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Talking Top Tens: Denise Lee

Founder and CEO, Alala


Denise’s big “Aha!” moment came in early 2012, when she was training for her first triathlon and, even for the expert shopper that she was, could not find an activewear brand that offered the effortless, cool style of the contemporary designers she loved. In November of that year, she left her job at a retail brand incubator in New York to build Alala into the activewear brand she had been searching for, and hasn’t looked back since. Denise hails from the sunny island of Singapore, received a double degree from Northwestern University, and holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. To find out more about Alala, check out their Instagram account here

And more with Denise Lee…

Favorite Instagram account to follow:

I love @amooolia. She’s the cool younger self I wish I was. 

What do you love most about your work?

I love that our customers get so much joy out of their product - it’s an amazing feeling. 

One piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self:

I would tell my younger self not to be so focused on checking things off the bucket list. Instead, go explore and enjoy all the experiences that come your way.

Your most recent culinary discovery and obsession.

I spend a lot of time in Montauk during the summer, and there’s a place that I love called Happy Bowls that serves açai bowls with granola and fruit. It’s also a chain, so there might be one near you! 

Midnight snack of choice:

Your motto in life:

Don’t live with regret. 

Your real life hero and why:

My dad. He is a mentor to me in every way, and inspires me to be a better person. 

The skill or sport you’re dying to learn:

I’d love to learn more about photography. I love looking at beautiful photos, but I can’t for the life of me take one myself. 

Your last takeout order:

Steak salad and chicken orzo soup. 

Where does your credit card get the most use?

Uber is holding my credit card hostage!