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. Since moving to New York City in 1987 to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I have designed collections under my signature label that were embraced by prominent retailers such as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. In the past 18 years my company has evolved to a focus on hand-tailored, locally produced, custom-made clothes as a means to shift our practices to a social and environmentally conscious enterprise. Hitherto, I have implemented systems and adopted methods that have enabled us to make clothes with low impact to the environment, leading to the formation of the Sustainable Luxury Business Model.
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 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 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.