TRUE Model Blog Interview Yona New York
TRUE Model Blog sat down for an exclusive interview with Yona New York, an up-and-coming, super stylish, must-know clothing line! Yona New York creates effortless and couture style for plus size women. Check out the interview and get to know Yona New York!
TM: What inspired you to create Yona New York?
YNY: I am a plus size woman, and I have trouble finding stylish clothing in my size that is also comfortable. Using my training from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, I began designing for myself – things I like and things I enjoy wearing. When friends, family, and even strangers on the street would stop me to ask where I shop, I realized that there may be other women who share my frustration. I wanted to help them look great too, so I created my own line.
TM: How would you define or describe Yona New York?
YNY: Yona New York is a plus size woman designing exclusively for plus size women. We leverage the natural beauty of plus size women so they can look sophisticated, confident, and fabulous. We focus on sophisticated yet basic staple pieces everyone needs, which will never go out of style.
TM: What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer and a part of the fashion industry?
YNY: Creating “fashion art” which makes people look beautiful is what I find most fulfilling. The best part of being in the plus size fashion industry in particular is the warmth and support shared among most designers in the sector. It’s like we are all on the same side, fighting for the same cause. We all want to change the conversation of what beauty means in our society. I see my “competitors” more as allies in this crucial battle for the hearts and minds of people everywhere. It is so humbling and such an honor to be part of that.
TM: What is your favorite material to work with?
YNY: I adore silk. It flows, breathes, and moves with you. It can do almost anything. I have a striped silk dress in my Spring line which is cut on the bias, to amazing effect. A few of the models at our recent casting started dancing around as soon as they put it on. It was fun to see their faces light up.
TM: What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
YNY: First, congratulations on making the choice to live your dream. Do not allow naysayers to bring you down. Be your own cheerleader, even when things are not going your way. Don’t give up. Don’t be scared to be creative. You’ve got this. There are many opportunities for startup designers, which were not available only a few short years ago. You don’t need a big brand behind you. Find places online to help bring your designs together, and sell online. Stick it out – it takes time and effort, but it is worth it.
TM: What was your vision for your current collection?
YNY: There is a worldly flavor to my collection this season. There is an Asian inspired dress, a boxy top in five very different fabrics that has a European type of styling, and a spring dress which calls to mind a romantic day in the park in France. It’s as if I am inviting my customer to be a jetsetter or world traveler, finding all of the fun, comfortable, yet classy styles on a trip around the globe.
TM: What is one of your favorite pieces in the collection, and why?
YNY: The boxy top I mentioned is the ultimate in versatility – you can just throw it on and you look great. It is real effortless classy fashion.
TM: What elements of an ensemble make you feel most empowered and beautiful?
YNY: A great pair of shoes and a great bag.
TM: What do you think sets Yona New York apart from other brands?
YNY: First, we design and handcraft everything here in New York City. This allows us to keep a very close eye on the quality of the fabrics, the labor, and everything that goes into producing our fashion art. We offer high-style designs, but at a more affordable price point. Also, our fabrics are very comfortable. You will never feel constrained in a Yona New York design.
TM: There is a lot of controversy surrounding the term plus. How do you see this word? Is it empowering or restrictive?
YNY: The word itself does not bother me nor affect me. People are people. I don’t think it is meant as a pejorative, to make people feel bad. What other word might you suggest? Perhaps we should call smaller sizes small, and our size “normal”.
TM: Do you have a favorite quote or motto?
YNY: I like these two:
“You cannot weigh beauty”
“Anyone can look classy and well dressed. People should not be identified by their size or shape. It’s about who they are, the choices they make in life, and how they treat themselves and others. Women are beautiful no matter what size they wear.”