Fay Yamada’s store has been prominent in Edmonton’s fashion scene for almost two decades.
Originally, it was an upscale jewellery store, “a definite step up from Claire’s,” Yamada says, and one where you wouldn’t break the bank. Since then, Yamada has branched out into fashion.
Yü Fashion has a wide demographic, catering to teenagers and older women alike. Yamada felt there was space in the city for “the fashionable mom with disposable income.”
Yamada wants to remove the misconception that you can ever be too old for something. The trick is all in the styling.
“Everything there are classic components,” Yamada says, pointing to a mannequin displayed in her store located in Crestwood. The jeans, t-shirt and coat combo though, are pulled together with retro gold chains and a scarf. It’s stylized. The only difference between wearing an outfit and wearing an ensemble, she adds, is confidence.
Yamada’s one regret is that she doesn’t always have sizes for all body types. “Some suppliers only go up to a certain size,” she says. “I understand that part of the struggle for some whether you’re really petite or plus size, but, for the most part, we try and fit people.” But she warns that sizes are all different based on the brands. What is a small in one brand could be a medium in another “so we’ll be able to eyeball you and say ‘try these.’”
Store manager Diane Do has been with Yü for 21 years now. In the beginning she was working part-time while completing her degree at the University of Alberta, but she can’t imagine her life without Yü.“I do happen to be a customer, like I love the clothes, I love the jewellery,” she says.
This season, Yü has been showing a lot of loungewear styles, but Yamada hopes that people will buy more special pieces like for galas, weddings, some partywear they missed out on.
“Flares are just coming back. They’re very flattering,” she says, adding, “Oh and shoulder pads are coming back.” To some people’s utter dismay, she also predicts low-rise jeans will be more popular than high-rise. So, if you’ve been feeling nostalgic for the circa 2000s Paris Hilton and Mariah Carrey, just be patient, your time is coming. Do, on the other hand, says coordinated sets will be in fashion, with more of a ‘70s silhouette.