Interview with Designer Angie Y.
by: Romana LauPhotographer: Jan Sol Wardrobe: YANGieNY Stylist: Angie Y. Make Up: Romana Lai Hair: Eric Shih Models: Sasha Bard & Tiriree Kananuruk Q Management
Angie Y. received her Master’s degree in Education from Columbia University in 2008. From there, she went on to studying Fashion Design at Parsons -The New School for Design, where she was recognized as Designer of The Year when she graduated in 2012. Angie is also a certified Graduate Gemologist for both diamonds, and colored stones, from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
YANGieNY, her contemporary brand, was founded in 2013 in New York City. It offers chic and upscale apparel, represents innovation, and focuses on women who pursue luxury and thrive being in the spotlight. Its finely constructed features set the design apart from the ordinary. Through its elegant silhouettes, posh fabrics, and meticulous tailoring, YANGieNY aims to enhance the modern living style of women with individuality.
Tell us about your design aesthetic?
A. Y.: I love designing from scratch, and I’m always intrigued by unique textures and shapes. I see every element as a puzzle piece to create the complete picture and accomplish the artwork. Innovating fabrics is a must in my design world, and I try to think outside of the little box. Different materials can be combined to create the fabric and can even be used in an unconventional way to enrich the color of garments and accessories.
My knitwear design incorporates traditional methods such as coming up with different swatches, deciding the thread and knitting it up. ‘I also experiment by arranging various sizes of yarn and sewing them together with other woven fabrics and with multiple stitch directions.
The ability to combine different techniques and materials to create structure, weight, and texture is what distinguishes my design from others.
Where does your inspiration come from?
“GARMENT ITSELF IS AN ART AND THE IDEA BEHIND IT IS OF THE MOST VALUE. ”
A. Y.: I love traveling. Every place I go, the architecture I see, and even the people I meet can be the source of my inspiration. The Aqua Tower in downtown Chicago influenced me greatly. For my thesis collection at Parsons, I interpreted the sculptural building through ruffles, angle shapes, and sheering tulle. The design translated the building’s irregularly shaped facade and web-like windows into the clothing silhouette, texture, and my signature fabric – weaved ribbon, which became the identity and DNA of YANGieNY.
Why ribbon as your signature?
A. Y.: Life is composed of many intersections of decisions and networks of people with various backgrounds. The Aqua Tower shows its beauty from many different angles. The tangled lines and graceful curves not only inspire my immense fascination with fabric creation but also make me associate with the intricacies of life.
Why fashion? What made you switch your path? How did you become a fashion designer?
A. Y.: My mom was a fashion designer before I was born, but I was never exposed to fashion and did nothing that was related to the field. My knowledge of sewing, knitting, or even sketching was minimal when I first entered Parsons. I had not even touched a sewing machine before. I still remember it vividly that when I struggled to set up a sewing machine in my very first class, my peers were already done with their sewing tasks. Afterwards, I spent lots of time improving my sewing skills and one night at school, I paused for a second and questioned myself why I am doing this here at 12 am on a Friday night? But after my first work came out, no matter it was good or bad, I realized I’m passionate about fashion.
What’s it like being in the industry?
“RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF CHIC. ELEGANCE. INDIVIDUALITY. ”
A. Y.: Being at school and the real fashion industry are very different. I’m glad that I got a chance to intern at Michael Kors during my time at Parsons, which opened my eyes even more to the world of fashion. I’ve learned that as a fashion designer, you depend on many professionals to make things work and the magic happen. Every day is a challenge and teamwork is the key to success. I get to work with many models, photographers, stylists, professional artists, and magazines when I started my own line. I set a tone to tell the story every season and participate in the entire process – coordinating with model agencies, photographers, hair and makeup artists, and producing the looks found in books and other media. The job seems to be great and amazing because we try to show the beauty of the design and keep the not-so- glamorous side behind the scenes.
What satisfaction do you get from doing fashion?
A. Y.: I’m still learning new things about the industry and new techniques every day. I’m thrilled that I get to know myself better not only as a designer but also a team member and a leader, through designing, running a business and working with others. And I also realize that when you have passion, nothing can make you feel tired. Instead, you will fight for what you love and what you insist on doing. That’s how we keep the game going.