When we discovered Zoe Lee. What initially caught out eye were these embossed metallic blue boots styled with a 70s rock theme. Zoe, looking typically Parisian, although she is from London, has a natural style that caught my eye instantly. Here is Zoe Lee…

What was your debut like in the fashion industry? Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood…
A lot of work… But I guess I didn’t notice because I was very young and loved fashion… The late 90s in London was quite an exiting time in fashion. I learned a lot from all the different places I worked at. There actually wasn’t anything bad… Everything was useful in the end.

How did you start out with Westwood? Most memorable moment?
During my first year at St Martins each student was allocated a final year student to help. I was to help a girl called Jenna who was very nice. Jenna went on to the RCA to do the footwear MA course and then onto Westwood after graduation. By the time she was leaving Westwood I was graduating from the footwear MA. I bumped into Jenna at a fashion show and she told me that there’d be an opening soon at Westwood. I applied, interviewed then started working there a little before I graduated from the RCA. I was quite lucky. St Martins and the RCA were good places to study for the education you got but also the circles of people that you would meet.

Do you think fashion is still exciting today? Has anything changed for you?
It’s exiting in a different way. I m not involved in it the way I used to be but I also think it has changed a lot. It’s become a much more commercial industry than I thought it would. Having your own business you see the larger food chain and to be honest there are too many people on that chain that shouldn’t be there. Having to pay all these people is what is changing this industry for the worse. Creativity is being diluted and spread thin so as to make sure there are new products on the shelves all the time…. More opportunity for full price selling. People don’t need and will hopefully stop wanting new stuff this frequently… I think savouring a collection for a certain period of time is necessary. It creates fashion memories. This throw away culture was never meant for the luxury industry but it seems to have been taken up by a lot of labels… For this reason I do not think actual fashion is as exiting as it was but perhaps the business of fashion is at a much more exiting time…

How do you design? What are your days like?
My starting point is always based on the leathers and materials I source. I pick up ideas and thoughts for the collections from all kinds of places/people/experiences/conversations. I don’t take things too seriously though and I don’t obsess about something if it’s not going to work. You gotta let things go… Sometimes they come back and end up working 2nd, 3rd, 4th time round…. Things sometimes stew for a long time before they come out. With the shop I also know my customer quite well so this is also an aspect that I bear in mind which is something I never really did as a consultant…

The textiles you choose for your shoes are rather unique {can you tell us about them}.
The materials themselves are pretty normal. I like to create new contexts by making unusual combination rather then just using unusual materials… The story is in the combinations…