Portraits: Roslyn and Charne Lavery


Hannah Lavery Portraits: Roslyn and Charne Lavery 

Roslyn and Charne Lavery, Hannah's two sisters who have played such an influential role in Hannah's life, creative expression and business. 
A word from Hannah: When I sit down to design, I imagine I’m there to dress better, future versions of myself – more confident, more brilliant, more boss. Luckily I already have examples of these future versions of me, in two epic older sisters.
These are the women I’ve known forever, who are my inspiration and my team. And it has been their differences from myself and from each other that have taught me and inspired me the most.

Roslyn has a numbers mind, is fiercely logical, and a natural leader. She is bold and unique, with great integrity of character.  She works in the fast-moving Cape Town tech industry, using both her programming and finance training to shape new businesses.

Charne has a language mind, is an excellent storyteller, and a connector of ideas and people. She is charismatic and adaptable,  with a powerful ability to understand and narrate. She has a Doctorate in English Literature from the University of Oxford, and works as a senior researcher at Wits University.

Different shapes and styles will look completely different on the two of them, even though they might seem superficially quite similar. We’re all the same height (although I’m the tallest!), but different shapes. Roslyn has a classic hourglass shape with the strength and flexibility of an accomplished dancer, while Charne has a more straight-lined shape, lean with long-distance running.

Figuring out what allows each of them to look and feel their strongest, most confident self, has been an important learning experience about the beautiful distinctions between women’s bodies. Just as I bring aspects of their individual skills – in investing and on the one hand, and writing on the other – into the running of my business.

About Roslyn:

Where are you today? (what do you do)

I lead Product Partnerships at Yoco (a leading tech startup), working at the intersection between the business and product teams. As a member of the Silicon Cape Community Council, I am also actively involved in the Startup scene in Cape Town.


What project are you currently working on that is exciting to you?

I am always finding new projects and in a fast paced company there is no shortage of those. Right now I am looking at different ways that we can extend the product to add as much value to our customers as possible. The numerous ideas and options together with the complexity of fitting it all together is what excites me most.

Finding ways to play, move and interact with new people is my personal project with little goals along the way (such as holding a perfect handstand).


What is one of your favourite Hannah Lavery pieces and how does it help you to do that #withease?

Linen and wool bomber jackets. I value intertwining work, life, play, and sport, so my days are full of all sorts of activities. The bomber jacket offers style, versatility, trend, and just the right amount of warmth (linen in summer, wool in winter) to effortlessly handle every scenario.


What do you do for fun, to promote balance and to live #withease?

The one steady element is highland dancing which has been part of my life for a good 15 years now. A touch of yoga is always great and I recently started playing with acrobatics, gymnastics and contortion classes.

The feminism group we run also adds a wonderful perspective to my week.


Have you read an interesting book or article recently?

Time to Think by Nancy Kline totally changed how I view my time and the value of having space to think. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas has rekindled my love for fantasy stories.

About Charne:

Where are you today? (what do you do)

I am an academic literary critic, currently working as lead researcher on an interdisciplinary project called Oceanic Humanities for the Global South, based at WiSER, Wits, in Johannesburg.


What project are you currently working on that is exciting to you?

I am writing about the early history of diving – pearl divers in Ceylon and Japan, aquanauts who tried to explain what they saw under the sea in terms of mad poetry and opium dreams – while doing a scuba dive course myself.


What is one of your favourite Hannah Lavery pieces and how does help you to do that #withease?

Right now the Drop Jacket, which looks like an unnecessary fashion item but has ended up being incredibly useful on recent work/fun travels to Zanzibar, Japan and Barcelona: cool sun protection, good shoulder covering for conservative areas, light jacket for tropical evenings, decent windbreaker on a ferry, beach bikini shirt, even smart conference gear.


What do you do for fun, to promote balance and to live #withease?

Trail running makes me very happy, and a feminist club I run with my wonderful sisters.


Have you read an interesting book or article recently?

Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness twisted my brain into a croissant, imagining a genderless world.