“This is my daughter, Lucy. Isn’t she cute?” said Lee Myung-hee (’82, Mass Communication), the editor-in-chief of Vogue
Lee describes herself as a shy, introverted person. “My college friends were shocked when they found out what I am doing right now, working with different people from all over the world. This is because I used to be a very passive and inactive person,” said Lee. How then did such a shy girl turned out to be the most admired person in the Korean fashion world?
Lee says she becomes a different person when she is at work. “Personally, I admit that I am not a gifted genius, and there are so many people like me. However, whenever I work, I have this challenging spirit in myself that believes nobody else can do this but me and that helps me do better than just simple ‘best.’” Lee added that aside from her passion for work, she is just a normal person who does not even know how to ride a bike.
Although Lee and the ‘devil’ in the movie have different personalities, Lee admits that their lives are somewhat similar. “Our daily lives might look quite the same, in that both of us are busy people. As the editor-in-chief of fashion magazine, we are also the first person to be invited whenever a big fashion event is held,”
Before Lee made it to the top of the fashion world, she spent 15 years working in different places after graduating university. Lee first worked in a public relations office of a large enterprise until her friend offered her a job as a journalist of a student magazine, “Junior.” According to Lee, she said ‘yes’ without hesitation, giving away her holiday bonus. Starting from that moment, her long lasting relationship with magazines began. She worked for four magazines before Vogue, namely Junior, Mademoiselle, World Women, and Chic Magazine.
Lee says a career in journalism was more exciting than she thought it would be. “Working for the magazine was really interesting. Interviewing, collecting data and writing. The job was new to me but at the same time, exciting and attractive. So I really worked hard. Then, people came to acknowledge me as time went by, and I finally got the job as the first editor-in-chief of Vogue!” said Lee.
One might think that working for 12 years there have been times when Lee wanted to quit her job. She explained her feelings in this unexpected manner. “Every morning when I have to get up and go to work, I think of resigning.. But when I am at work, my endorphin comes out which gives me unceasing energy to forget about resigning.”
Lee receives innumerable e-mails from youngsters, indicating that there is a vast number of people who wish to work in the fashion magazine industry. “Whenever people ask me about my life is as a fashion editor, I always tell them that it is a 3D job. You need both physical and mental strength. We don’t want someone who wants the title and fame as an editor-in-chief. Rather, we want someone who has guts and talent,” said Lee. “We now live in a competitive society where many people wanting the same job. If you want to survive and succeed, I would recommend you to plan your future step by step, and keep working until the day you become the best in that field,” Lee added.