The brand “Yuul Yie” is building an image and identity for a new generation of women and adapting it to today’s fashion industry. We talked with its founder Sunyuul Yie. She tells us about her journey as a design entrepreneur and her work to develop a Korean footwear aesthetic.
Can you please tell us a little about your background and how the Yuul Yie brand came about?
I studied Fashion Design – womenswear at Esmod Seoul and worked as womenswear designer for a while. Then I had the chance to help a senior at school with his shoe brand and fell in love with shoe designs. That was 2009 and I launched my own brand named “Ma vie en rose.”
In a few words, what does “luxury” mean to you?
Elegant but not easy, conservative but valuable
Do you have any unique ways of coping with the intense speed of the fashion cycle?
I don’t overreact and compete with things that change easily. I concentrate on developing our brand no matter how fast the change is outside and making our own cycle which doesn’t get affected by small changes.
– How do you see Korean design influencing today’s fashion world?
Everything changes so fast in Korea and so many Korean people and designers get used to adjusting and absorbing new things. Diverse way of approach has been expressed with complicated manner by contemporary artist. So new generation which has been influenced by both of traditional and new culture make new area and it reflects fashion industry.
Can you tell us more about your vision for “YY by Yuul Yie”?
YY is Yuul Yie’s second label that goes beyond shoes to working new areas of culture such as lifestyle, beauty, and womenswear. Besides, YY’s target market is very young so it has a reasonable price and it pursues a minimal and basic design. We will also extend our business area to perfumes, lifestyle, clothes, cosmetics etc. We aim to open shops with various items that reflect Yuul Yie’s identity.
What is the story behind your collection for SS18, “The love potion, 1961”?
The maturity of woman is what I want to express. To give the silhouette of a classic image, I developed shoes with ‘60s retro shapes and mixed it with the brand’s sense which allows a modern image as well. It gives a sense of mature woman rather than a young girl.
Yuul Yie has unique heel and vamp details as well as complementary hardware. How do you choose what to focus on during the design process?
Discovery! Discovering new shapes and structures is the thing I focus on the most when I design. While maintaining a basic and classic feature, I search for new shapes and structures. That’s why “Yuul Yie” can launch new shapes of heels and structures every season. I believe this characteristic of our shoes offers contemporary women a new sense of basic and classic image. Also, I always consider shoes as a masterpiece that covers our feet and myself as an artist who creates new masterpieces.
Do you find there are any particular challenges to be a creative woman and entrepreneur? What message does your work send to the next generation of designers?
It is important to act normal with a comprehensive point of view and appreciation of the situation when something unexpected happens, or something goes wrong. I hope my work can be used as a good reference for future works of next generations.
Many designers use social media as a tool to grow their brands. Do you find these tools meaningful or valuable? Does social media connect to your work?
As a designer living in this age and owning a contemporary brand, I can’t ignore the power of social media. Social media removes the boundaries of fashion and limitation of presentation. Traditional methods such as making look books, having fashion shows, and offline presentations can’t reach many people as fast as social media. But still there is a difference between professional and amateur. I think it is right to adopt a new manner of presentation, but I hope this fast-paced emerging and disappearing doesn’t damage true artists and brands.
What is next for Yuul Yie?
Yuul Yie is a highly contemporary shoes brand. I have interest in the beauty category beyond shoes. Yuul Yie’s core concept is colorfulness. So, I plan to launch a color cosmetic line. I think it’s enough for me to have global brand with beauty lines (including lipsticks, eye shadows, blushes etc.) and leather goods.