The young New York designer, who explores the affirmation of the female role in her creations, has won first place in the competition organised by Lineapiù Italia to promote emerging talent in the fashion world.
The winner of the 10th edition of Talents Lineapiù is Yayi Chen with the brand YAYI. Talents Lineapiù was launched in 2017 with the aim of recognising and promoting the emerging talents of young brands that stand out for their innovative use of yarns and their excellence in knitwear production and represents an initiative to support new promises in the field of fashion. Promoted by the FondazioneLineapiù Italia, Italia, the competition honours one talent each season and is open to all those already working in the fashion industry.
Yayi grew up in Spain, China and the United States. Her artistic inspiration comes from her trilingual upbringing, which immersed her in different cultures. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York, the talented designer’s work was published in prestigious fashion magazines such as Vogue, Dazed, WWD, Harper’s Bazaar, Madame Figaro and Marie Claire. During her time there, she worked with brands such as The Row, Thom Browne and AREA. In 2022, he founded his eponymous brand YAYI, based in New York.
Her work explores the affirmation of women from a historical and cultural perspective, with an interdisciplinary approach between fashion, film and visual arts. Her research, which weaves together the voices and emotions of female collectives, is expressed in a language of theatrical design and poetic fabric work. In her creations, the female body becomes an expressive canvas, enriched with translucent fabrics, decorative fringes and beaded appliqués that offer a visual and sensory experience. YAYI breaks out of the mould of traditional fashion and creates a fascinating space where fashion, performance and art come together.
Her debut collection, entitled “IT IS NOT SPRING, UNTIL ALL FLOWERS BLOSSOM”, is inspired by her experiences working alongside Chinese immigrants in New York garment factories. The collection recalls the 1982 strike in Chinatown, when 20,000 garment workers, mostly women, marched down Mott Street to Columbus Park on a warm spring day to demand the renewal of union contracts. In her collection, YAYI revisits this event, which marked an indelible page in the history of women’s rights in the United States: the bodies of Asian migrant workers find new strength and expression through sheer lace, jacquard fabrics and floral accessories in a journey through the recognition of individual identity.
“I am honoured to have been selected as the winner of the tenth edition of Lineapiù Talents: knitwear has always been an integral part of my fashion creations and I look forward to continuing to create new patterns with Lineapiù yarns, with which I share an innovative and sustainable vision. In my collections, I have chosen Lineapiù’s exclusive ZETA yarn to realise our brand’s translucent floral jacquard symbol, inspired by the motifs of Chinese ink painting.Yayi Chen says
My brand wants to focus on telling the story of women’s communities behind the veil and their blurred identities, like that of migrant workers, so I want the audience to focus on my work, on my voice and not on my image as a designer.