Lauren was born in New York City, the daughter of a clothier. She got her start in Europe, working long and hard as a seamstress for various design houses, often in fear that her designs were being co-opted by the "big name talent". Finally she was given potential with The Icon, Incorporated and given an opportunity to work in their Milan store where she became an overnight success.
She was eventually promised her own store in Paragon City, but when her fellow Icon rival Serge heard of this, he pulled seniority to get the prestigeous Steel Canyon store, sending her to Independence Port. Still she continued to persevere and soon her store was rivalling Serge's in terms of repeat customers from the superhero community, mostly, though, becasue of her name.
Her last "great" fashion feat was designing the wedding gowns for the Wedding of Manticore and Sister Psyche in 2008. Little was said about how her designs managed to beat out the other two designers, though there were some rumors of backroom politics and possibly a sex tape.
The Rita Mayfair Incident
Lauren's first "apprentice" was Rita Mayfair, a local girl who managed to get the attention of management. Lauren agreed to "train" Rita, although it became clear that Rita had skills and ideas that Lauren didn't have anymore.
Lauren treated Rita like her personal slave. She was put at Lauren's beck-and-call every single minute, having her do errands at all times of the day or night, and criticizing her at every opportunity about every little detail. Anything she wore was wrong, every kind of perfume was offensive, all her makeup was "ghastly", her weight and her food were regular subjects of criticism. She had no personal life away from the job, as Lauren would constantly call her and demand she drop everything to take care of some inane task. She would even be called at various times in the early morning, interrupting her sleep for some stupid question or to hear some criticism. And she had to answer Lauren's calls no matter what.
Rita would complain to management, but Lauren simply replied that this was how she herself was brought up in the fashion world. "It's demanding, vicious, cruel, and unrelenting," she said. "Every dream have to die a thousand painful deaths before one can be allowed to be recognized." Management would agree, but hesitantly.
Finally, Rita suffered a nervous breakdown because of the constant torment she suffered. An investigation from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission revealed several severe violations, but The Icon, Incorporated simply paid a fine and promised to do better the next time.
The Kara Hamilton Incident
Although hesitant to pair anyone up with Lauren again, management felt obligated to do so with their next tailor apprentice: Kara Hamilton.
Like Rita, Kara had skills and some eye for fashion. She was also good at detail, which was something that Lauren would forget about, especially after she rambles on and on about how great she is. Kara had been working with Serge, but, like all other tailors with talent, Serge was quick to pass her on.
Kara ended up being ensnared in a blackmail scam run by the Crey Police Services, a private police service. Lauren initially demanded that Kara be terminated immediately simply for being caught, but management saw potential in Kara and instead started grooming her for management. Lauren was angry that "her will" wasn't done, but she was not in a position to anything about it.
Some time later, though, Kara was visiting the Independence Port store when Lauren saw an opportunity to berate Kara. She focused on Kara's choice of clothing, which was a maroon pantsuit, which she declared as being "too masculine". Rather than take Lauren's criticisms, Kara went on a tirade, bringing out every fault of Lauren's including the fact that she had not had a single original design since the Manticore-Psyche wedding, bringing up the incident with Rita Mayfair, and then quoting Ayn Rand. She then forcefully quit her job and, as a final insult, transformed herself to show she was Leona Powers. (Note: Kara was actually Galatea Powers, but she was undergoing a transformation as seen in the events of the "Galatea Dawning" storyline.)
Despite Lauren's promise to "own" Leona's outfit, the incident shook her up tremendously. She began seeking professional help. She also refused to accept any more apprentices.
Powers and Abilities
As an ordinary human being, Lauren has no powers or abilities other than whatever fashion sense she may still possess.
Lauren is somewhat jealous of the hero community, wishing she could be one herself. However she is happy where she is, as the undisputed "queen" of the city's tailors.
She considers Serge to be an effete snobbish boor. Her relationship with Carson could be best described on her part as wishful, but he sees her as being too old.
Her attention to detail, not to mention her rambling on endlessly of her glory years, sometimes causes her to overlook potential problems in other areas, as was evidenced when she spent too much time lecturing new transfer Kara Hamilton while ignoring a problem with a client's tech-based fitting which was slowly short-circuiting her nervous system. Thankfully Kara managed to remedy the problem and save Lauren from an embarassing situation.
In the past few years, Lauren had been coasting on her name and past glory years. Some have attributed her to being the boss from hell, nit-picking on their attire and pestering underlings to come up with ideas that she could then co-opt through the fine-print of their employment contracts.
(See her Paragon Wiki entry for more information.)
Lauren was first seen in Issue #1 of the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" series.