BULLETT: So you’re pretty young, actually, and you’ve been insanely successful.
Yara: Wow, thank you!
How did it all happen so fast?
Well, I feel like it’s actually been a while in a way, but maybe it appears to be faster. But, it all started when my job was ending at The Prada Foundation, which is a non-profit art foundation and I was kind of trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. So, in college I had always been attracted to fashion in a way, but by way of art and these art happenings that we put on that were half fashion show, half art happening. So I thought I might try to do something like that but obviously a little more commercialized. Then, one of my friends who worked at Barneys’ wore a dress of mine to a meeting with a buyer that she had and they ended up putting in an order. So, I had to learn everything really quickly, and that’s kind of how it started.
So did you kind of just fall into it, suddenly?
Yeah, I kind of fell into it and then I l had to learn how to do production, and then I took patternmaking classes at FIT and basically was learning while I was doing it. It was kind of the push that I needed because I’ve always been a cautious person, so it was nice to have that extra push to really go for it.
Prior to that moment, had you always considered making design your career?
I wanted to be an artist, really. I had applied to art schools and hadn’t gotten into them, and I was kind of bummed. But I knew it was something that I could play with and kind of work art into it and not be so confined. So, one of the things I really like about fashion is making form with function and really knowing that someone’s going to wear it, and it’s going to be part of someone’s life outside my studio.
I read somewhere that you used to be way into basketball ?
Yeah. I got into basketball too late, unfortunately, but I was so annoyed with people telling me I should play basketball when I was younger. And then I actually did play and I was like, ‘Oh this is amazing, I love it.’ And I still try to play once in a while, I think if you’re all into fashion it’s kind of limiting.
Do you feel like your history of athleticism has infused a sense of practicality into your designs?
Yeah, definitely. I like to make things that have a little hint of masculinity in them. And those are the things that I’m probably most attracted to in design. I like things that are a bit walking the line between sexy and conservative, and masculine and feminine, and I like juxtaposing the different characteristics with each other.
What is your inspiration behind your Fall 12 collection and show?
Well, I’m going to continue to work with the inspiration from an artist; I’m not going to release their name right now. It’s kind of minimal art and I’m still really, really interested in color, so that’s actually going to come through to fall which is unique for me– I kind of really like the idea of pops of crazy color for fall. And I used to only do one pop of color in my collections, and then last season I challenged myself to use no black. So, white was the neutral color and then everything else was color. It was fun, and when you get to think about it as a whole palette, like the whole collection together, it’s interesting to see what you can do with the colors you choose.
If you had to depict your brand as an animal, what would it be and why?
If my brand was an animal? That’s a good question. If it was an animal, it’d be like a horse or something. Kind of graceful, but strong. I really like horses. And I love cats, but it’s not a cat. I want it to be a cat, but it’s more like, a little bit funkier. I’ll stay with strong, but delicate.
Do you have a vision for your future, or are you just, kind of, letting it take you where it wants you to go?
I’m starting to really look at it more as a business and how I can keep it not only sustainable but growing. I make everything in New York and it’s definitely not cheap and it’s something I want to keep doing. So, I’m trying to find out the best ways for me to do that and still be able to grow and try out new things, which is really important. That’s my newest challenge: Being creative, researching new fabrics, and experimenting. I use silk a lot, but I’m really looking a lot more at these Japanese synthetics that are really innovative, and really, really interesting. And, actually most of them are kind of eco-friendly, as well. I like using cupro, which is awesome. It’s kind of like a sandwashed silk and it’s made from rayon waste. Rayon, technically is wood fiber, like wood pulp, so it’s kind of natural fiber. I love the way it feels, and it’s very breathable, too.