Founders Yan and Ming Lee have fashion in their blood. Before the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1946, Yan's grandfather owned clothing factories in Suzhou, China and Japan. Yan grew up in the next city Shanghai, making clothes for herself and her sister, buying printed cotton and silks from the local fabric shops near Nanjing Road and People's Square.
Yan moved to London in the 1980’s and this is where she truly began to explore her skills and love of craftsmanship for clothes. She began her haute couture journey working as a seamstress at Black Magic, a specialist boutique in Victoria Park then moving on to Tomasz Starzewski in South Kensington where she made clothes for the late Margaret Thatcher and gained an abundance of knowledge for the world of couture. Going on to become a Senior Technician at Westminster University, then teaching at RCA and Central Saint Martins, Yan supported graduates like Markus Lupfer.
Through the power of word of mouth, Yan had the utmost privilege to work with the most celebrated designers of our time including Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi, Julien MacDonald, Givenchy and Gucci Couture. Yan had the rare talent of understanding a designer’s vision in a sketch and through close collaboration could create and bring the masterpiece to life.
Harrods eventually headhunted Yan to help their subsidiary fashion house, Jasmine Di Milo create their first collection with a team of five. After ten years as Head of Production and Product Development, showing at Paris and London Fashion Week, 100,000s of miles flown between China, Europe and London, dressing Prince, Rihanna and managing a team and sample room of forty, the company ceased trading in 2010 after the sale of Harrods.
Ming grew up always as the luckiest girl in the class, choosing fabrics and designing dresses made by her mum Yan, matching co-ords, berets and hairbands and eventually beautiful couture prom dresses. This early love for fashion was entertained further by having fashion designers waltz in and out for meetings at home, accepting courier deliveries of fluorescent sequin fabric and being a live mannequin for bias cut silk georgette couture gown fittings that later graced the catwalk on the likes of Jodie Kidd.
The glamour of attending London Fashion Week shows as a young girl, being gifted iconic sunglasses by Isabella Blow and being looked after by 6ft tall models backstage are all fond mother-daughter memories that she shares with Yan.
Ming eventually chose Fashion Business for her degree and whilst working through her studies at Jasmine Di Milo, she had the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in every department of a fashion house. After graduating top of her class from London College of Fashion, Ming went on to work in PR, marketing and events at Arcadia Group and University of Arts, London.
THE NEXT CHAPTER
With the right timing and opportunity, the natural next step was the birth of Yanny London in 2010. The pair design and developed a full first collection mixing romantic Chantilly lace, stretch silk satin and herringbone jacquard to create a modern, feminine and luxurious collection that remains as the ethos for the brand.
Every garment will be designed and developed with thought and care for the woman’s body shape in mind. With over thirty years of knowledge, the collection uses clean lines, clever shaping and tailored techniques to create an elegant silhouette to allow women to feel confident and comfortable in their modern day lifestyles.
The collection has evolved with Ming taking control of design in 2014, injecting a fresh personality of city-chic and increasing the offering of fashion forward styles with simple and flattering shapes mixed with fun but sophisticated colours to bring diversity into the wardrobe.
The collection is truly timeless and tran-seasonal boasting quality craftsmanship to compliment a curated wardrobe edit.
Past and present stockists include John Lewis, House of Fraser, Anthropologie, Jigsaw and Anthony Ryan’s.