I am a native Brazilian of Korean heritage and have developed a small scale business operation in which luxury fashion and sustainable practices work in tandem. In the first ten years of my career, after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, I launched my namesake label and sold nationwide to Bergdorf Goodman, Fred Seigal and Barneys, as well as internationally, to Joyce in Hong Kong and United Arrows in Japan. The following 18 years hitherto, I have scaled back the company to focus on making the best-fitting custom-made clothes with the gentlest impact on the environment. Hand-tailoring, local production, biodegradable materials, natural dyes, and the addition of mending services and a collection of transformed vintage clothes, called Hand Me Up, are part of our efforts to fit into a circular economic model where the least amount of resources are consumed and waste is given a new purpose.
Throughout the year, I host a number of community engagement events around the themes of turning the old into new and zero waste techniques. These gatherings allow clients to develop a closer connection to their clothing, as well as promote creativity and hand stitching approaches to update their existing clothes.
Our custom made, hand-tailored clothes endure Lee's unparalleled aesthetics and standards while environmental friendly practices take precedence over everything. We achieve the best fit with the gentlest impact to our planet.
The Jussara Lee Sustainable Luxury Business Model was originated to foster a shift in the way people consume fashion. Although this model is built on the same foundation as a traditional one: surpassing fit, aesthetics, craftsmanship and quality; it challenges the perception of luxury, as sustainability takes precedence. This alternative model emphasizes the connection between a product, its source, its makers and the environment. This ethos is more profoundly described in "Small is Beautiful," a favored book by E. F. Schumacher that encapsulates the idea that we can find ecological balance when we build our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations. This acknowledgement is empowering, placing the future and health of our planet back in our hands.
At Jussara Lee, we avoid polluting and waste at all costs. The plethora often associated with luxury gives way to creative use of scraps otherwise destined to the trash. Biodegradable fabrics, natural dyes, local manufacturing, alteration and maintenance service, small production batches and community engagement are all part of our modus operandi.
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 better than having too many. I hear people complaining their closets are bulging, yet that they have nothing 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 all one needs.
Nothing beats a quality piece hand crafted by a master artisan. We are proud of discovering these gems and of bringing them to your enjoyment while supporting the art of craftsmanship. Each one of our accessory pieces tells a story about its makers and its origin. Stories often told by their creators and shared with you about what inspires them, the environment where they come from and the art itself. Handmade pieces are one- of- a- kind and unique like us; not one is exactly the same as the other.