Designer Lee Mathews On Organic Skincare and Simple Luxuries

By Ashleigh Austen

Synonymous with simple, laid back luxury, Lee Mathews creates clothes designed to be worn. Crafted from linen, natural fibres and cotton, her namesake label has gained global recognition, renowned for being effortless yet carefully constructed.

We caught up with the Sydney designer to discuss self-care, managing stress and her approach to wellness...  

How would you describe your brand?

“Relaxed, colourful, playful and versatile. Working with artists on prints really helps to define what you make, and being collaborative is really at the heart of the brand.”

Talk us through your morning routine…

“I have the least interesting morning routine of anyone I know! I drink a black coffee, shower, walk my dog Ted at the park and then head into the office.” 

What does your typical day consist of?

“My day is usually spent desk hopping, from production to design to the warehouse and back again. I manage the collections that are in progress, being finalised or in the initial stage of development–it’s a bit of everything all day, every day!” 

When it comes to skincare, what does your routine look like?

“I have used the Dr Hauschka range my entire life – the Cleansing Cream, Facial Toner and Rose Day Cream. It’s all I’ve ever used apart from Vanderohe No.1 Nourishing Face Serum which smells so good you could eat it.” 

How do you manage stress?

“I cook when I’m stressed, it’s my way of turning my mind off.” 

How do you approach wellness and what does that look like to you?

“I’m the wrong person to ask about this! I don’t do yoga or anything like that. I walk Ted, cook, read, draw and watch a lot of old movies, I feel like it keeps me in the right headspace.” 

What is your fridge always stocked with?

“Labneh, pickles, parmesan cheese, mineral water and a bottle of wine usually.” 

What meal makes you feel most nourished?

“Roasted vegetables and a simple piece of fish or polenta with lots of fresh herbs–I love thyme, it makes everything taste better.” 

What is your biggest indulgence?

“Champagne.”

Where are you finding inspiration right now?

“Podcasts, movies and cookbooks. I just finished reading How to Eat a Peach: Menus, Stories and Places by Diana Henry.”

Image: Martyn Thompson

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