Born in Seoul, South Korea, Yina spent most of her childhood with her trade-merchant father in in the factory district of Yiwu, China. Growing up in a city lacking in cultural life meant that the streets, factories and markets became her source of artistic inspiration, rather than galleries or museums. Yina’s upbringing in Yiwu, where she was exposed to merchants from around the world, helped her to develop an understanding of manufacturing systems and sales, and also broadened her awareness of global markets.
As Yina’s curiosity about “what is beautiful” grew, she started going back and forth to visit her artist mother, who is a poet and a theater actress in Seoul. The disparity between these two very different cities and environments was stimulating, and what was what helped her to arrive at her own unique interpretation of beauty.
Yina finds inspiration in contrast. Whether individual elements are considered to be “ugly” or “beautiful” / “dull” or “vibrant” / “clean” or “distorted,” it’s when they’re placed into juxtaposition to one another , she believes, that their genuine harmony is revealed.
When she arrived in New York, Yina honed her design skills at Parsons School of Design and had the opportunity to work with world-renowned brands such as Jonathan Simkhai and Lie Sang Bong. In 2016, she was selected to represent one of fifteen designers from Parsons to participate in Fusion Fashion Show. Her work had been featured in eight magazines, including VOGUE Italia, NYLON Korea, and Bullet Magazine.