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
Lifestyle: free, sometimes excited, sometimes quiet
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.
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.
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.