Meet the Fresh Collective Designers – Shelley Yu of Kabuki Designs

Name:  Shelley Yu
Name of line: Kabuki Designs
Description of what you make: women’s ready-to-wear
Number of years in business: 3.5 years


Where and when you’ll find me most days: I’m usually in my home studio @Yonge/Eglinton all the time, or I may walk around in the streets for the whole day!


What a typical day at work looks like for me:  

I never get bored of these things even though I do them almost every day:

  • searching online the trendy colours, styles, and fabrics, etc
  • watching movies of 50’s or 60’s where I usually get inspiration for new designs
  • illustrating designs
  • making patterns
  • draping, sewing samples
  • correcting patterns and samples…
reggie dress teal

Reggie dress: the fabric 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! (Available in navy, purple, teal, SML, $189)

My favourite part of the job:  When I hit upon a new idea, I start to make a sample, try it on myself in high heels and correct it bit by bit till I am satisfied.  I just love to see the idea come together!

The most challenging part of being a designer is…. To find fabrics matching the designs. Besides, it’s still hard for me to find out what styles may attract more customers since the western and eastern aesthetics are so different.

reggie top skirt purple2

Reggie top/skirt: The fishtail curve of the skirt 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 jeans too! (Available in navy, purple, teal, SML, top:$139, skirt:$98)

Something I’m really great at is…. Thanks to my medical study background, the knowledge about anatomy helps me make better fitting patterns.

Having my own business is…  To bring my dream into reality!

audrey A2

Audrey A-line: This dress is a classic look of Audrey Hepburn who inspires me of most of my designs – 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.
SML, $189

My hopes and dreams for my fashion career: To dress up more and more people.

What I do when I’m not at work:  Walk around in streets and watch what people are wearing, spend time in a library, learn new recipes for cooking, make crafts, hang out with friends…

My earliest fashion memory: My mom sitting beside me and making me a new dress.

My inspiration as a designer comes from…Anything that attracts my eyes.

Growing up I thought I’d become….A doctor or a fashion designer. Then I studied medicine and became a designer finally.

What I like to do to relax: Look at clouds or the moon and imagine anything I can, or randomly draw something hits my mind. What I also love is to observe ants and am always admire how powerful and hardworking they are.

Why I love working with Fresh Collective: Both the staff and fellow designers always kindly encourage and support me and honestly give me suggestions to develop my line.

Favourite social media platform: I don’t have passion for computers, so facebook page ( is my favourite so far although I know there are tons of platforms.

Anything else we should know about you:  My part-time job? I am writing and translating articles about health for a Japanese monthly magazine.

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