One Fated Knight
New designer alert! Talking about design and process with hand bag designer Jennifer Yau.
Adele Tetangco: Can you tell me about your design background?
Jennifer Yau: Working in fashion over the last decade has really exposed me to the whole design process, from start to finish. I am quite a sponge when learning new things, especially if it’s something I’m really interested in. While living in New York City, I took a few design classes at Parsons as well. I’ve always wanted to work with leather as it’s almost a living material that changes through wear and tear.
AT: Where do you find your inspiration? Can you tell me about your process?
JY: I am constantly surfing the web on blogs, magazines, celebrities, fashion labels and social media. I love taking bits and pieces of what I’m drawn to and create something new. I can be inspired by the simplest things. It can be a colour or shape or certain texture; then go back to the bag lab and hash it out with my factories and suppliers to see what the possibilities are.
AT: Do you like running your own company?
JY: Being an entrepreneur definitely has its perks, however, as we’re still in the start-up phase it can be overwhelming at times. All in all though, when I have a tough day or week, I just remind myself of the dream. Stress is a symptom of starting your own business!
AT: Tell me about a bag that you’ve been coveting for a long time that you’ve yet to purchase?
JY: Any bag by 3.1 Phillip Lim is drool-worthy. I’m in love with the Pashli mini and medium satchel and the 31 hour bag. He combines modern and minimalist design with a hit of an edgy print on interesting textures, such as animal hair. All of his bags also have great functionality and versatility, which is what I try to do with OFK. I really respect his work and am inspired by it.
AT: What celeb would you like to see wearing your bag?
JY: Nicole Richie would be a dream come true. She has matured into such a respectable classy woman with a major fashion empire and impeccable taste. I loved her on Fashion Star and I’m a big fan of House of Harlow.
AT: Where are the bags made?
JY: They are currently made in India. Their craftsmanship and attention to detail is stellar. I am, however, working on a collection that will be made domestically. I’m excited to find a way to do my part in fostering our local economy.
AT: Tell me about your new collection.
JY: Our Fall capsule collection is full of bold colour for the first time. The leathers are still buttery soft and will I can’t wait to see how they patina with wear. Our new holiday collection will be bringing back some fan favourites in new colours and soft leathers.
AT: What’s your best selling bag so far?
JY: The Cardinal mini satchel has been flying off the shelves since day one! Not only is the price right, I think it’s also popular for the versatility and organization it offers.
AT: Is there a particular colour that people keep ordering?
JY: Our customers love cognac. It’s rich, timeless, neutral and pretty much goes with everything. The caramel coloured brown also celebrates every scratch and patina of the leather, so it wears really nicely over time.
AT: What can we always find in your purse?
JY: Notebook and pen, gum, and lip balm. I usually have a wine key too.
AT: Name something you can’t live without.
JY: Family and friends. They are the best part of my life and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Their love and support have been a godsend and I am so blessed to have such amazing people in my life.
AT: What are you listening to on your iPod?
JY: I love the Songza app since I’m a music junkie and love discovering new music. My favourite playlists are “Blogged 50, L.A. Summer, Indie Apartment Party, and Fresh New Discoveries.” My head is always bobbin’ to these beats.
One Fated Knight