Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yina Hwang ("YH") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

YH : I earned my BFA 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. I eared my work experiences at 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.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

YH : Generally I like all creative activities, and I think designing fashion products allows me to be the most creative.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

YH : I chose to become a designer. When I was young, my parents used to let me try learning many different musical instrument and other things but I always felt no interest in it. When I was 15, I naturally got into art and design. Then I decided to get professional education so I moved to New York and attended Parsons.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

YH : I want to design clothes and fashion items that does not get influenced by trends. I want to create designs that never gets old.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

YH : I would like to tell young designers to never lose your passion, passion allows you to keep moving forward. Don't be afraid of critics. Be adaptive to changes!

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

YH : I think good designer makes a good looking object and a great designer makes objects that is not only good looking, but also that considers the user's needs, and highly functional.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

YH : I evaluate good design based on 1. practicality and functionality 2.aesthetic 3.creativity

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

YH : Because good design upgrades your lifestyle. Good lifestyle brings you happiness.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

YH : I would love to design clothes for Björk. She is a big inspiration for me and I think it would be a really beautiful project to interpret her message into garment pieces.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

YH : I want to make a creative studio where diverse creatives can gather and work together.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

YH : I think I have three recipes: Be adaptive to changes, Always be open for critics, Find good references!

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

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

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

YH : I like the printed gray faux leather jacket from the "Utopia" Collection. Because I think it is one well-constructed jacket that shows the creativity and functionality at the same time. I successfully transferred my art collage work into pattern making. Also it feels pretty comfortable on the body even though it is a leather-like material.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

YH : I am always open to critics. I like to listen to other people's idea. Because design is meant to be shared to upgrade people's life and happiness, it's not just an art, others' idea is very important as well.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

YH : I am into cooking and food plating. I think I would have become a chef. I like getting creative with food, and I like to cook for people.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

YH : I think design is the creative activities and processes that is done to realize certain purposes into a certain visual/physical form.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

YH : My biggest supporters are my family and friends around me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

YH : I met my mentor in my life when I was living in China. He was 100% supportive to me and kept reminding me of "different way of thinking". For my "Utopia" collection,

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

YH : Before I was indecisive in my execution. Now I have a better eye to make right decision.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

YH : I think designers should be able to present their work in any form they like. Online presentation, public presentation, runway, exhibition .. in a professional way.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

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.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

YH : I want to upgrade people's life and happiness and help create a more beautiful world.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

YH : I think people expect the consistency in work.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

YH : Design improves people's lives and happiness which naturally helps create a better society.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

YH : I am brainstorming on a project, with my like-minded friend and a great partner Elle Haein Kim. We are working on a project that reflects our Korean heritage that is interpreted in our own way.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

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.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

YH : I would love to see more diverse sustainable materials in design industry.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

YH : I think design field is going to be based on the individual's lifestyle. ADD MORE

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

YH : It depends on each project. Short term projects can take up to a week, and long-term projects can go years.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

YH : I start with an inspiration and make a narrative story, and I decide colors and fabrics.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

YH : Balance and harmony are two important words for me as a designer.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

YH : I think the trendsetting magazines or companies present each season's trend by suggesting certain styles and design comes after it. But in order for that, there has to be designs before trend. So it makes sense both ways.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

YH : Technology allows me to realize my design into physical forms. I like to create print fabrics with different technologies.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

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 create effects on the prints.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

YH : Color and materials decides the mood of the design.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

YH : I wish people to ask me about the process of the design and production.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

YH : My ideal design partner will be someone that's like-minded, creative and have similar design taste as me. I do believe in co-design.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

YH : My like-minded and creative friends are my biggest inspirations and they give the most influence on my design.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

YH : Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty covers McQueen's early work to the latest one. This book talks about his life story as a person and a designer. I was impressed and fascinated by his creativity and commitment for his work. This book has inspired me a lot.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

YH : Professional education and design work experiences in fashion and production industry.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

YH : I want to talk to Bill Gates and ask him what secret he knows about the future of the humanity.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

YH : I feel thrilled and motivated when my work wins awards and get recognitions. It is hard to get a recognition, but once you get it, it feels like all the hard work has paid off.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

YH : Black, my studio in Upper East Side, Sashimi, Summer, my Bluetooth speaker and Dries Van Noten,

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

YH : When the final outcome comes out just as I designed and when my work get recognition, I feel very rewarded and motivated.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

YH : I was always a playful and creative child will a lot of energy. I loved styling myself based on concepts. And I used to love taking pictures and make little editorials. I knew I would be doing a creative job when I grew up.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

YH : That is a very interesting question and I love it. Because I think about it a lot. People in 1020 had a very different life from now. I think in 3020, technology will improve so much and people will live an easier life. There will be a lot of jobs we have now that might disappear in the future and also there will be new jobs as well. Whether to make the future earth beautiful place to live or not, depends on us.



Utopia Womenswear Collection

Utopia Womenswear Collection by Yina Hwang

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