Min Young Lee and Greg Sato draw from a multitude of influences to inform their design sensibilities, creating conceptual clothing arrangements reflective of the establishments that house them. Their uniquely distinct relationship with their heritage and past work experience help to balance form, function and aesthetic into every piece they design.
Collectively, Sato & Lee have over 40 years experience working in various functions in the fashion industry. Having worked for major global fashion houses- both luxury and mass- as well as launching successful lines of their own, their background in design, manufacturing, marketing, branding, retail and sales provide a perfect template to translate to the hospitality space.
After stints in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Detroit and New York, both now reside in Los Angeles.
Sato graduated with a double B.A. in Communications and Japanese Studies from the University of California San Diego and spent broad swaths of time living abroad in Tokyo and Shanghai.
Sato began his career in marketing functions within the editorial and music space before finding a home at FIJI Water overseeing their National Event Marketing program. It was here he discovered the perfect intersection for his passions- hospitality and marketing- finding much of the inspiration for what would eventually become Finery.
Sato followed his time at FIJI with a move into the fashion world, overseeing Global Entertainment Marketing for the iconic American heritage brand, Levi’s. He was closely involved in much of the product development, process and design, particularly on the launch of the 501 CT, which was the first ever update in the history of the 501.
In 2009, Sato launched Gentry, his own men’s accessories line. The collection was carried at premier retailers around the globe, such as Fred Segal Man, American Rag, and Confederacy in Los Angeles, Odin in New York City, and Journal Standard in Tokyo. His experiences with Levi’s and Gentry has become a defining influence on his work in the hospitality industry.
MIN YOUNG LEE
Lee honed her craft at Parsons School of Design in New York City with a BFA from the Fashion Design program. Soon after, she worked for fashion houses Comme des Garcons, Jil Sander and Givenchy. Lee launched her eponymous line in 1997, M Collection Min Lee, which was quickly picked up by Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and over 200 accounts worldwide. In 1998, she was awarded the Innovative Designer Award from In Style.
Lee opened her first brick and mortar retail space in 2000 on Prince Street in the Nolita neighborhood of New York City. The store quickly gained a reputation for carrying some of the most progressive and sought after designers. In 2004, Lee returned to her roots in fashion design when she was named Design Director for Elie Tahari. After successfully launching consecutive seasons to both critical and commercial success, Lee was appointed as Design Director of Calypso, launching their Gold Label again to great acclaim. In both roles, Lee also oversaw manufacturing throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
In recent years, Lee continued designing both her own collections of ready to wear fashion and home goods and also consults for various fashion houses.