How Yegang Yoo and Her Brooklyn Factory Made Her Of a Kind Edition
For this designer, getting her hands dirty is half the fun.
“It’s important for me to do everything local,” Yegang Yoo says of her decision to produce her bag line IMAGO-A in NYC. “Otherwise I would be wondering how the production was going or worrying that something would go wrong.” Fortunately, her factory, located in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard, is just a 10-minute bike ride from her house, and it’s full of the nicest people. “She’s great,” says the owner, Roy, as he watches Yegang tear into a pile of leather straps with her scissors. “And a fast learner, too!” Here’s a look at the team as they assemble her Of a Kind edition. —raquel laneri
“I met Roy when I was looking for a factory to produce my handbags. He was one of the first people I talked to, and right away we got along. His aesthetic is similar to mine, and he’s open to my ideas—and open to my being there and working with the artisans, which is very important to me. Here, he’s cutting a sample, which is the first, and longest, part of the process.”
“These are the dies for the Of a Kind edition. Dies have sharp blades in the shape of the pattern pieces. They are made after the samples are done and once all the revisions are made to the pattern.“
“Once the sample has been made and all the issues are fixed, we can start making the actual handbags for production. First, Ramón cuts the leather using the dies. Working with leather is really hard, so all the artisans here are quite skilled.”
“Marcela probably understands the pattern better than anyone else. She works on the sample, so she tells the sewers where the stitches go, where to put the zipper, where all the folds should be, and she lets me know if there are any problems. She also stamps my logo onto the bag using a hammer.”
“My job! I am preparing the straps, cutting some of the leather, and adding the hardware. I enjoy hands-on work, so sometimes when they’re really busy I just jump in and cut myself.”