We had the good fortune of connecting with Doyeon Yoni Yu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Doyeon Yoni, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was born and raised in Korea which has very strict beauty/body standards. As a mid-size person, shopping has been always struggle for me because I couldn’t find many options for my size. Living in this environment unconsciously had some kind of impact on my self-esteem, that I’ve always felt that I’m not slimmer enough and beautiful enough to shop cute clothes. Then I moved to NYC to study fashion at Parsons. As I studied fashion and currently work in fashion, I’ve always felt the void and gap in fashion industry. It’s not size-inclusive enough, it’s not representing body diversity enough compared to so many different body types and sizes existing in our society. Then from several work experiences, seeing some designers only want to cater certain size ranges, that’s the moment that I’ve decided to start my own clothing line to fill the gap.
As a fashion designer, it’s our responsibility to make/design clothes to diverse body types. That’s what we do. However, there are a lot of brands that refuse to do that. So I thought, ‘Why not? I will do that!’. So that’s how I started my own business.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My brand, C’EST D, is one-person brand – ME! So I’ve been bumping into many struggles because I’m only one person but there are numerous things to take care of. But I think that’s what makes it special. Every bit of this brand has a part of me. Every corner is my aesthetic. Everything tells my mission and messages. That’s what I’m really proud of.
The most challenging thing for me is facing with some people’s prejudice and narrow minds. The most common prejudice people have is size-inclusive brands are promoting obesity and unhealthy lifestyle. Which doesn’t make any sense, because every body needs clothes! We can’t walk around naked whatever body we have. Also, whatever health/weight journey we’re going through, we don’t have to feel sh*tty about ourselves. Why can’t we make our journey more delightful while being able to wear cute clothes? Moreover, size discrimination and all sorts of shaming doesn’t help guiding anyone to healthier life style.
However, whenever I tell this, some people still don’t understand. This is challenging but it doesn’t stop me though. I’ll keep doing what I need to do for more inclusive fashion because there are so many of us who need it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in NYC so there are plenty of places to visit! We wake up and start with our day with awesome pancake place Clinton st Baking Co. This is my favorite brunch spot! Very fluffy pancakes with their spicy mimosa is everything.
Then we go to Chelsea High Line area to walk around and little chit chat. I like walking on Chelsea high line(when it’s less crowded tho! Most of the time it’s little crowded) because it helps me to organize my thoughts. Also, when it’s spring/summer time, I like just laying down on Meadows in Central Park. It can be crowded but if you get a nice spot, it’s very zen, also good for organizing thoughts.
Also, we can see amazing city view in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I love going to Cecconi’s, delicious lobster pasta with stunning view near river. You can walk around Brooklyn Bridge Park, it’s also very beautiful at night!
Also I really love Raveling around, Dumbo area is amazing to ravel since it’s river side, you can see amazing views.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My thesis professors, Fiona and Brigitte. When I wanted to do my senior year thesis about size-inclusive, there were not many students who plan to make whole collection NOT size 4. So it was very challenging for me and quite nervous to do it. I had so many questions in my mind, constantly asking myself how to execute in right direction and properly. My professors, Fiona Dieffenbacher and Brigitte Conti, they were my dream team. They always support me in every way they can, and always guide me to right directions whenever I’m lost.
They were my first mentors for me to step in size-inclusive fashion, and without their help and support, I wouldn’t be at where I am today.

Website: https://cestd.com

Instagram: @yoni0323  @cestd_official

Image Credits
LOOKBOOK 1.jpg & LOOKBOOK 2.jpg: photographer – Allen Jiang

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.