Yashu Zhang

Fashion Product


The collection is called Warming. I was inspired by the nuclear waste water and then I did further research in the ocean, pollution and global warming. Then I decided to focus on the topic of coral bleaching, an environmental change in which coral lose their vibrant colors and turn white due to elevated water temperatures, causing them to expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues. Without these algae, the corals appear bleached, and if not reversed, the coral can die. This has a significant impact as thousands of marine animals such as sea turtles, fish, and crabs depend on coral reefs for survival.
The color palette is inspired by the bleaching process and the organic color of the material related to coral bleaching. To do further research, I went to the coney island aquarium and watched and did drawings from the documentaries. Based on the coral shape, I developed designs. I laser cut the leather and wet mold them to be three dimensional. Most materials are inspired by the coral community and environmental damage including fish skin, branches, ocean waste, shells, fishnet. Techniques such as fishman knots are included in products. The construction intends to be handcrafted but meanwhile focuses on detail. The whole collection intends to be organic, original, sustainable and innovative, working as a narrative story-telling and problem-solving for this serious environmental change. Four bags, one pair of glasses and five hair combs are made for collection. Hair combs are made from eco-friendly cellulose acetate which is made with biodegradable materials like wood pulp, cotton fibers, and vinegars.
Image: Zero-waste bag made from Pirarucu fish skin, organic shell button
Image: Bleached snake-skin bag with branches as handle
Image: Garment from: Bihan Zhang/ Shoes: Fiona Sun
Image: Bag made with leather wet molding, mesh bag made with organic cotton as lining, drift wood as handle found in NJ rivercourt
Image: Glasses made with leather wet molding with fisherman knot as bottom decoration
Image: Fisherman knot and laser cutting
Image: Made from Eco-friendly Cellulose Acetate
Photographer: Cosmo Wang / Garment from: Bihan Zhang / Shoes: Fiona Sun
Special Thanks: Jiayi Li, Ang Li


Yashu Zhang is from China and now lives in New York. She developed her passion in fashion and design when she was young. Later on she decided to pursue the bachelor degree in Parsons, New York. Over the years exploring the fashion world, Yashu discovered a particular interest in fashion products such as bags, glasses, belts and various accessories. She loves working with leather and gender inclusive design. She cares about the environment and she dedicated her thesis to finding and utilizing organic materials to develop everyday fashion items. She believes that fashion products are not just about aesthetics and functionality, but also can be a wonderful world for story-telling, identity and problem solving.



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