Joyce Lee | Head of Design, Madewell

 
 

Images provided by Joyce Lee.

On a typical day of work…

Every day at work is different, which always keeps things interesting.  Depending on where in the development process, we are, I may be working on color palettes, print development with the team, sitting in on sketch reviews, looking at fabrics, or fitting samples.  Some days are dedicated to researching and working on the next season’s concepts, which may involve some vintage shopping, walking around the city, or finding inspiring images in books, magazines or online.

On her favorite projects…

I absolutely love working on collaborations – it always starts with finding brands we love and admire and bringing the two brands together to create something totally unique.  It gives my team and I an opportunity to meet with other talented designers on bringing something special to both sides.

On one of the most unexpected aspects of her career path…

I initially started in accessories design. While I had an obsession with design in general, whether it was clothing, products, objects, or interiors, I was always extremely focused on designing handbags and footwear. I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to oversee the Madewell design team across the vision of the collection and brand. I feel so lucky to work for a brand that I have such a strong connection to!

On the future of the fashion industry…

I know that the industry still has a long way to go but I’m optimistic for the future generation because I do see it evolving and moving towards inclusivity and acceptance.   

On what she keeps on her desk…

I love my cat tea cup – even though I rarely use it to drink from, it makes me so happy to see it on my desk.  I also love washi tape – I have rolls and rolls of it and love using it whenever I get the chance – it’s the little things that make me happy!

On her inspiration at work…

I am always inspired by the people around me – I love sitting on a bench and watching people walk by, especially when I’m traveling. I also love vintage textiles and garments – there’s so much history in these pieces and I love to imagine where they came from, who wore them before…

On what wakes her up in the morning…

My 3 year old daughter usually…

… and what keeps her up at night…

I try not to let anything keep me up – it’s not worth it! 

On the best business advice…

Being a full time working mother takes a lot of balance.  The best advice I can give is to take time and look for even the smallest ways to find the balance that works for your own situation.  Accepting help when you need it is also something I’ve learned to lean on, or allowing things to be a little less perfect at times can also alleviate some of the pressure.  Women can do it all, but sometimes it just takes some fine tuning, and help from those around you.

On being an entrefemmeur…

Being an entrefemmeur to me means being authentic, staying true to yourself always, and trusting on your gut to guide you to your own success.

To learn more about Joyce, you can follow her on Instagram.


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