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Interview with Yina Hwang

Home > Designer Interviews > Yina Hwang

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Yina Hwang (YH) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Yina Hwang by clicking here.

Interview with Yina Hwang at Sunday 17th of May 2020
Yina Hwang
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
YH: I spent most of my childhood with my trade-merchant father in the factory district in Yiwu, China. Growing up in an industrial city meant that the streets, factories and markets became my source of artistic inspiration. In my upbringing, where I was exposed to merchants from around the world, helped me to develop an understanding of manufacturing systems and sales, and also broadened my awareness of global markets. I had a natural interest in art and clothes since I was young. As my curiosity about “what is beautiful” grew, I started going back and forth to visit my artist mother, who is a poet and a theater actress in Seoul, South Korea. The disparity between these two very different cities and environments was stimulating, and what was what helped me to arrive at my own unique interpretation of beauty. 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. After graduation from Parsons, I spent two seasons on developing my project “Utopia” and had my Fall 2020 collection debut during NYFW, and earned recognition as a creative designer by winning A’ Design Award this April.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
YH: Yina Hwang is a New York based fashion and lifestyle product studio. In her Fall 2020 collection, Yina Hwang presented 20 looks collection along with a series of bags, accessories and a tent during New York Fashion Week,

FS: What is "design" for you?
YH: For me, design is fulfilling people's aesthetic and practical needs, upgrading people's life and happiness.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
YH: I love to design fashion products with a strong concept. It is always a fun process to interpret a concept into a highly functional design objects.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
YH: My favorite design of mine is this look with the the satin lavender&silver asymmetric blouse styled with printed faux leather pants with chain decorations from “Utopia Collection”. I love the construction, silhouette and colors of each piece and overall it reflects my soft and bold personalities at the same time.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
YH: The first thing I designed for a company was a two piece cream tweed coat and a dress set that was custom made for an independent buyer.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
YH: Lately I love making printed fabrics and I used them in my latest collection. In "Utopia" collection, I used digital print. Every print and fabric in the project is original and she mainly used PU leather, Satin, Power Mash, and Spandex for the base of the fabrics.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
YH: I feel the most creative when I am spending time with like-minded friends. People around me are my biggest inspirations.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
YH: When I design clothes, I focus on the fit, color and fabric combinations.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
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. However, I enjoy the whole process of it!

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
YH: I feel very rewarded, it feels like my mind and body is full of euphoria when my designs are realized.

FS: What makes a design successful?
YH: For fashion products, I think the good fit, comfortable fabric and right design and functions based on user's need are the keys to make a design successful.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
YH: I see if it is an aesthetically good looking design or not. And functionality is as important as an aesthetic.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
YH: I think designers are responsible about the global environmental issues. We need to definitely think about the most sustainable way for producing the products.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
YH: I think in the future, designs are going to be more based on the 1:1 user experience. Maybe they can read your thoughts and emotions and provide the right thing for you.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
YH: I had my recent fashion show in February in New York during NYFW. I am possibly doing another project with a partner and at I think we will be having a presentation at the end of the project. To Be Announced!

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
YH: I find inspirations from people around me and through my personal experiences. I always try to fill my life with fun and inspiring episodes through trying new things and traveling. "The most personal is the most creative" this is a quote I like.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
YH: I like to put chic, elevated and emotional elements in my design. I want people to feel the energy when they see and wear my design, how they interpret it is up to each wearer.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
YH: I live in Manhattan, New York. The old and modern buildings, streets, diverse people and culture.. the inspiration is everywhere in the city and I love it! New York definitely has influenced my designs.

FS: How do you work with companies?
YH: It depends on what type of project I am doing with companies. But one thing I can say is I have a lot of meetings and conversations about the design and development with the team during the working process.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
YH: As an example, to start my "Utopia" collection, I self-experimented by going towards the other end of the spectrum of what society views as “perfect” by using surgery tape to distort my physical appearance to lay down the foundation of what I will be creating. The distortion led to the collages. The collages led to the prints which also created the silhouettes to my initial prototypes.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
YH: My custom made huge work table, Paintings on the wall, Marshall Bluetooth speaker, Life size tiger doll and my sofa.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
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.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
YH: Don't be afraid to show your talent and ideas to the world, we are all making the world a more beautiful place to live. This is what I always tell myself too.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
YH: I think both positives and negatives of being a designer is that you always think about work. I started fashion design because it's fun at the beginning, but when it becomes "job", things are not always enjoyable. So I always remind myself that this is what I like and what I always wanted. I am blessed to do it.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
YH: Follow your intuition, and always be adaptive to changes, open to other people's idea.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
YH: I think the ability to realize the abstract idea to the final outcome, understanding wearer's needs is very important for a designer.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
YH: I like mixing physical sketches and paintings with digital tools such as photoshop and Illustrator. For this project, I used a broken scanner to make effects on the prints.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
YH: I write down what I have to achieve every week, and the rest of the plan is flexible.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
YH: It depends, but when I develop my full collection, it takes about one season from design to final production.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
YH: "What is your purpose as a designer?" I always answer "I just want to be a part of the things that make the world more beautiful"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
YH: One of my most important job experiences I had is when I worked at Jonathan Simkhai as a design intern. I had a chance to work closely with the lead designers of the team. I learned a lot about product development and had opportunities to participate in some of the fun projects.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
YH: People who had been following and supporting my design for years now are mostly creatives who love art and fashion.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
YH: I like designs that are pleasing to the eye, and functional at the same time. For example, there can be a clothing rack that looks like an art statue, and it's functional at the same time.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
YH: I want to collaborate and work for companies and gain more team work experiences. At the same time, I would like to continue new creative projects!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
YH: 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. I have good friends who always inspire me, and conversation with them always make everything better.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
YH: I am brainstorming on a project, with my like-minded friend and a partner Elle Haein Kim. We are working on a project that reflects our Korean heritage that is interpreted in our own way.

FS: How can people contact you?
YH: People can contact me through my email: yinahwangstudio@gmail.com or through Instagram Direct Message at @yinahwang_studio


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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