Meet Neada Deters, the brilliant mind behind LESSE. As a fashion vet who’s taking on the beauty industry, Neada has a “less is more” approach to life that is akin to our own way of thinking. The three-step skincare routine she’s created is a simple, effective, and heavenly ritual that fits in perfectly to our life, and the lives of many women we admire. Read on to learn more about Neada’s way of thinking, and learn to simplify along the way.
Over the past several years we’ve seen an insurgence of interest in the beauty industry. People want to know about ingredients, how things are made, etc. Why do you think this is only starting now?
People have always cared. Efficacy and quality have always been highly valued by the majority, but the kind of information that we have access to now wasn’t always readily available. That all changed with the advent of the internet, which has become an incredible tool for empowering consumers and enforcing accountability from brands.
Is that curiosity beneficial or detrimental to LESSE and other natural skincare brands?
The depth of curiosity and consideration that we see from our community is inspiring in itself. They really live by their values and ask important questions to drive the beauty industry forward towards a better future.
“LESSE is more…” how does your brand’s mantra resonate through the rest of your life? Particularly, how has it impacted your wardrobe?
It’s inherent to my way of living in a way that’s impossible to articulate. I have always just gravitated towards a more pared-back lifestyle, one that values experience and meaningful connection over impression or status. As far as my wardrobe, I never understood trends or waste. I’ve been wearing vintage clothing since I was in high school when it absolutely wasn’t cool by anyone’s standards. Some of those pieces I still have today; I only invest in items that I know I will own for years to come. I really don’t own that many clothes or accessories. They’re mostly neutral and versatile, pieces that can be worn frequently without tiring of them.
Did your shopping and dressing mentality change after you started your own business? If so, how?
Not at all, I find it impossible to be anyone but myself or dress based on anything but my own sartorial values: comfort, fit, and quality.
Can you describe your personal style?
Minimalist ‘90s meets late ‘60s tailoring.
Who is your style icon(s)?
Lauren Hutton, Joan Didion, Katharine Hepburn; campaigns of the early ‘90s — Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein, Prada. Every female protagonist in Goddard’s films.
What do you miss most from your days of working fashion editorial?
Nothing. It was a formative and incredible chapter of my life, but I’m not someone to reflect on the past. I focus on what’s happening right now, who I am at this moment.
Who/what do you attribute your love of style to?
The women in my family. My grandmother had an incredible style in the ‘60s, my mother in the ‘90s, and my aunt was a fashion designer in Sydney when I was younger. She had an incredible independent line, and a few years ago she gave me a beautiful dress from her last collection that I still own.
Out of the pieces that are in your closet right now, what do you expect to still see there in 10/20 years?
Approximately 70% of them.
Any advice for people wanting to turn their passion projects into full-time careers?
Let go of any fear of failure, have conviction in what you are creating and why, and be prepared to work harder than you have ever worked in your life. I worked entry-level at VICE Media for my first job in New York, often working a full day in the office and then through to the end of events at 4 am. I work much harder now than I did then.
What are the hardest parts of running your own business, and what are the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect of this job is hearing from our community on how it has transformed their skin and changed the way they feel about themselves. The hardest part is when something fails or doesn’t execute as you had hoped, which happens all the time. But if you’re not failing then you’re not working hard enough.
What does a typical day during quarantine look like for you?
Wake up, coffee. Stretch or yoga. Skincare ritual and breakfast. Work. Long walk with our dog. Glass of wine, dinner. Call family or friends. Bed.
What were you most excited to do again once stay at home orders lifted?
Travel, hug my friends.
What are you cooking these days?
Soups, curries, roast vegetables. Meals that both nourish and comfort.
Dead or alive, who would be your top 3 LESSE customers and why?
The first three customers that placed an order with us on our first day of business. They took a leap of faith on a new company that they had no context for, and I’ll be indebted to them forever.
What do you think our responsibility as brands and as consumers is right now to support our community?
Creating change comes down to not just our thoughts but our actions. In situations of injustice, there is no neutral. You are either for change or against it. Brands need to be standing up and speaking out— doing the work internally to eradicate oppressive mindsets and structures within their company and showing the world and their customers where they stand by being vocal, donating money, and sharing resources. Brands have reach and it needs to be used for good. Consumers can do the work by supporting Black and minority-owned companies, especially those that are self-funded and sustainable. Take five minutes to research the brand before making a purchase— where do they stand on social issues, and how are they taking action to create change? We vote with our dollar, and there's too much at stake to not take a few minutes to fiscally support brands that reflect your own values and actions.