Fashion designer Ye Mingzi and her American husband, Jonathan Mork. (File Photo/CFP)
Born in 1979 in Beijing, the Chinese fashion designer Ye Mingzi is the granddaughter of Ye Jiangying, a PLA general and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress between 1978 and 1983. She studied at the renowned Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and worked for the fashion brand Isse Miyake in Tokyo. She now owns a studio named Studio Regal in Beijing.
Ye moved to Hong Kong with her family at the age of seven and went to London by herself to study at the age of thirteen.
"Many designers separate themselves from their work; some of them never wear their designs. I am the opposite: all my designs belong to me and are my favorites. They are my world!" she was quoted as saying by the English-language China Daily.
Having a revolutionary hero as her grandfather, Ye has different childhood memories from others of her generation. Before the age of seven, she often traveled by a plane designated for her grandfather's use and came to think that aircraft typically only took two or three passengers, only realizing this was not the case when she first took a scheduled flight to Hong Kong.
Ye is also the least traditional child in her family, dying her hair purple as a teenager — a move considered highly unconventional in China at that time. Her unique style finally drew her to a life in fashion. She named her studio Studio Regal to imply splendor, mystery and nobility and defines her job as custom-made fashion design. Her customers include film directors, celebrities and the wives of rich men.
Asked at her Central Saint Martins interview why she wanted to study fashion design, Ye replied that she wanted to make clothes for girls who were not naturally pretty but want to look pretty like her.
Ye Mingzi 葉明子
Ye Jiangying 葉劍英
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