MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?
I was born and raised in Japan by Korean immigrants. My diverse cultural background led me to develop a strong sense of Japanese fashion and an appreciation for Korean production methods. It has been three years since I established my own brand, YONFA, in 2016. YONFA’s target consumers are mature women who love fashion and are open to trying new things and changing their everyday style.
MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?
Like any designer, it started with wanting to make clothes that I love. I have loved fashion since I was a little girl. Growing up, I began experimenting with fashion and mixing pieces from fast fashion brands and luxury brands to create my own style.
One thing I always wished I could find was a brand that was affordable but that had the qualities of a luxury brand. One that would inspire confidence in women. Now that I’m designing my own clothes, this desire for affordable confidence inspires my creations. I hope my brand will be a breath of fresh air in the fashion industry!
MM: Can you describe your creative process?
The most important thing while I am designing, is to think about what kind of clothes I would personally want to wear. Mature women do not like clothes unless they fit them well, can be used in different ways, and are durable. I always think of their needs first and after that, find a balance between casualness and quality.
MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
I get most of my inspiration from day to day occurrences such as looking up the sky when I wake up, eating meals, and seeing art in museums or listening to music.
MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?
What would I want to wear? What kinds of materials would I want to have? What colours would I like to see? I consider my own taste while I design.
MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?
From my previous job at a clothing store, I learned customer service, visual merchandising, operations, and how to train staff. After that, I went back to school as a fashion business major and gained even more knowledge.
MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?
I am very proud to be one of the many fashion designers in the world. In Japan especially, the standard for fashion is high so it is truly an honour. I also think the use of social networks has been a huge impact for me and expanded the reach of my brand.
MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?
My favourite part is when I put all of my ideas together and get positive feedback from customers. They love my collections and that motivates me!
Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can’t wait to see YONFA show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the F/W19 season.
Check out YONFA at: YONFA