A former fashion director at W magazine and a contributor to Details and House & Garden, Joe Zee is creative director of the American edition of Elle magazine, one of the most widely read fashion magazines in the world. Zee is one of the few fashion industry figures who has actively embraced mainstream media, including social media and television, where he has appeared on shows including Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl, Oprah, MTV reality series The City, and his own new television show on the Sundance Channel, All On the Line.
The New York Times has called him “a chatty and approachable ambassador of fashion who has aggressively thrust himself in front of hoi polloi using Twitter, blogs, v-logs and — most visibly — television.”
Zee is thrilled with the idea of bringing fashion to the masses. “Ever since all the television stuff, I’ll go through airports, I’ll go through small towns in America, people will run up to me, they’ll be so excited and they’ll tell me that they physically went to buy an Elle magazine, or subscribe, because they saw me,” he told The New York Times.
Zee has worked with some of the fashion world’s most important image-makers, including Annie Leibovitz, Juergen Teller and Patrick Demarchelier. Zee also has versatility, offering his styling expertise to brands from Chanel to Banana Republic.
Hong Kong-born Zee immigrated to Toronto, Canada, at a young age and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. He first broke into the industry when he charmed the legendary stylist Polly Mellen at Allure magazine into hiring him as her assistant, after which he became the magazine's market editor.
Creative Director, Elle US 2007 - Present, New York, United States