About Yina Hwang

Yina Hwang is a New York based fashion designer and graduated from Parsons School of Design. Her work has featured in several fashion magazines including Vogue. Through her brand, she aims to break down the wearer’s restriction for the freedom of expression, and help the wearers bring out their own spirits.

Interview with Yina Hwang

Yina Hwang ("YH") interviewed on Sunday, 17 May.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

YH : I earned my BachelorofFineArts degree in fashion design program at Parsons School of Design. I started working for a womenswear brand in 2013. I have worked in New York, China and South Korea in fashion design, sales and wholesale departments. I eared my work experiences at fashion companies including Jonathan Simkhai, Lie Sang Bong and more. I had my first collection debut at Fusion Fashion Show in 2016 and my Fall 2020 Collection debut during New York Fashion Week.

How did you become a designer?

YH : Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yina spent most of her childhood with her trade-merchant father in the factory district of Yiwu, China. Growing up in an industrial city meant that the streets, factories and markets became her source of artistic inspiration. Yina’s upbringing in Yiwu, where she was exposed to merchants from around the world, helped her to develop an understanding of manufacturing systems and sales, and also broadened her awareness of global markets. As Yina’s curiosity about “what is beautiful” grew, she started going back and forth to visit her artist mother, who is a poet and a theater actress in Seoul. The disparity between these two very different cities and environments was stimulating, and what was what helped her to arrive at her own unique interpretation of beauty. At the very first beginning, she was into fine art. When she was 15, she asked her parents for the first time that she wants to learn something- that was fine art. Her high school teacher used to be very supportive to her and gave her a bunch of art related books, materials and a key to a private studio at school. She had natural interest in styling clothes since she was very young and she found connection between art and fashion. She attended Parsons School of Design for as fashion design major. In 2016, she had her first debut during school at Fusion Fashion Show, that was judged and awarded by a panel of experts, including Large of Paper Editor Pater Davis, Gap Inc. men’s trend and concept global director Damien Nunes, Teen Vogue fashion consultant Mary Kate Steinmiller, Bill Blass creative director Chris BenzAfter gradation. After graduation from Parsons, she spent two seasons on developing her project “Utopia” and had her first Fall 2020 collection debut during NYFW, and earned recognition as a creative designer by winning A’ Design Award this April.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

YH : 1. practicality and functionality 2.aesthetic 3.creativity

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

YH : I get a lot different emotions. I get excitements, but at the same time, I am serious because making clothes need accurate measurements and techniques. I need to make sure to make the best fit and outcomes for the wearers. But I enjoy the whole process of it.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

YH : I think learning languages definitely helped me shape me as a designer. My native language is Korean and I learned English and Chinese while I grew up. When I visit fabric markets and factories in China, New York and Seoul, speaking local languages helped the communication. Also, I got a lot of cultural inspirations from those countries.

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

YH : My dream design project is to make creative studio and all different kinds of creative activities are allowed. I want to combine fashion, art, music maybe even food together into this creative studio. And do different types of artistic projects with the team members and connect it with business.

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

YH : Be adaptive to changes, Always be open for critics.

What is your day to day look like?

YH : Normally when I work on a collection, everyday I pin inspiration and reference images on a big board. Also I put fabric swatches and trims on the side. I start my day by listening to music and go through organizing those boards and go over thinking what I have to do on the day.

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

YH : I do think that design trend matters but only following the trend without any originality would make the brand have no identity. I think it is important to balance your originality and the trend at the same time.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

YH : I evaluate good design based on 1. Aesthetic 2. Creativity 3. Practicality and Functionality

How do you decide if your design is ready?

YH : I make a lot of prototypes before making the final outcome. By making samples, I know what to fix and after all the alterations, I know the design is ready to be produced with the final selected materials.

What is your biggest design work?

YH : My "Utopia" project. Because everything including the fabrics is original. The challenge was getting the right prints on the right fabric. Every fabric has a different result of prints and has a different approach to sewing. I went through a series of fabric tests and garment prototypes to reach the final result. When I saw the final lineup, and when I had the runway show during fashion week, it gave me the most satisfaction.

Who is your favourite designer?

YH : Dries Van Noten is a designer who always surprises and inspires me with his collection every season. The beautiful and harmonious combination of the prints and the silhouettes of the garments always inspire me.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

YH : I live in NYC and it's culture is a big part of my creative process.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

YH : When I select project partners, I have to have a deep understanding of their work and they need the same for me too. I like to work as a team. When I design, I like to take my time to develop designs myself, but also I have a lot of conversation my collaborators for the best outcomes. Communication is very important.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

YH : I have hope that my creative work will bring energy and joy to people's lives and contribute to a healthier world. I want people to wear my garments and love how they look, take on the day with confidence.

Yina Hwang Profile

Utopia Womenswear Collection

Utopia Womenswear Collection design by Yina Hwang


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