Jussara Lee is a native Brazilian of Korean heritage who has developed a small –scale business operation in which luxury fashion and sustainable practices work in tandem. Since moving to New York City in 1987 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she has designed collections under her signature label that were embraced by prominent retailers such as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. For the past 15 years the company has evolved to a focus on hand-tailored, locally produced, custom-made clothes as a means to shift its practices to an environmentally conscious and social enterprise. Hitherto, Jussara Lee has implemented systems and adopted methods that has enabled us to make clothes with low impact to the environment, leading to the formation of the Sustainable Luxury Business Model.
The Sustainable Luxury Business Model was originated to foster a paradigm shift in the way people create and consume fashion. Although this model is built on the same foundation as a traditional one: surpassing fit, aesthetics, craftsmanship and quality; it challenges the current perception of luxury because sustainability takes precedence over everything. This alternative model, which execution is not only possible from a practical point of view, but also from a financial perspective, draws the connection between a product, its source, its makers and the environment. This acknowledgement is overwhelmingly empowering and appropriates the future and health of our planet back in our hands.
We at Jussara Lee, avoid polluting practices and waste at all costs. The plethora often associated with luxury gives way to creative use of scraps that were destined to the trash bin. Biodegradable fabrics, natural dyes, local manufacturing, alteration and maintenance service, small production batches and implementation of systems that engage the community are all part of our modus operandi.Caring about the environment inspires us to use our creativity and imagination to educate and inform the public on issues we hold dear
Too many possessions can make life sluggish. I have a small store, live in a small apartment. I bike or walk to work. These are luxuries to me. Less to manage, less to clean, less bills to pay.
I truly believe that having less clothes is certainly better than having too many. I hear people complaining their closets are bulging but yet, they don't feel they have anything to wear. My recommendation is that you get clothes that fit, that are made well and that are versatile. Three pairs of pants, five shirts, two hand tailored jackets, a couple of sweaters, and for the ladies an additional three dresses and two skirts is really what one needs.
We believe in simplicity and understated sophistication—no pretense, no playing to fleeting trends. We believe in pieces that are both timeless and fresh. We strive for a modern originality that transcends category and period. We create pieces that radiate charisma and offer a contemporary take on tradition.
The shirt is the perfect symbol of our philosophy: it expresses purity of thought, practicality, simplicity, and elegance. The width of our collars is meticulously studied to achieve a feel that is modern and complementary. All of our shirts’ buttons are hand sewn, and 1/8” seam allowances are carefully stitched and hand-turned to assure the cleanest edges. We have crafted a pattern that is beautifully proportioned and comfortable while never foregoing formality.
We have chosen our fabric assortment with the intention of building a streamlined wardrobe of essentials. Natural fabrics are our staples: cotton, wools, cashmere, silks and linens.
We have been studying proportions for over 20 years. Through observation and good notes on the numerous custom made orders we have taken, we learnt it is possible to achieve a fitted, tailored look without compromising comfort. We make the shirts at a small sewing facility that is just a train ride away from our atelier. That way we can interact face to face with their makers and insure they have integrity and good working ethics. It is important for us to know the people behind the scene are happy human beings.
We care about the environment and try to use our creativity and imagination to preserve and conserve. One way is to use mismatched Mother of Pearl buttons. That way we can use what has already been extracted from nature as opposed to continually depleting it from its scarce natural resources. Another way to be waste free is to cut the extra silks from our wedding dresses and gather them into ruffles. See the ruffle shirt on our shop page.