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Meet Ed Lee, the Former Bottega Designer Who Helped Harry Kinds Remodel His Look

Meet Ed Lee, the Former Bottega Designer Who Helped Harry Kinds Remodel His Look

Meet Ed Lee, the Former Bottega Designer Who Helped Harry Styles Transform His Look

Every little thing Harry Kinds wears turns into information fodder. Whether or not he’s rocking a costume or a Halloween costume, his fearless sartorial statements solely make him extra lovable within the eyes of his ever-growing fan base. You would argue his type is what he’s change into identified for lately—pre-Don’t Fear Darling press tour, not less than—however OG followers are conscious that Kinds’ penchant for style started a lot sooner than that.

Harry Kinds in 2013.

Stuart C. Wilson//Getty Photographs

Within the early days of One Path, the place Kinds received his begin, Tumblr was the social platform the place so-called “Directioners” discovered group and collectively obsessed over the British boy band. Even I had a Tumblr devoted to the junction of 1D and style. (Take a look at me now!) This specific crossroad of pursuits was not unusual. Each article of clothes worn by the boys can be singled out, documented, critiqued, and restyled by numerous lovestruck youngsters on blogs and fan accounts alike.

To place it plainly, style wasn’t at all times Kinds’ factor. His preliminary uniform of khakis, plain white tees, and blazers morphed into ultra-skinny denims, graphic T-shirts, and hats because the band and its followers aged. From its inception in 2010 to its (devastating) demise in 2016, every of 1D’s members underwent his personal style evolution. Kinds’ sartorial journey since going solo? It could’t be ignored.

“If we’re speaking about Harry Kinds, now we have to speak about Harry Lambert,” says designer Ed Lee, referencing the superstar stylist well-known for dressing the Grammy-winning artist. Lee labored with “The Harrys” again in 2014, when Lambert first began styling the singer. He had simply graduated from London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins when Lambert reached out to make use of the younger designer’s items for editorial shoots. “I used to be freaking out,” Lee remembers. “For a second, I assumed, Was {that a} spam electronic mail?” Quickly after, Lambert began working with Kinds—and he didn’t cease coming to Lee.

When One Path carried out on Saturday Night time Reside in December 2014, Lambert pulled one in every of Lee’s shirts for Kinds to put on, and Tumblr ate it up. “That was like the largest information for me that yr. It was epic for me.”

harry styles snl performance 2014

Harry Kinds wears a floral shirt by Ed Lee whereas performing with One Path on Saturday Night time Reside in 2014.


Lee humbly says he “guesses” Kinds was “fairly joyful” with the shirt, as a result of after that, Lambert requested him to design a whole closet of choices for the star. Lee dug into his expansive assortment of discarded, recycled, and upcycled textiles to take action.

In relation to design, Lee values fluidity and open-minded considering. An absence of rigidity, he says, is a foundational a part of his method. “I consider the textiles converse to me,” he shares. His course of begins with the material. Earlier than he thinks about sketching, draping, or chopping, the fabric is paramount. “I consider you might want to really feel comfy. That’s the very first thing for me in designing. Then, on high of that, you will have visible results…however earlier than that, it’s all about consolation,” Lee emphasizes. “The contact of the garment is essential to me.”

I do know him; he’s at all times been that fashionable.”

“There was one shirt I actually preferred that [Styles] selected to put on for a gig within the Philippines,” he says. “It was a print I designed only for him for [the occasion]. It’s sort of tropical, it’s yellow; it has this huge flower…not plenty of celebrities—not plenty of males—will decide up a shiny yellow floral shirt.” If this wasn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what’s. Harry Kinds might put on a floral skirt tomorrow, and it wouldn’t be surprising. His type selections weren’t at all times so eclectic, although; this was when he started to play with style.

“I used to be fortunate sufficient to be part of it,” Lee says. “I used to be so honored to be chosen by them…from what I do know, Harry Kinds actually has his personal type,” Lee feedback, including that the then-burgeoning pop star may need felt restricted by the expectations set for boy bands on the time, however he nonetheless discovered methods to experiment inside these parameters.

2022 coachella valley music and arts festival weekend 2 day 1

Harry Kinds performing as a headliner on the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Competition.

Kevin Mazur//Getty Photographs

“Now, he’s discovered his personal voice and at last will get to decorate in no matter he needs; [he has] the freedom of dressing up, to specific himself,” Lee shares. “I do know him; he’s at all times been that fashionable. He has his personal imaginative and prescient in style.”

So, what was it about Lee that attracted Lambert and Kinds? “I believe all three of us actually admire the fluidity of gender,” Lee poses. “All of us attempt to keep away from the gender stereotypes of dressing.” This specific model of avoidance doesn’t manifest as a complete rejection of conventional menswear, Lee clarifies. It’s not an “aggressive” type of type denial, if you’ll. “We simply really feel extra fluid and pure between this so-called ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity.’” That is obvious for Kinds, who has famously prevented labeling himself or his type in any method, constructing his model on the celebration of all identities.

“I believe Harry Lambert actually had religion in me,” Lee says. “He simply let me create. He informed me he needs one thing floral. That’s it. That’s the transient.” The designer goes on, “I actually, actually admire that…he was so chill that I assumed each stylist can be like that.” Lee laughs, including that Lambert stays one of the vital easy-to-work-with people who he’s encountered since.

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Kinds isn’t Lee’s solely well-known consumer, both. Kate Moss wore one in every of his fits in a 2014 shoot by Tim Walker for British Vogue. Lee calls it “one other epic second.” In FKA Twigs’ “Glass & Patron” music video, a few of the dancers will be seen in Ed Lee. “That was one other epic second…I’ve had a number of,” Lee admits.

Lee and Lambert’s collaborative relationship lasted for a couple of yr, with Lambert styling the designer’s first three collections earlier than Lee moved to Paris. There, the designer took “studying from the most effective” to new heights, working with main labels like Bottega Veneta and Maison Margiela, in addition to with rising manufacturers like Koché. At Maison Margiela’s atelier, Lee reported on to Matthieu Blazy, who, coincidentally, is now at Bottega Veneta. Small world.

“Finding out menswear for 2 years, what you study is fairly basic tailoring, basic kinds,” Lee says. “Then I received the prospect to work on the Maison Margiela atelier. I actually found you don’t should be that cussed on tailoring. It’s worthwhile to let your thoughts movement for shapes and silhouettes, and I believe that’s what actually impressed me.”

After the atelier, Lee moved to Bottega Veneta to work alongside Christelle Kocher, who’s now the artistic director of the Atelier Lemarié of Chanel. When she went on to begin her personal label, Koché, Lee went along with her.

Lee says his id as a designer is the sum of all these studying experiences. Now, he’s prepared to use what he’s discovered to his personal collections. So, in 2021, he relaunched his personal label, primarily based in Shanghai. With formative experiences like his, Lee should be arrange for fulfillment. Phrase to the clever: don’t neglect his identify.

“I’d say I’ve at all times been fairly fortunate,” Lee says. “I consider that if you happen to preserve optimistic vitality, you’ll entice related mindsets. Good vitality flows.” And I consider that The Harrys would approve of that message.

Headshot of Meg Donohue

Affiliate Style Commerce Editor

Meg Donohue is the Affiliate Style Commerce Editor at Her passions embrace spicy meals, sustainability, and the Y2K remake of Charlie’s Angels. She’s going to by no means cease hoping for a One Path reunion tour.

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