Lisa Yang is a Stockholm-based cashmere label that is on the cusp of shedding its IYKYK status as it marks 10 years in fashion, and customers across the globe are starting to wake up to the value proposition, and style, of this brand. Its USP is combining “the Chinese heritage of cashmere craftsmanship” with the clean simplicity of Scandinavian design, reflecting the heritages of husband and wife founders Samuel Stenberg and Lisa Yang. Making things even more personal, the brand sources its material close to where Yang was raised, in Inner Mongolia. The designer, who sells at Bergdorf Goodman, has recently been spending a lot of time in New York, and decided to move her annual Lunar New Year celebration, which she usually spends with her team in various cities across the globe, with friends old and new in the Big Apple.
The sinuous body of a lion dancing to the accompaniment of a live drummer reflected in the mirrored walls of the room. On the menu was a traditional roast duck and a Swedish princess cake, and at each place setting sat a small red cashmere pouch with a small white heart at the bottom right corner and a place card with a custom portrait drawn by illustrator Joana Avillez. “I look like the Beyoncé version of me,” joked It-girl and co-host Beverly Nguyen in her toast in which she reflected on the importance of the Lunar New Year. “I’ve been celebrating it my whole life; I take it very seriously; it’s the start of spring, but it’s also the start of the calendar that I follow, which is about rebirth and innovation and collaboration. It’s like you have to leave all the things that have taught you about exhaustion and upkeep and pressure and stress, and really bring in new light and energy and people who you want to surround yourself with. …Look at this room, it’s like half of my favorite people and people I’ve never met before, and I’m like, let’s kind of get fucked up, but let’s also celebrate 10 years of surviving as a fashion company during the start of New York Fashion Week.” Making that accomplishment all the more impressive is that Lisa Yang is an independent business that operates with no outside investment.
“Someone has said that you don’t create your own dreams, rather a dream is given to you and it’s up to you to embrace it. That is what Lisa and I did 10 years ago, and the dream was to create something special out of this historical yarn with roots in China, combined with a Scandinavian aesthetic,” Sternberg said movingly in a speech. “We’re not leaving this screen and we believe that the journey has just begun. Ten years is a fantastic milestone and we believe New York City is the place to do it, this is the place where the West meets East.” Yang concurs, “it’s a city where everyone’s dream can be fulfilled,” she wrote in an email exchange.
Turning dream into reality, the brand has created a 10-piece limited edition Ten Year collection of some of its classics, each featuring a small hand-embroidered heart. What’s next for the brand? “To dare to dream bigger,” said Yang.