Visiting DEVONATION designer, Devon Yan’s home studio in the Delridge neighborhood of Seattle was quite a relaxing experience as opposed to the hustle of downtown. As you enter, you’re immediately welcomed by dressed mannequins, racks of clothing and detailed patterns. Of course, we got a sneak peek of what he’s working on for his newest collection titled “Mazzo di Fiori” that he’ll debut at this year’s Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection Independent Designer Runway Show on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Many of you remember that he won IDRS last year so it will be great to see how his skills have continued to develop over the past year.
How did you come up with the name for your line?
Devonation combines my first name “Devon” and the word “nation” to represent something big, like a community, that allows people to see the many aspects of my work.
What first inspired you to become a fashion designer?
When I was a young boy, my father was an opera singer. I would be backstage during his performances surrounded by all of the costumes and clothing. I was also fascinated by the chaos of the backstage area and how everything was pulled together right before the performers stepped onto the stage.
Explain your experience with IDRS last year.
It was very nerve-racking. It was scary but in a good way. The first time I presented my collection to the show, I wasn’t selected as a finalist. Then I thought the show wasn’t for me. But the more I thought about it, I saw it as a challenge to further develop my skills as a designer and come back stronger. I’m very happy that I was selected and had the opportunity to participate in the show. I wasn’t even aware that I’d won after the show finished because I was just relieved that it was over. But someone congratulated me and they brought me back on stage I was shocked. It was a very interesting and very memorable experience.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since winning IDRS?
Before I won IDRS, I still considered myself an emerging designer. But after winning, I now have to see myself on a higher level. I can no longer make excuses for design mistakes. It is still a bit of a challenge for me but I have to stay focused and continue to improve my professionalism.
When and why did you become a member of FGI?
When I came to Seattle about seven years ago, I noticed all of the different fashion organizations that were available. But in trying to involve myself in the different groups, I found that aside from hosting fashion shows, there wasn’t much focus on designing or how to develop the industry or business skills. It’s good to have experience with fashion shows, but I want more than just a show. I learned about FGI from participating in IDRS and after doing my research on the organization, I was impressed with the level of experience and I could see that they were more than just hosting fashion shows. I love that many resources are readily available to help me continue to improve as a designer and as a business professional.
I can no longer make excuses for design mistakes. It is still a bit of a challenge for me but I have to stay focused and continue to improve my professionalism.
Tell us about your exhibit at the Vermillion Art Gallery.
That’s a very interesting project. It’s a collaboration of fashion designers and artists to create wearable art. The theme this year is “Imminent Mode: Revolution Resist”. It’s a great concept to combine fashion and art in a way that’s not so common. The concept for my design is the environment and what you can do to improve it. This is my third year participating in the exhibit and I’m really excited about it.
How can people purchase items from your collections?
Right now, I mostly doing custom designs. Sometimes, I’ll host trunk shows and invite my clients and buyers in the area.
What are your goals for DEVONATION for the next three years?
A lot of people ask me that questions and I always say “I don’t know.” I try not to think too far into the future, but three years from now, I’d still like people to see my designs. I’d also like to build a studio that includes fashion, art and other things going on to further develop the Devonation brand.
After visiting Devon’s studio, we can honestly say that everyone will love the “Mazzo di Fiori” collection so be sure to purchase your tickets for the show at fashionweekbellevue.com. See you there.
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