By Sam Stringer
Yuliya Yaremenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine and raised in Vancouver. Her lifelong passion for the fine arts is what led her to pursue a career in design—a discipline where the worlds of personal expression and creative problem solving meet.
After her internship in the men’s design and development departments at lululemon athletica and an exchange trip at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, Yaremenko is now preparing to graduate from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s fashion design and technology program with a line of intimates for everyday wear called Ninetails.
Ninetails will be unveiled at 2016 The Show: The Final Cut, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 6 and 7 at the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street). Thirty-five other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.
Sam Stringer: Describe your collection.
Yuliya Yaremenko: Ninetails is a line of erotic, intimate apparel for comfortable every day wear. It caters to the socially progressive woman who believes that female bodies and sexuality should be celebrated, not restricted.
SS: What was the inspiration behind your line?
YY: The idea that feeling desirable and comfortable should not be mutually exclusive, and the idea that the expression of female sexuality should be much broader in scope and include an aesthetic alternative to pink, hyper-feminine lingerie.
SS: Can you tell me about your creative process?
YY: My creative process is rather structured in that I don’t wait for inspiration to strike but instead schedule time to take specific steps. I start with a messy sketching period, a play period where I don’t think about construction, pricing or anything in particular; I just draw what I think looks good. Then I start applying filters of reality: does this work for my market, for my theme, for my merchandising plan, can I construct this, is this mass-production friendly, how will this be sold and does this have hanger appeal?
SS: What have you learned at KPU?
YY: I have learned a lot, but the biggest takeaways are how to be an active and independent learner, how to jump into the prototyping process and not dwell on ideas, and how to pick your battles with perfection.
SS: What are your plans after graduation?
YY: I would like to pursue a design position at an established fashion company that values innovation and problem solving. In the long term, I would like to build something from the ground up, whether that’s my own start-up or as part of a team. I have a strong interest in how technology has the potential to interact with and change the future of fashion.
SS: How did your internship or experience abroad affect your designs?
YY: It didn’t necessarily affect my designs, but it inspired me to be a lot more independent and active in my work and learning. It also helped me decide which direction I’d like to pursue in my design career. Coming from a fine arts background, I had trouble choosing between the technical and artistic aspects of design. After my exchange, I came to the decision that I don’t want to make things for the sake of making things, I want to solve problems.