Who: Ann Yee
What did you do before launching your own line/what is your fashion background?
After I graduated from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, I designed knitwear for a number of brands, honing my skills and techniques, before starting my own collection. I’ve designed for LaROK, Elizabeth & James, Barney’s, and helped launch DUFFY, a womens contemporary knitwear collection.
How did the line come to be?
I’ve always wanted to start my own collection, but felt it was necessary to gain some industry experience before doing so. After working for about 4 years, I decided it was time to make a move so I started sketching a few designs in hopes of developing a small capsule collection. I found the proper resources and the rest is history!
What has been your biggest challenge?
Time management, but I’ve definitely gotten better by setting strict deadlines for myself.
What’s the ballsiest thing you’ve had to do to for your business?
Quit my full-time job and dedicate everything to my business.
Where do you see Ann Yee five years from now?
I see the collection growing in size and expanding internationally into Asia & Europe for sure. There will definitely be more accessories in the line and possibly a foray into menswear.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Never hesitate to ask for help and definitely be prepared to make sacrifices. You’re going to make loads of mistakes before you feel that sense of accomplishment-just remember to learn from these experiences. Be ready to work insanely HARD and try not to lose your sense of humor along the way.