Fresh Collective Style Profile – Shelley Yu

Shelley Yu and I first met in 2011.  We had a meeting to discuss her selling her line, Kabuki, with us in our new Roncesvalles store.  She impressed me in many ways; her craftsmanship was impeccable, her drive and passion for what she does was clear and her willingness to learn and adapt showed me that she was going to be very successful as a designer.

Shelley has put her heart and soul into developing her line with us.  She spends time in the store to get to know what the customers are looking for.  She is open to feedback and ready to adapt, and she is always surprising me with how beautiful and marketable each new season is in her line Kabuki.

I am proud to have Shelley’s line in our stores, and impressed to see how much she has grown as a designer and as a businessperson in the 3 short years I’ve known her.  She is always an inspiration to me.
Laura-Jean – founder and CEO of Fresh Collective

Name: Shelley Yu
Occupation: Clothing Designer – Kabuki
Age: 44
Lifestyle: free, sometimes excited, sometimes quiet


Style Coach Notes: I love the subtle fishtail curve of this dress – it creates a very elegant shape. The top is very versatile – it looks professional paired with slacks or a skirt, but looks great with a pair of boyfriend jeans too! (Reggie Top/Reggie Skirt – Kabuki – available in purple/navy/teal – $139/$98; Necklace: Ch-ch-chains – BurfurART bracelet plus extender $45 + $12;  Bracelet- Ch-Ch-Chains BurfurART $45;  Shoes- Lonna T-bar – Hush Puppies $100  )

What’s a typical day like for you?  I had never worked out at all until I discovered yoga two months ago – I think I finally found the right exercise for me! Now I start my day with 30 minutes of yoga before I start tackling any work left from the day before. That, or I decide what to eat for the day (eating is our family’s common hobby)! On nice days I really enjoy spending time in my backyard.

What in your life is really important to you? Family, friends, and of course spending every day happily.

What would you like to be remembered for? I am pretty confident and proud of my cooking. I would probably have become a chef I didn’t choose fashion design as my life long career.

Style Coach Notes: The fabric is so stretchy that there is no necessary to use a zipper. That means you can just slip it over and become an elegant career lady if you put on heels. And also the side invisible pockets are big enough to hold your cellphone and some coins when you go out for a coffee or snack. The fitted sleeves don’t make you feel uncomfortable with an over blazer or cardigan.

Style Coach Notes: The fabric of this dress is so stretchy there’s no need for a zipper – just slide it on with some heels and you’re ready to go! It features convenient invisible pockets and is light enough to comfortably wear under a jacket or blazer! (Reggie Dress – Kabuki – available in purple/navy/teal $189; Necklace – Curious Oddities $45; Shoes Lonna T-Bar – Hush Puppies $100; Bag: Matt and Nat )

What role does fashion play in your life? Being a designer, fashion is extremely important to me in all ways. I love creating clothes that make women look and feel stunning – and I admire women who dress up and look elegant and gorgeous walking around in high heels (I can only walk in sneakers or flats)!

What do you love about shopping at Fresh Collective? The amazingly creative designers always inspire me and their successes always encourage me. I am so lucky to have met them so soon after I moved to Toronto from Japan. I know all the designers and staff, so shopping at Fresh Collective is like picking up something from my own wardrobe at home.

Style Coach Notes: This season was inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s movie . This dress is actually a classic look of her, cute cowl neck or high round neckline with a A line knee length skirt. The houndstooth pattern is forever trendy and looks perfect on everybody. The gathers at the back keep a great feminine shape. And the pockets are big enough for a purse or cellphone. Isn’t it a perfect dress for work? But it turns into a party dress at one if you wear a jewelry from Fresh Collective.

Style Coach Notes: This season was inspired by Audrey Hepburn. This dress is actually a classic look of hers – a cute cowl neck or high round neckline with a A line knee length skirt. The houndstooth pattern is forever trendy and looks perfect on everybody! The dress  gathers at the back to keep a great feminine shape. Keep it simple for a great daytime look or dress it up for night with bold accessories and heels! (Audrey A-line Dress – Kabuki $189; Shoes: Lonna T-Bar – Hush Puppies, $100; Bag – Matt and Nat)

What are you up to these days? I’ve been creating a lot of custom office wear, cocktail dresses and wedding gowns lately, which is great fun! The techniques I apply to patterns and sewing were taught in Japan and I am pleased to have many happy clients!

Is there anything else we should know about you? I love Karaoke and I even sometimes go to Karaoke by myself! I won an award for singing contest at my university’s yearly art festival and then represented the school in a city-wide contest. Unfortunately, I didn’t win! When I don’t want to either work on designs or cook, I still enjoy myself singing.

Where can people find you on social media?

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