Kim Phan, the designer of the Yumi Kim line, keeps the words "fun and flirty" in mind when working her feminine, predominantly silk-based creations. Phan has been designing clothes since childhood, and uses her love for florals, prints and vibrant colors to make her pieces stand out.

For her new line, Phan looked to the 70s. "I played with a bit more of a mod twist," Phan told Uinterview exclusively. "You can see a lot of geometric shapes. We also have a bit of a tribute to the disco era." An animal lover, Phan named the line after her precious pet Yorkie, Yumi. "When I got [Yumi], that's when the line was born. That's why it was just natural, it made sense. My partnership with her… I love her, she brings me so much joy."

Phan opened her first Yumi Kim flagship store on New York City's Lower East Side in 2008, followed by an Upper East Side location. Today, Yumi Kim stores can be found in other boutiques, including 3NY stores.


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Q: Can you describe your inspiration for your new Fall collection? - MollyTrinkoff

Usually for spring I'm really, really big on florals. But this Fall I played with a little bit more a mod twist. You can see a lot of geometric shapes. We also have a bit of a tribute to the disco era, so I did a lot of one-piece suits. We also keep the line fun and flirty.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece? - Uinterview

What I'm wearing tonight, the [Emmie] jumper. I love it because I think most of the time people don't feel comfortable wearing print head-to-toe but now, if you find the right piece, it can be flattering. A lot of people just want to wear something cute that you can put on and run out the door. A lot of times when I'm making anything, I always think, 'I don't want people to have to think too much about it.' It's something you can just put on, throw a belt on it, or put it on with a pair of heels, and run out and not have to think so much about merchandising. It's all about the prints, so if you can put on a cute blouse, you know you're going to feel pretty. You don't have to worry too much about accessories or anything.

Q: What advice would you give to a designer just starting out? - Uinterview

You have to be passionate about what you do because there will always be obstacles in the way, how big you get, and I think it's your passion that drives you. Even now, I've been doing this for about nine years, and I still love what I do everyday, so even if you have a tough day, you still feel like, 'I still love doing what I do,' so the next day you can start all over again. When you're doing what you love, even if it's a bad day, it's still a good day.

Q: Tell us about your relationship with 3NY? - Uinterview

It's a really cute story because I used to live on top of 3NY. So [3NY owner] Sam [Dresner] and I were neighbors and I used to come down all the time and we became friends. I slowly started putting my clothes in the store, and he's been such a big supporter. It's kinda cool, we always joke around about it, we call it Yumi3NY because he's like, 'Oh, we have so much Yumi Kim in here.' It's cool because I get to hear first-hand on a day to day basis. I've probably seen more of Sam's store than I've see my own store. I would come home everyday and he'd be like, 'Oh my God, that jumper you made sold so well, people love it,' or 'this print is getting a great reaction.' It's getting first-hand information on a day-to-day basis, and I love it because, waking up, walking my dog in the morning, I'd see my stuff in the window and it's cute. He's been an amazing supporter and it's also really cool to help support your friends.

Q: How did your line get its name? - Uinterview

I'm a big big animal lover. A lot of people know the line's name Yumi Kim is named after my Yorkie, Yumi. And when I got her, that's when the line was born. That's why it was just natural, it made sense. My partnership with her, I love her. She brings me so much joy. Only animal people can understand, when your like, 'I'm never alone.' Even when you're home alone, you're never alone. It's really cool to have somebody chill next to you, it's unconditional love.