Also Credited As:Lauren Katherine Conrad, LC
|Lauren Katherine Conrad on February 1, 1986 in Laguna Beach, California, USA|
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Lauren Katherine Conrad was born on Feb. 1, 1986 in the affluent town of Newport Beach, CA, the daughter of Katherine Lawrence and James Conrad. She had a younger sister named Breanna, who was a featured regular on the third season of "Laguna Beach" (2006), and a younger brother named Brandon. Growing up, the future reality star's main passion was fashion design. A neighbor taught her how to draw and design outfits for her Barbie dolls. During Conrad's senior year of high school, MTV started production on "Laguna Beach," and followed her and several students with cameras for the show, documenting their relationships, break-ups, and high school high jinks.
In 2004, Conrad entered Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA where she met fellow "Hills" star Heidi Montag. After one semester at Academy of Art, Conrad moved back to Orange County before transferring to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. While interning at Three Dots clothing company in 2005, she accepted an extraordinary opportunity to intern at fashion magazine giant Teen Vogue. The combination of her internship and move to Los Angeles was the central focus of "The Hills," a "Laguna Beach" spin-off series. Conrad was the star of the show, along with her roommate Montag and fellow Teen Vogue intern, Whitney Port. The authenticity of the girls' internship (as opposed to a setup just for the show) was confirmed by the magazine's West Coast Editor Lisa Love, saying Conrad had a successful interview before she got the job. Turning everything she touched to gold, Vogue's readership actually increased due to Conrad's involvement, and in turn, she appeared on the magazine's June/July 2006 cover - the very first intern in the magazine's history to do so.
The drama of "Laguna Beach" paled in comparison to "The Hills," with its intent to document what it was like being twenty-something and living in trendy Hollywood. The first season dealt with Conrad adapting to her new L.A. lifestyle, while dealing with her relationship with boyfriend and fellow "Laguna Beach" alum Jason Wahler. The season ended with the magazine intern turning down an opportunity to spend the summer of 2006 in Paris in order to spend more time with Wahler.
The second season of "The Hills" was even more explosive, with tensions between Conrad, her roommate Montag, and Montag's new boyfriend Spencer Pratt, helping it earn an average of 3.2 million viewers. The girls spent less time with each other, and the conflict increased when Montag frequently broke off plans with her roommate to be with her boyfriend, before eventually moving in with him. A rumor swirled before the third season of "The Hills" even started, about a sex tape featuring Conrad and Wahler that eventually was proven untrue. Making things even icier, Conrad predicted it was made up by Montag and Pratt themselves. The friendship between the former roommates ended, and Audrina Patridge moved in to the apartment, making her Conrad's new best friend and another "Hills" regular. Even though the show was a hit, "The Hills" was criticized regularly for marketing itself as a reality show, when there was evidence that some scenes were predetermined or re-taped.
Aside from her TV show, the Newport Beach native became a spokesperson for "mark," a line of Avon cosmetics marketed towards young women. Conrad also appeared as herself in the comedy "Epic Movie" (2007) and won Teen Choice Awards in 2007 for Choice Female Reality TV Star (her second time), Choice Red Carpet Star, and Choice V Cast Video for "The Hills." The girl who designed clothes for her Barbies made her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer come true in March 2008, when she debuted her clothing line "The Lauren Conrad Collection" during Los Angeles Fashion Week. However, critics found her designs - with pieces named after her friends like Audrina and Whitney - way too uninspired and overpriced.