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Joe Zee on Passion, Perseverance, and Polly Mellen

Elle creative director and sartorial Superman Joe Zee learned from the best. His first job was assisting none other than Polly Mellen. According to Zee, the legendary stylist and editor (a Diana Vreeland-groomed veteran of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Allure) brought more to the fashion world than her legendary eye. She was tireless in her enthusiasm for new talent and a font of down-to-earth advice–”open your eyes, have a little humility, and let go of ego,” Mellen told Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière in a 2010 interview. “You have to always be going out to the end of the diving board and diving off.” In this third and final segment of our interview with Zee, he reflects on working under Mellen, discusses how he balances editorial and ad campaign work, and offers some of advice of his own for those looking to dive into the fashion fray.

Watch Part 1: Joe Zee puts it All on the Line
Watch Part 2: Joe Zee on the creative (director) life

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