to find ways to live in vocations. In this conversation, Lawrence talks to us about confidence and carving out a lifestyle breaking with traditions.

Photography: Daniel Archer

YRMOS: Can you describe your favourite type of day in London?

LRM: There are a few things I love about a day in London. First, I like to leave early to ride my bike around town and find good breakfast and brunch spots in quiet spells, to eat, relax and not feel rushed. I think breakfast is such an understated thing. A good breakfast and coffee somewhere in London is the start of my favourite day.
Then, I like to wander by walking short distances around during the day, at midday, and see all the different happenings in all kinds of areas and spaces. This reminds me of this moment. I was walking from London Bridge to Liverpool Street earlier this year. As I turned around one of the corners, a pianist on a grand piano was playing. Each note played generated a pulse of light, transforming the church building into a spectacle of patterns. It's just happenings. Then, my evening would be going to the theatre, whether it is fringe theatre or going into the National or any West End shows. There's a constant beat for theatre around Central London. And every show is an incredible story. So, the experience of going to the theatre with good company, diving into that story on a walk down Southbank, will complete my favourite day in the magic in London.

Y: In what ways do you break with tradition and expectations?

LRB: My lifestyle does.
Something that stuck with me was this event that happened with my dad when I was growing up. Noticing that he was the manager of a well-known electronic store helping on a breaking case, no one expected a black manager at the time. Ever since I've carved out a way of doing all the things I love extremely well anywhere I go, some of them contradictory. For example, I've been a coder and competed in hackathons. I worked in digital managing digital products. But outside of that, I'm a professional Muay Thai fighter, model, action performer and actor. So, as more opportunities arise for minorities to do stunts, ride motorbikes or skydive, I somehow created a lifestyle where I can get the best out of all those areas and have a balance. I believe in finding ways to live in vocations and how you can make those vocations work for you. That is my biggest break from traditional careers or lifestyles.

Y: Where do you draw feelings of power and confidence from?

LRB: Undoubtedly my family. I can feel a pickup in my energy, confidence, and mindset whenever I visit them. I am never more than a text or phone call away from reassurance. We celebrated my dad's 60th Birthday not too long ago. It made me reflect on how my dad instilled confidence in me over time and all the lessons I learned from my parents, brothers and sister. They're all different people and frickin amazing in their own ways, which help me stay inspired and motivated. So definitely, my family is where my confidence comes from.

Y: What’s next for you?

LRB: I've had a massive transition into channelling my energies into who I want to be, what I want to do and creating the right lifestyle. And for me now, it's pressing forward on the core things that fulfil me and where I can see myself working for the rest of my life. So it is all about honing in on my acting career and the few family business ventures we have going on around the food area.

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