WICK FOUNDER LIZ LIAN ’15 IS CHANGING THE GAME IN WOMEN’S PARTYWEAR, FEARS MONKEYS, OCCASIONALLY LAUGHS AT HER OWN JOKES, AND HANGS ONTO MILEY CYRUS MERCHANDISE CIRCA 2009.
Name: Liz Lian
Hometown: Chester, NJ
Eating Club/Res College/Affiliation: Ivy/Mathey
What is WICK, and why did you found it?
WICK is the answer to the everyday problems the modern lady faces when she’s getting dressed to go out. Say she wants to wear a dress with a low back but doesn’t have or doesn’t want to wear a sticky bra. Or the skirt she’s wearing reveals VPL (visible panty line), or the party she’s about to attend is sure to be packed with red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere, and she knows a regular shirt will get spilled on our sweat through. That’s where WICK comes in.
We (I started the company with my friend from high school and current UPenn student, Sanibel Chai) started WICK to make clothes with the goal of making these dilemmas a thing of the past. Our dresses, skirts, and tops are made from performance activewear fabric that you would wear to work out or do yoga, so they dry off quickly when you sweat and won’t cling uncomfortably. Plus, we’ve designed them with function in mind. Our skirts and some dresses include pockets to hold your phone, cards, cash, keys, etc. We’ve built in bras and shorts in pieces that need them so our wearers can stay safely covered. Everything is professionally and originally designed and totally machine washable, so you’ll still look great but won’t have to worry about dry-cleaning.
Where did the name, “WICK,” come from?
I read somewhere that the lady who started Spanx read that the hard “k” sound was supposed to sound catchy and funny, so we took a page out of her book and went with something that also had a hard “k” sound. So thanks, Spanx lady.
Are you planning on making menswear as well?
Based on the conversations I’ve had with a lot of guys about WICK, WICK for men is in high demand! I would love to try it out in the future, because men definitely need an alternative to the sweat-unfriendly cotton button-down shirt, but until then, our focus is on womenswear.
Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real of fictional?
Jack Donaghy. I wish he could mentor me.
What’s the best meal you ever had at Princeton?
Some friends and I have treated ourselves at Mistral a couple times, and the food and company are always excellent.
In one sentence, what is it you actually do all day?
Convince myself that I can have it all.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Dropping lavish sums on bath products at Marshalls.
What is your biggest fear?
Getting trampled, and monkeys. I never thought about it until now, but getting trampled by monkeys would be pretty awful too.
What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?
As I was answering the 7th question in this questionnaire, I saw a spider on my desk, captured it with a plastic cup, then slipped and fell down as I was taking the spider cup outside. Luckily, the spider remained in the cup and I managed to safely return it to the great outdoors, but who knows what could have happened if it had gotten out. Seven questions later, I am still feeling the adrenaline rush.
What makes you laugh? Cry?
Laugh: My own jokes. Cry: Videos of soldiers coming home to their families and dogs. Also, tears of pride thinking about my friends going after their dreams and doing their own thing and watching them succeed.
What’s your favorite piece of unconventional clothing?
All my WICK clothes, of course!
I usually aspire to 12:30ish, but end up actually going to bed much later. I’m trying to become a morning person, though. It’s rough.
Where do you do your best thinking?
In my bed or driving in my car.
When do you do your best thinking?
In the wee hours when I’m trying to fall asleep.
What is hanging over your bed/desk?
Over my bed: paper cutout letters strung together to spell out, “WICK: THE NO STRESS BLACK DRESS.” Over my desk: a Miley Cyrus bandana that I bought at her 2009 Wonder World tour.
What do you like most about Princeton?
Free laundry and printing, the accessibility of the facilities, how close it is to home, Frist, the supportive and ambitious people I’ve encountered.
What do you like least about Princeton?
When people (myself not excluded) complain about the problems in our social and organizational structures but don’t take the initiative to change them, when people are inconsiderate of shared spaces, raising your hand to participate in a class discussion, the overuse of the non-word “interesting.”
What are your plans for this summer?
I’m still figuring out the details, but I’ll definitely be working on WICK.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?
I learned recently that there’s never really going to be a “right” time to start doing something, whether it’s starting a business, starting a new routine, pursuing a music career, or putting on a play. No one is going to tell you, “Okay, the universe is ready for you, it’s your time!” You kind of just have prepare yourself as best you can, even if you don’t feel prepared at all, and go for it.
Where is your favorite spot on campus?
Tie between Frist and the back porch of Ivy on a warm, sunny day.
In 25 years you will be…
Reading this on a hologram in my hybrid house, chuckling about how little I knew back then.