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Joyce Lee

Oh Mickey, you're so fine... 

MONOGRAM: List your full name, profession, and place of residence:

JOYCE LEE, Head Designer for Madewell. Brooklyn, NY.

MONOGRAM: How did you get your start in fashion?

JOYCE: Since I was a child I’ve been obsessed with clothes, accessories and design. I studied textiles in my undergrad and then moved to New York to go to FIT for accessories design. I got my start working for Marc Jacobs designing bags and shoes, which was such a dream. I've been hooked ever since. 

MONOGRAM: It was so much fun working with you on our collaboration! What’s the decision-making process behind bringing in outside brands to make products for Madewell?

JOYCE: Yes, so much fun! It's a little different every time, but it always starts with us loving and wearing the brand. It’s about finding brands that we admire and complement what we do at Madewell, like MONOGRAM! And it never hurts when it's your friends’ brand you love!!! 

MONOGRAM: The Madewell brand has a very focused look and feel, yet has so many pieces that work for different kinds of women. Do you have a specific woman in mind who you’re designing for?

JOYCE: Yeah, I love that we reach a wide range of women. I always envision a woman who is effortless, confident and loves to express her personal style in whatever she wears.

MONOGRAM: Where do trends come from? How do you identify what’s “next”?

JOYCE: We are always inspired by the women around us – the way they wear things, put things together. Somehow it just feels natural when deciding what ideas feel right for Madewell – and we always like to put a little spin on things so it feels authentic to us.

MONOGRAM: As a California native, how does the west coast influence your aesthetic? 

JOYCE: I live in jeans, tees and sneakers – which makes me feel like I'm always in California :-)

MONOGRAM: We’re avid followers of your Instagram and love seeing all the stuff you buy when you travel – beautiful textiles, accessories, and home goods. Before visiting a city, do you research all the best spots to hit? Or is it more of a wandering discovery process? 

JOYCE: Thank you! Traveling is the best. I always like to do a mix of both. I need to get a lay of the land before I jump into exploring a new city. It's always good knowing the must-see places and restaurants and working around those.

MONOGRAM: Considering you started in accessories and now design apparel, is there a category you’d love to work on in the future?

JOYCE: I love home and kids and would like to get into that one day!

MONOGRAM: Who’s your all-time favorite designer, and why?

JOYCE: Hmm, that's a tough one! I'm not really a one-designer girl. I love a lot of vintage denim and jumpsuits, worn with tees and sweatshirts. 

MONOGRAM: Tell us about your favorite vintage t-shirt. How and when did you acquire it?

JOYCE: I love my Mickey Mouse sweatshirt! I found it at the Rose Bowl flea market years ago. But it feels like I've had it since I was a kid. It's so nostalgic and comfortable – I can't stop wearing it.

MONOGRAM: What’s your favorite way to style a t-shirt?

JOYCE: Usually it's back to a pair of jeans, pretty straightforward.

MONOGRAM: Do you use graphic t-shirts to articulate your point of view? How so?

JOYCE: It’s always a fun way to express a mood. I especially love your bullshit tee :-)

MONOGRAM: Lightening round: describe yourself in terms of the following…

COLOR: I never thought I would have so much pink in my life
ERA: 70s
FETISH: Watching anything on Investigation Discovery
SYMBOL: Cactus 
LOCATION: Bi-coastal in my dreams
OBJECT: Also cactus!
BEVERAGE: Rosé year round 
VEHICLE: Station wagon
RITUAL: Wish I had one. I want it to be meditation but I'm not there yet!
TAGLINE: Thank you God, whoever you are.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Clement Pascal