Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



TELEVISION Fashion guru Joe Zee puts it 'All on the Line'
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 4233 times since Wed Mar 30, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In the Sundance series All on the Line, Joe Zee, creative director for Elle Magazine, helps struggling designers save their lines from ruin. The affable Zee recently talked with Windy City Times at the W Hotel about the show, fashion basics and Glee.

Windy City Times: Hey, Joe. How are you?

Joe Zee: I'm great. The weather is OK, so I'm fine.

Windy City Times: Be glad you weren't here a while back when we got two feet of snow.

Joe Zee: Actually, I was here! I was here for a meeting in the morning. I ran to the airport at noon and got on the two o'clock flight. The snow came down later that afternoon. I was on one of the last flights out. I can't believe people abandoned their cars on Lake Shore Drive.

Windy City Times: Speaking of weather, it's incredible what Japan is going through.

Joe Zee: I've been watching the coverage, and I called some friends in Japan. Tokyo is [relatively] fine.

Windy City Times: Well, let's talk about you. I saw you on [the reality-TV competition] Stylista. What was that experience like?

Joe Zee: That was my first foray doing any of this on television. I loved the people, and I loved everything. I'm a big storyteller, and watching it all was a great experience. The cast of characters was beyond—they were really good.

Windy City Times: Maybe you could bring it back—and you could be in [Elle fashion news director] Anne Slowey's role.

Joe Zee: [Laughs] She was fun.

Windy City Times: So how did you become interested in fashion?

Joe Zee: I've always been interested in magazines. I think things evolved for me as I got older. When I was a teenager in Toronto, I was obsessed with fashion magazines so, in a way, I was obsessed with fashion. I love clothes, creativity and design. Clothes are an expression of who you are—and I loved how magazines defined that.

So I packed my things, moved to New York and wanted to work for a magazine because I loved fashion so much. As I worked in the industry more and more, I realized that I love fashion but I love magazines even more. The magazine tells a story, letting a specific reader know what they need to know that month. It has that flow, that interest level that can keep you. So I realized that I also love versions of media; I love digital, I love broadcast, I love the Internet. I love telling a story.

Windy City Times: And you tell a story on each episode of the series All on the Line.

Joe Zee: I do. Each episode focuses on a designer who's hit a roadblock in their own design business. I come in and give them a real, honest assessment and I work with them. I don't just come in and walk away; I roll up my sleeves, get down and dirty, and we work.

What's different about this show is that there's no competition, contestants or elimination. It's real life. Fashion is not glamourous, and you get to see all the blood, sweat and tears behind it.

Windy City Times: This seems to point toward a larger question: What do you want the viewer to take away from this show, besides the entertainment? Is there a larger message here about having someone take a look at your work and possibly helping you along?

Joe Zee: Bingo. It's about sticking to your guns and being true to who you are. I've helped so many people who feel like they want to give up; sometimes I feel like I want to give up.

You work so hard and you have difficult days, but this is about, "How do I overcome this hurdle?" Do I know that if you do this, that you will get this result? No—there are no guarantees in life. But if it means so much to you, then we've got to work that much harder to try it. I'm talking about designers who have maxed out their credit cards, mortgaged their homes. When you know you're supposed to be doing what you're doing, [making these sacrifices] doesn't mean that much. For them, it was like, "We have to do this." I respected that so much, and I respected their talent; I felt like I would've let them down if I hadn't given my all.

Windy City Times: You talked about having your own stumbling blocks. How did you turn it around?

Joe Zee: Perseverance, I think, and hard work. I have blocks every day. People have big blocks in their careers. It's so easy to throw in the towel, but that's an immature way of doing things. Life doesn't owe you anything—I just expect things from myself.

Windy City Times: You're like the Suze Orman of fashion.

Joe Zee: [Laughs loudly] I was just watching her today! She was yelling at Nadia Suleman [aka "Octomom"]. I was like, "I kinda like you." Windy City Times: What are three pieces of clothing every woman should own?

Joe Zee: For sure, a skinny black pant, a white shirt and a trench coat. You can put those items with everything.

Windy City Times: What designers do you think bring something new?

Joe Zee: Oh, wow. In New York, we constantly go to Marc Jacobs; he just marches to his own beat. Someone like a Muccia Prada, Givenchy or Alexander Wang has always been at the forefront. One of my favorite collections in Paris was from a smaller designer, Haider Ackerman.

Windy City Times: Any comment on the John Galliano situation? [Galliano was recently fired from Dior for anti-Semitic comments.]

Joe Zee: There are so many legalities happening that I'd rather not comment; I just cover fashion. [Laughs] I think it's sad that fashion is overshadowed by such awful comments from someone. That part I don't condone at all.

Windy City Times: You've been on shows such as Gossip Girl and, of course, Stylista and All on the Line. If you could be on any other show, what would it be?

Joe Zee: [Laughs] I would want to be on Glee, but I can't sing or dance at all. I can maybe dance, but I definitely cannot sing. [Laughs] I love that show; Ryan Murphy is so smart.

Windy City Times: You should try to make it happen. What would you sing?

Joe Zee: [Laughs] I don't know—no one's ever asked me that! I have to think about it but whatever it is, it would be horrifyingly bad. [Laughs]

All on the Line is on the Sundance Channel Tuesdays at 9 p.m. See

This article shared 4233 times since Wed Mar 30, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

ARCHITECTURE Thompson Center Idea Competition winners named 2021-09-14
- The Chicago Architecture Center and the Chicago Architectural Club announced the jury's selection of three winning designs for the Thompson Center Design Ideas Competition that represent three distinct, creative visions for the State of Illinois Thomp ...

Gay News

Helmut Jahn architecture exhibit has opened 2021-07-24
- The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), 111 E. Wacker Dr., has opened its first, major limited-run exhibit, "Helmut Jahn: Life + Architecture," the career retrospective of Helmut Jahn's innovative architectural designs. ...

Gay News

LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois announces 'Shop Pride' program, showcasing LGBTQ+ business 2021-07-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — The LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois (LGBTCC), today announced the official launch of the Shop Pride program designed to encourage Illinois residents to support ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pulse, Philly Pride, Mormons, Victory Fund, anti-trans bills 2021-06-27
- President Joe Biden (D) signed H.R. 49, the bill designating the site of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida as a national monument, into law, according to LGBTQ Nation. Afterward, Biden commemorated Pride Month ...

Gay News

U.S. Bank opens branch in Lake View with LGBTQ+ design 2021-06-18
- U.S. Bank has brought what it calls "an enhanced banking experience" to customers of the Lake View East branch at 3214 N. Broadway. The branch is one of four LGBTQ+ flagship branches, with others at West ...

Gay News

Biden, Harris make Juneteenth a national holiday 2021-06-17
- On June 17, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a bill designating June 19 as officially Juneteenth National Independence Day—a U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in this country. With the ...

Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial 2021-06-12
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...

Gay News

ATTRACTIONS Chicago Architecture Center reopens with new exhibits 2021-06-08
- On May 22, the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), 111 E. Wacker Dr., opened all-new and updated exhibits in its 10,000 square feet of galleries full of scale models of new building designs from Chicago and around ...

Gay News

Home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin first San Francisco lesbian history landmark 2021-05-04
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to designate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ and civil rights activists Phyllis Lyon ...

Gay News

Netflix to debut limited series 'Halston' on May 14 2021-04-23
- On what would have been legendary fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick's 89th birthday (on April 23), Netflix stated it was honoring the visionary icon by announcing the Friday, May 14, global premiere date for the five-episode ...

Gay News

National Trust advocates to protect legacy of LGBTQ+ pioneers 2021-02-17
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Trust for Historic Preservation will testify tomorrow before the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission in an attempt to secure a local landmark designation for the San Francisco home of pioneering LGBTQ+ ...

Gay News

Chicago Southland Restaurant Week on Feb. 21-27 2021-02-11
- The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the launch of the inaugural Chicago Southland Restaurant Week. Designed to promote Chicago Southland restaurants while encouraging residents and visitors to support ...

Gay News

Ravinia Women's Board unveils winner of poster competition 2021-01-28
- The Ravinia Women's Board unveiled the winner of its annual Ravinia season poster competition. Minneapolis graphic designer Sean Quinn, 28, is the recipient of the competition's top prize for a second time; his entry in the ...

Gay News

Pennycuff Memorial Apartments now open 2020-12-16
- The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Castillo Plaza is named for the late LGBTQ and civil rights activist, John Pennycuff. Located on Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, the building was designed by Cyrus Subawalla ...

Gay News

WORLD Egypt arrests, Trans Legal Mapping Report, designer dies 2020-10-05
- In Egypt, authorities are accused of using dating apps and social media to track down and arrest queer folks in their latest attempt to "clean the streets," noted. Human Rights Watch interviewed 15 people who ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.