Our May Curvy Girl of the Month is Yona Love. She's a mother, an entrepreneur and designer who just launched a new plus size collection, Yona New York.
Yona's bio describes how she has loved fashion since a young age," Yona's love of fashion began as a child, with a beautiful dress she received as a birthday gift. She loved that dress and wore it over and over again. Once of school age, Yona would constantly sketch her drawings during classes. Because she was constantly searching for clothes in which she could feel confident and comfortable, she chose to design her own wardrobe. When friends, neighbors, and even strangers on the street would ask where she shopped, she knew it was time to bring her designs to the plus size community. "
I'm so happy she brought these designs to us! She doesn't do it alone, her husband, daughter and son in law, are all striving to make Yona New York a household name. It's working, Yona New York has some awesome dresses that can take your from day to night, so be prepared to do some SERIOUS Spring/Summer shopping. Here's Yona in her own words:
In one sentence tell me how you're embracing the #Fortheloveofcurves mantra.
I see positive people, doing things for the love of curves, for the love of every individual person, to not be embarrassed, to not be shy to open up and reach the goals they've always wanted; embracing our curves and our bodies.
Tell me about your love for fashion and business sense.
I always drew and I sketched clothing. I wanted to be part of the that world [fashion] and illustrating was a way to become a part of it. I couldn't fit into most things as a young girl, I couldn't afford most things. I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in the evenings but during the day I worked for my mother. She needed help with her construction consulting business and it took years to build her business. She was a single Mom, with 5 children and she raised us to always look out for each other and that's what I'm doing, looking out for my family. I was very dedicated to her business and I felt that now maybe it was time for me to pursue a bit of my dream so I started a fashion line.
How did you get started designing clothes?
I've always been larger, I couldn't fit into standard sizes. This came at the right time to pursue a plus size line. The truth is if I would have started 25 years ago, I wouldn't have had the support I had now.
I started getting things made, buying two dresses making them into one. I always felt I carried clothes with confidence, but on the inside I always felt things were not comfortable. I always felt too tight here, or too tight there. I'm embracing this point in my life where I've come to accept who I am. It's all part of God's plan.
What is the aesthetic of the Yona New York Collection in one word.
Effortless. I find that being a working Mom, I wake up at 6 in the morning, I'm working long hours, I need clothes I could just throw on and look sophisticated, sexy, smart. I wanted clothes that looked like I put a lot of work into it even though I didn't have the time to plan outfits. I love clothes and I'm not scared of bold bright colors and I show that in my collection.
Where are your clients?
We ship internationally but have a large clientele in Brooklyn, and we have been getting a lot of out of state orders also. I'm so happy about that, it means we are reaching people.
What do you consider your best selling option?
Our draped maxi skirt! We're getting feedback on it so we are coming out with a new look based on our customers' feedback. Also our draped duster is popular, it's extremely practical. Please note, all clothes are currently made in the USA.
Yona Love is the antithesis of...
Scared. I had so much fear as a child, at 9 years old I moved from Israel to the U.S, I didn't know the language, I had to make new friends, my parents divorced, It was all so scary, it held me back tremendously as a child. I've grown and now I never want to feel that way again.
Are there any upcoming events or projects you want to promote?
We will be at the Full Figured Fashion Week expo and I'm currently working on my Fall collection.
Models - I know many of you want to model so I asked Yona how she chooses her models. She said she has a few agencies she's incredibly happy with and she definitely suggests aspiring models sign with an agency, it helps give you more experience.