Yona New York will unveil its much-anticipated website to enthusiastic consumers this week, just in time for the spring 2015 season. The specialty brand is designed exclusively for women sized 10-24. The fabrics stretch and flow to allow more freedom of movement without sacrificing style. The lead designer, Yona Shine, is a woman with a passion for her cause.
“I was shamed for my body in high school as I once ordered a sandwich. The counterman asked if I really needed a whole sandwich. He suggested I only order a half. To a young woman forming her self-image, that heartless comment was devastating. I have spent my entire life battling size discrimination. When I attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, I found a wonderful outlet in which to express myself. Designing clothing empowers me as nothing else can. I feel more confident by wearing clothing made for me in my size. Deep down, I am no different than a woman who wears a size 2, despite the images constantly drilled into us by the movies and in advertising. Fashion is all about comfort for me. Feeling good in one’s clothing inspires beauty and allows free expression without forfeiting comfort. I have an enthusiasm which drives my commitment to make beautiful creations which fit perfectly.”
Developing relationships with fabric mills in Italy, France, and throughout Europe allows us to create custom runs. This is important, especially when a fabric would normally be produced with linen as the base “warp,” which holds the material together. We are able to special-order the fabrics with a substitute so it will conform to religious Jewish law. We also take special care during the design phase to pay attention to hem lengths, necklines, and sleeve lengths, to ensure that our clothing will adhere to the tenets of our faith.
The visionary designer continues, “Although a basic black outfit is cute, who says larger women can’t wear patterns, textures, florals, and all of the fantastic colors available? These should be created to leverage the natural beauty of a larger woman, and not just seem like an afterthought to the smaller size designs. Yona New York is a personal revolution for me, since I have struggled with weight challenges my entire life. The industry as a whole has a long way to go towards becoming more inclusive, but I am really proud of this accomplishment. It is so personal.”
Not available in stores, Yona New York accepts preorders at www.yonanewyork.com so they can craft each piece by hand using local seamstresses and fabric-cutters to ensure the very highest quality. Every item is infused with the beliefs of the company founder. Namely, these are beauty, modesty, and acceptance for all.
In addition to the online clothing store, the site offers a discussion forum to provide a safe space for people to share their own challenges with body-image issues, as well as thoughts on fashion tips and other matters important to this community. There is also a blog to help people follow the design process and keep abreast of other relevant news.
The company logo includes a signature “Y,” which was chosen to represent a more feminine look for our target market, with a rich purple to represent the regal, classy designs. A hashtag was also chosen to create a buzz for the idea of taking back the definition of beauty from those who would attempt to define it as a particular size range. The tag is: #EveryBodyHasBeauty.