Designers to Follow / Fashion

Introducing Daisy Yu: the innovative designer creating wearable art

Architectural influences and Chinese braiding techniques, this new gen designer creates clothes that exude ultimate glamour. Get to now the CSM grad making tidal waves...

Tell me a little about yourself and your design journey. How did you get started?

I was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands but moved back to China when I was very young. I grew up mainly in Shanghai and Beijing. My father is an architect, so I was exposed to art and design from a very young age. As I was growing up I knew I wanted to pursuit something creative but wasn’t really sure in which area. After high school I attended the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago studying Fine Art. However, during my year there I became interested in fashion and decided that I wanted to do a degree in fashion. I then applied for Foundation at Central Saint Martins and moved to London.

How did that journey to fashion inform your designs now?

Having been influenced by my father’s profession while growing up as well as having spent a year in Chicago admiring great architecture I am very drawn to sharp lines and strong angles. I am very focused on the structure and fluidity of my design.

Could you briefly explain your overall process in finding what would work best for your vision.

For my graduate collection I aimed to be as sustainable as possible. In order to reduce waste I developed a patchwork technique where I am able to utilize smaller pieces of leather to create a collage-like textile. I also incorporated a Chinese braiding technique to create texture and structure. My entire collection is mainly made out of leather. I am drawn to this material because of its durability and versatility. Because it is not made out of threads like fabrics, there is no grain and it does not fray. This characteristic allowed me to explore techniques that is not usually used in garment making such as edge-painting.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I mostly draw inspiration from my cultural heritage and past experiences. This particular collection focuses on my upbringing. Where I am unable to identify with a singular culture. My nationality, my appearance and my accent all indicate different cultures. Through this collection I aimed to address how I’ve absorbed and reacted to the lifestyle and the environment of each city that I’ve lived in and how these past experiences impacted the way I perceive and express.

How much of your collection met your expectation?

I would say I achieved most what I set out to do. Some turned out well while others worked better inside my head. I am most pleased with the boots I made in collaboration with Roker Atelier. They were inspired by Lotus Shoes. I was able to reference its unique shape and reinterpret it to be apart of my collection.

As a recent Central Saint Martins grad it can become quite daunting navigating ‘real life’ outside of that creative bubble. Do you ever feel like there’s pressure to overachieve?

Central Saint Martins is one of the best design schools and I’ve been very privileged to complete my BA there. There have been so many successful graduates from this university and there is definitely a pressure to do well after completing the degree. However I’ve realized everyone moves forward at their own pace and no two people will take the same path. So I’ve been trying to keep that in mind whenever I feel impatient.

Who do you make clothes for?

I make clothes for anyone who has an appreciation for beauty and innovation.

What is your fashion tribe? Where does Daisy feel most comfortable?

I don’t particularly identify with any fashion tribe, but I do appreciate an element of glamour.

How similar is your personal style to your designs?

I would say quite similar, except I dress less feminine and less colorful

What do you want your clothes to say about the wearer?

Powerful

So what’s next for you?

I am moving to Paris!

18 July 2019