WWW Exclusive: Q&A with Joe Zee

In addition to revealing his picks for a successful fall wardrobe in today's slideshow story, ELLE Creative Director and host of Sundance Channel's All On The Line Joe Zee kindly took some time out of his packed schedule to answer a few questions about his ever-growing career in fashion, how to make it in the industry, what every woman should own in their closet, and more. Check it out here:   What made you want to work in fashion? I loved how clothes can define a person and their personality and the transformative quality that fashion has, which ultimately intrigued me with this world. I love that I can always tell a different story with clothes, hair, and makeup. Where did your fashion career begin? I started working for fashion legend Polly Mellen and she basically taught me everything I know. How I see construction, quality, and design really came from her but my biggest lesson was her sense of punctuality and passion. What advice would you give someone who wants to break into the industry? Don't give up. I wish I could say that it's easy but nothing in life is easy. If you love it enough, it's worth the wait. Patience (which is not always my strong suit)! What does it take to have a successful career in fashion? A strong and authentic point of view. It doesn't matter if you're a journalist or designer or editor, you have to have a distinct point of view, otherwise you're just part of the pack. This is such a visual industry, you have to do what you can to stand out. You meet with up-and-coming designers regularly. What makes a person or team really stand out? A new way of seeing something. I don't want a pair of pants reinvented because it will always have two legs but I do want to see innovation in their approach and passion in their ideas. Anyone can follow a trend, it takes real chutzpah to step out and be genuine. What is the one piece of advice you always give to the designers you work with on All On The Line With Joe Zee? Do what you do best. Being the best version of yourself is the only way to success. Trying to emulate someone else is always a recipe for disaster. What do you love most about working on All On The Line With Joe Zee? Watching these designers be reignited with passion and success. I LOVE that moment when I can see"in their eyes"that they have turned a corner and everything Ive been saying makes perfect sense. When that moment happens, it's all worth it. Unfortunately, for some of these designers they never turn that corner and I can only show you the path. They have to do the walking. And finally, what five pieces of clothing should every woman have in her closet? I believe in staples because with a good foundation, everything else can rotate in and out. Always have: *A trench coat *Good black pumps *Crisp, white cotton shirt *Black dress *Diamond studs            

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