Interview: Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker

May 21, 2018 2:00 PM

TWELV sat down with Jackie Yang, Creative Director of Chelsea and Walker, in the brand’s New York City garment district office to chat about the rising designer’s childhood exploration of his parent’s closets, growing up in the supermodel era, and standing out in today’s ever-expanding fashion landscape. Read the excerpts and watch the full interview below:

Where are you from?

I grew up in Singapore. I moved to Taiwan when I was about 9 years old, just to learn to be independent, to learn the language. It was a great experience, and then I moved to New York after high school in Singapore.  

Did you study design?

I actually came here for business school first. I went to NYU’s MBA program, and after that I did one year of fashion design at FIT.

When did you become interest in fashion?

I’ve always loved fashion since I was really young. My parents, they are obsessed with fashion. So, I always had a really great time in their closets. My mom happened to be a jewelry designer, and she has her own business as well. 

What inspires you?

I love French fashion, and that it’s very couture but its very chic. It’s very romantic. I also love Italian fashion because it’s very sexy and very edgy. Tom Ford— what he’s doing now and also what he did for Gucci and Saint Laurent. But at the same time, I love Yves Saint Laurent back then as well. But since I’ve been living in New York for so many years now, I love this whole American, easy sportswear.

Where do you work now?

I’m the Creative Director for Chelsea & Walker. I started this line at the end of 2014. I basically guide the whole design, the imagery, the branding, the marketing.  I like to mix feminine and masculine. I like to mix modern and romance. This whole Yin and Yang all factors into the brand.

What was the starting point for the Spring/Summer 2018?

I grew up in the 80’s. I grew up in the 90’s. So, I’m always obsessed with the 80’s. You know– the 80’s– the rock’n’roll, the punk and all that, the whole East Village. Madonna– this whole musical vibe. At the same time, I love the 90’s grunge. Courtney Love– you know– Kate Moss. Back in the 90’s is what I grew up with, and so that’s always in me, and I would like to bring what I grew up with into the collection and make it modern.

When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

To be honest with you, I’m sleeping a lot. You know, to catch up on sleep and release stress, and I also love work outs as well. So, Yoga, Jogging.

What’s the biggest issue facing the fashion industry?

For design, it’s getting harder to reach out to your audience, to find your specific customer. Because there is so much going on out there, a lot of offerings out there. Just have your own voice and make it feel fresh and new.

Be You, Be CW!

 

Video by CHAMA

Edited by HOLLIS DE LANEY

 

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