Industry Profile: An Interview with Alex S. Yu

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On the eve of his SS18 show at RE\SET 002, Alex S. Yu took time out of his very busy evening of glory and praise to sit with one of our writers. During this intimate interview Yu shared his path to becoming a fashion designer, the goals he has for the industry, his brand, and just a ton of fun stuff that you don’t hear everyday. In this new series titled “Industry Profile” we will be interviewing and highlighting emerging and established Canadian design talent, businesses and creatives doing amazing things for the industry here and abroad. Interviews will contain everything from how to make it as a designer in Canada, industry predictions and trends, and advice for budding fashion professionals. Read below for all the juicy soundbites from our second Industry Profile! You can see our first one here, about the Fashion Zone at Ryerson University.

How did you become a fashion designer?

“I always liked fashion growing up, but it was more of a gradual thing – it was never planned. I always watched Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model growing up, and then in high school I really got interested in fashion and started to learn more about specific models and designers.”

What advice would you give to young fashion design students?

“Know what your voice is and what you want to say with your designs. There is so much happening in the world of fashion right now that you need to have a strong sense of individuality and point of view in order to be heard.”

What trends do you currently like right now?

“I like how streetwear is making a big comeback. I also like the oversized trend instead of the sexualized look of body con dresses and super tight garments.”

What are some trends you currently don’t love?

“I don’t really like the ‘Instagram model’ trend where everyone is looking the same and wearing the same thing. People are losing their individual style because they want to fit in. But I also like how Instagram allows people to take risks. You can easily share and celebrate your unique sense of style with the world.”

Describe the collection you are showing tonight.

“The collection is called ‘Vacant Chaos’ and is inspired by teenage summer camps and movies such as The Virgin Suicides. It’s a dreamy collection that’s innocent, but also rebellious. It’s also youthful and fun and includes many different textures. I hope to inspire people not to take life or fashion too seriously.”

What is a struggle you’ve had as an up and coming designer and how do you get passed it?

“The struggle as an emerging designer is always constant. You have to try to put yourself out there and focus on what you have done well and the progress you’ve made – think positively and don’t be too hard on yourself.”

You grew up in Vancouver. What about the city inspired your collections, if at all?

“The internet has had more of an affect on my designs and I was inspired by Japanese designs a lot too. The relaxed, laid back environment of Vancouver made me conscious of the comfortability of clothing and the comfort of fabrics against the skin. I also love the laid back and oversized look, which is connected to the West Coast.”

*Interviewed by Kelsey Adlem at RE\SET 002 at The Great Hall on September 5th, 2017.

*Collage images courtesy of Vogue UK and and created by Naomi Brearley.