Yuul Yie is a shoe brand that many fashion insiders have come to love. Focused on a contemporary silhouette that caters to the modern working women of today (we love the low made-for-walking heels!), the brand has garnered a huge following. With its unique details ranging from metal embellishments to pearls on the heels; and use of good quality Italian leather, it’s not difficult to see why the brand has been snapped up by online luxury stores Moda Operandi, Shopbop and Farfetch. We speak to Seoul-based shoe designer Sunyuul Yie on how she decided to become a designer and what it means to love your job.
Please tell us what inspired you to become a designer.
When I was young, I saw Christian Lacroix’s haute couture show, and I could feel the fantasy of fashion for the first time in a designer’s show that showed the height of its splendour and sophistication.
Was it love at first sight or was it a growing feeling? If it was the latter, how was the journey towards realising and obtaining your one true love?
It was love at first sight. And it remains a very powerful impact.
Do you currently love what you do and why?
Of course I love and enjoy my work so much. I’ve never thought about why. I think what I’m doing is naturally good and I’m enjoying it for no reason.
Please tell us how you got started with your current line of work.
I majored in women’s clothing design, and I had worked as a woman’s designer for a while. In 2009, at the request of my senior who is working on shoes industry, I was asked to help design shoes, and I remember the moment I went to the shoe factory for the first time. Back then, the first scene of the factory was so impactful, it lit a “spark” in my head so to speak, and I remember my heart was pounding so hard with excitement. Since then I have been working as a shoe designer.
As a designer, do you often find your emotions reflected on your designs and subsequent works?
The brand that I have now is a contemporary and commercial shoe brand. The brand is not a very individualistic or artistic one, so it does not reflect individual emotional expressions. I tend to reflect mainly the themes and stories of the season.
What are your most memorable moments in your professional career?
When I opened the very first showroom in 2015.
Do you foresee a long-term relationship with your current job?
Maybe I could stop when my new ideas for my collection are completely exhausted. But as long as they continue to come out of my head, I will keep this relationship forever.
If you weren’t doing this, what other career path would you have embarked on?
Maybe a videographer. I think it’s the same thing that we do now in terms of creating visuals.
How do you maintain a healthy relationship between your work and your personal life? And what advice do you have for others wanting to follow in your footsteps.
I have never once thought that what I’m currently doing is “work”. I think the whole process of designing from start to finish is just me being “myself”. So I don’t think I have a life that distinguishes between work and personal life. I have never complained about the fact that I am in great difficulty or that I lack some personal “me” time. Apart from what I do, it is hard to describe myself in entirety, and I don’t think that having more personal life will mean that my quality of life will improve. I think it depends on the standards of satisfaction and maturity in my life.
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*All images by Yuul Yie