Yoyo Lin Han

Lin “Yoyo” Han, fourth-year fashion design major from Harbin, China. Photo by Crosby Ignasher.

Can you describe your process from inception to completion?

I normally start from scratch from a drawing or an illustration — [illustration] is one of my strongest skills. I expand my imagination with my illustration skills. I play around with the fabric and with different techniques. Color is very important for me. What I feel, movies and music…everything inspires me. These define me as a designer and what I want to do.

What has this experience been like for you?

I have a lot of emotion with my senior collection’s development. I learned so many new techniques from different materials and different areas. My internship and my mentors helped me learn a lot, and I do appreciate that. For me, I’ve been shooting movies for my senior collection. That’s very important for me. Another important friend of mine, we want to do a fashion film together to express who we fully are. For people who are as driven as us. My experience is tremendous in my life.

What inspired your design?

My spirit and my dream and my life experience. My design is layers, layers, layers! They change their form. A jacket can change into a skirt, and a dress can change into pants. I understand who I am as a woman, and how I should be strong. I wake up at three in the morning and start to draw like crazy. Listening to music, it’s like I can feel the desire and the pressure inside me, and I want to express that feeling. Most of my designs come from crazy drawings. I wanted to change them into a way to define today’s woman.

How would you describe your everyday aesthetic?

It always has a sense of humor. [It’s] luxurious, for sure — and elegant, of course. For me, a woman should be elegant, and humor is very important. I don’t like [to look] too formal. In my closet, I don’t have a lot of formal wear. But there’s lots of colors. Most important, I want to show my figure in the best way.

Are you feeling nervous about the show?

I’m very slow. [I haven’t been] nervous at all from the beginning. Maybe the next day I’ll feel excited. After these four years, I’m finally contributing something for myself. I never regret [choosing] to chase my dream, change my school and give up so much.

What school did you change from?

My parents always wanted me to be a business woman and to take over my family’s business [a travel agency] later. [At] language school, they tried to make me learn language and business in China. They wanted me to learn Russian and French.

So how has the senior collection prepared you for the future?

It’s a stepping stone. The senior collection is a stepping stone for me to build my future career — to show my aesthetic to people. This way is always challenging, but since I try my best, it’s like I’m opening a door now.

Have you had any professional experience?

My last internship was in New York with EDUN, so I helped the design team from concept-developing and to the final presentation, the final runway show, and from fabric resource to design to fabric design or textiles. I’ve been through everything!

I spent my last winter in New York to intern with the company Funtastic Furs and got my sponsorship from the company for my senior collection.

When did you decide to pursue a career in fashion?

Oh, wow — very young. Since [I was] four or five. I liked to draw, and I liked to draw girls. I like to think I was ugly. My mom would always laugh at me. I wanted to be a model when I was five, and my mom would laugh at me. At middle school age, I wanted to be a fashion designer. That was the only thing I wanted to pursue. It was very brave to announce that. I wanted to be a trend one day.

What are some of the issues facing designers today?

I feel it’s very important to keep a balance and to know just who we are as ourselves — and to be a great team player. I feel everyone in fashion is a sponge. They absorb from different parts. It’s very important to know who we are and what we’re doing for our part to contribute to what other people want. It’s important to place [ourselves] in the right position and to find our strengths and to be disciplined.

Do you have any advice for future designers?

Keep your faith and never regret. Keep working!

Do you want to add anything?

I’m a very happy person. I hope everyone can be happy.