I met Jussara Lee 11 years ago at her perfectly appointed minimally furnished shop on Little West 12th Street. This was before the Meat-packing district had become another retail destination and I lived a couple of blocks away. A camouflage blazer would be my first hand tailored purchase from her shop and to this day, still one of my favorites. Not only because of how I feel when I wear it, but because it’s so incredibly beautiful to look at the stitching, the working buttons on the sleeves and it was made for me! Jussara Lee’s heritage is Korean but her parents immigrated to Brazil and she grew up with fashion on her mind. Even as a child, she would take apart the outerwear that her parents would bring home and restructure and tailor the clothes into something that she deemed stylish.
In 1991 Jussara launched her signature line of highly structured clothing based on fit, proportion and craftsmanship and Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s soon placed orders. Japan and Hong Kong soon followed and the line began to grow at a rapid pace. After many years of designing collections for mass production, she decided to scale down and get back to what she originally started out doing, making beautiful hand made clothing and perfecting her patterns one by one.
The new shop at the corner of Bedford and Morton Streets in Greenwich Village is sparingly furnished with classic pieces from Espasso by famed Brazilian furniture designer Sergio Rodriques. The Bianca chest functions as a working counter to pin clothing and as a standing desk while the Katita lounge chair and Mac side table with glass top give the shop a warm, relaxed feeling.
The thoughtfulness that Jussara places on every single item down to the custom charcoal cotton jersey wrapped hangers that are each stitched by hand is evident throughout the shop. There are no scratchy labels inside shirt collars, instead she sews a hand screen-printed soft cotton band inside of each garment. All of the clothing is made locally in Long Island City and in the shop.
A special thank you to Jussara for spending an afternoon with me and sharing her new collection!
Jussara Lee 60 Bedford Street New York, NY 10014 Telephone 212-242-4128
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