That's What Fashion Is. He hosted his book launch a few weeks back at Tory Sport NYC along with designer Tory Burch (and I pretty had fits over rsvping "no" to that one...).
Back when I could be seen jaunting in heels among the tents of fashion week (ok, just last year...I've only sat out this year), the fabulously kind Joe Zee was everywhere flashing his candid smile and posing for photos. NICEST GUY EVER. And hearing him talk about his first magazine job gets me all gushy and throws me back to the summer of 2002 for me at Seventeen. Heavens those are great memories.
So in lieu of his amazing "fashion insider" book launch, JZ answered a few random questions for me - and who knew he was BFFs with Tory? (Um, my girl crush?)
Read to see what he says about owning too many shoes...loves it. Xoxo
I Heart Heels: How did you get your start in fashion?
Joe Zee: My first first job in fashion was in high school and Club Monaco had just opened a single story in Toronto (it started there!) and it was where all the cool kids hung out. So I marched in there after school one day with a resume and said I would be perfect to work there. I got the job and worked there on the weekends and I loved it. It was the first time I hung out with a group of kids older than me and I could play with fashion.
But my first job in fashion when I got to NYC was at Allure, right after I graduated from FIT, working for Polly Mellen. And that is, by far, one of the best experiences I've ever had.
IHH: Who is your fashion crush?
JZ: Oh, I have so many fashion crushes for so many different reasons. I crush on girls like Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi, Linda, etc. because I grew up in that supermodel era and they all have killer styles. But I crush on women like Tory Burch and DVF also, after seeing the empires they've built with authenticity. I admire all of that.
IHH: Why did you choose Tory Burch to help launch your book?
JZ: I love Tory. I've known Tory for a long time in my career and have always admired the things that she's done and the world she's built for everyone to experience. She was always a trailblazer in becoming a designer in the contemporary price point and be able to do something different when everyone else was going in a different direction. You have to admire that level of ingenuity.
IHH: You've mentioned we should all streamline our wardrobe. What about shoes? Can you ever have too many?
JZ: I completely believe in streamlining your wardrobe and I say it almost everyday on my talk show, FABLife. We can get frustrated with fashion because sometimes we can have too much.
Having less makes everything easier and you can actually get more mileage out of that as well. I know shoes can be that one guilty pleasure and I think if it's ok for Carrie Bradshaw, then it's probably ok.
[photo credit: Hao Zeng]