After twenty plus years in the fashion industry, trail blazing womens design at brands like Nike and Converse, Yi launched See ROSE Go in 2018 to acclaimed press with a fresh approach to thoughtful design and purposeful innovation in plus size fashion. Based in New York City, Yi has two young boys who keep her on her toes providing fresh inspiration on a daily basis. Learn more through our Mother's Day Q&A with our co-founder, Yi Zhou.
SRG: What is your source of inspiration for the new designs?
Yi: I’ve always been inspired by modern architecture. To me, that really embodies two very important elements that make up good design… beauty and functionality. Built to last a period of time and great architecture is timeless , and becoming iconic, such as the beautiful, soft and elegant Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Architectural ease, beauty meets performance, form meet function… there are the guiding principles of my design thought process. But, in the end, I come back to woman. How she moves thru her daily lives, what does she need to feel and look her best, so she can take on her life challenges in a most effortless way. Of course fashion is also about beauty and inspiration, to bring a bright spots to her day would be lovely, too.
SRG: What will women want to wear when this is over?
Yi: For me, I’d long for simpler times, with fewer, quality things that last. There’s a sense of cocooning oneself with refined comfort, but I’m also obsessed with things that function, that work and protect me.
Same goes for fashion, or rather, clothing in that matter. Well made with beautiful fabrics, so I believe they will last, as an investment. They’re not something just to be thrown away, I’m more selective and cherish things I love that bring me a sense of joy. I think this sentiment is connecting with many women now.
SRG: What are you wearing daily as you work from home?
Yi: Functional and comfortable pieces that are my favorites from 10-15 years ago, that have traveled and lived with me on my personal life journey from Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and now New York… I guess I needed to feel secure with clothing I know how they will make me feel… and I’ve been wearing lots of Breton striped shirts in red and blue stripes…they give me a sense of being out there in Brittany, soaking up the fresh Spring air and hearing the waves crashing onto rocks…
SRG: You have 2 young children at home! What is your biggest learning while working from home with the family during quarantine?
Yi: Silence is beautiful and I shall cherish every moment of it.
: ) Yes!
SRG: If you could share one thing with all the Mothers out there, what would it be?
Yi: If all possible, to carve out a little sliver of “me-time” for yourself amongst all the craziness… For me, the quiet early morning moment are precious, before the rest of the family wakes up I try to step outside on the rooftop, breath in fresh morning air…the birds seem to sing louder these days, or perhaps that’s just me now being more in tune with myself and my surroundings?
SRG: How will COVID-19 change fashion? How will it change your business?
Yi: I think as an industry, we all start to see and understand that we need to re-set our values and change in priorities. We’ll come out of the pandemic desiring for things with staying power and longevity, and we want to consume less, but better. Our thoughtful approach to design is setting the goal to be more sustainable in all aspects of our business, from design, to manufacturing, to how we dress beyond seasons.
SRG: What women inspire you the most?
Yi: I feel inspired by women who are genuine and are in tune with themselves. That sense of “knowing” exude a certain confidence, comfort and joy about life, passion and themselves… it’s beautiful to live a life guided by that inner voice. It’s very powerful!
SRG: Craziest dream and ambition?
Yi: Purpose. I long for more purpose and thoughtfulness in life and work. With See ROSE Go, I’m passionate about building the brand with a purpose that touches people’s lives in a meaningful way - with clothing that brings them joy and in turn connect me with amazing women and their stories.