Joe Zee: Behind the Seams with Elle Magazine’s Creative Director

Fashion powerhouse, genius and creative visionary, Joe Zee has made quite the imprint on the fashion industry. Zee, the Creative Director of Elle Magazine, has worked with everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Taylor Swift, and is responsible for Nicki Minaj’s make under for the April 2013 cover. This guy knows his stuff.

But above all, Joe Zee is a storyteller that uses fashion and music as principal themes. Joe was one of the leading editors to highight the pairing of beat and fashion, working with artists like Mariah Carey and Madonna. He was also responsible for Lady Gaga’s first ever US magazine cover. “It was something that I really wanted to do,” Zee tells Billboard in the video above. “And it was great being a part of this spark in the fashion industry, seeing Lady Gaga on her first US fashion magazine.”

But life wasn’t always glitter and Gaga for Joe. He worked hard, from humble beginnings to get to where he is. Check out the interview to see how Zee did it and watch him talk about his first music memory, stalking Boy George and answering the age-old question: Madonna or Lady Gaga?


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