Jeffrey Wan You Sew

Specialized in Accessory Design.

Jeffrey Wan You Sew

About Jeffrey Wan You Sew

Jeff Wan is a fashion designer and creative director based in New York. Hailing from the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, Jeff uses his design to creatively bridge the gap between his native and adopted homes. While studying Industrial Design at Pratt Institute, Jeff began his career with work for Diesel, DKNY, Kenneth Cole and Michael Kors. After his graduation in 2014, Jeff joined Coach, where he developed watchbands for the Apple Watch, and helped transform accessory lines like Rexy the Coach Dino into must-have bag charms.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Accessory Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Accessory
Le Morne Lunch Box Crossbody Handbag

Le Morne Lunch Box Crossbody Handbag

Accessory Design

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Interview with Jeffrey Wan You Sew

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I graduated from Pratt Institute in New York with a Bachelor of Industrial Design. I always wanted to be an architect when I was in middle school. Then I wanted to be an interior designer. It wasn’t until college that I switched to Industrial Design. I felt that it would provide me with more design opportunities.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
Jeff Wan is an American luxury fashion company established in 2018. Made for the urban minimalist, and animated with the colors and culture of Mauritius, our line of small leather goods and handbags celebrates ultra-premium design at its most transportive.On an individual level, each of our pieces works to tell a unique story in which the ordinary becomes anything but. From our premium gym bag, reimagined lunch box, and everything in between, Jeff Wan brings together imagination and utility in colorful and unexpected ways. The result is an island-hopping collection that feels at home in both Manhattan and the Mascarenes.All of our products are named in Mauritian Creole and handmade from the highest quality leather in New York’s Garment District.
What is "design" for you?
Design is the ability to create an experience that is aesthetically pleasing, functional that will make an impact on the user.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
My current favorite design is the Grand Baie Gym Bag currently in our line. I enjoy going to the gym and it is the perfect bag for me. It can be worn as a tote and as backpack.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
I started designing graphics and guidelines for Diesel when I interned with their department stores operations team.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I enjoy using leather in my designs. It comes in many varieties, textures and handfeel.
When do you feel the most creative?
I feel the most creative during a workout. I often come up with my best ideas while working out. I am more focused and in my own bubble.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
I focus a lot on aesthetic when designing. I like a product that looks good and easy on the eyes. Then I will figure out the function and production method.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
I feel very ambitious and excited when designing. Whenever I have a new idea I want to have it on paper and figure it out right away so I don’t lose my train of thought.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
It is very exciting to see your ideas come to life. But I also feel anxious to see how people react to it.
What makes a design successful?
A design is successful when it gives the customer a new experience and the excitement to have the product.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
I would consider the aesthetic of the design then the functionality. It has to be functional.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
A designer should adapt a sustainable design process from the beginning. From designing, to sourcing materials to the production of goods. The designer should also design for its consumer and environment by taking into consideration of the demands of the society, the culture and whether it is appropriate for that region.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
The design field is going at a faster pace with new technology and prototyping methods. The future of design will be to create an emotional experience beyond the aesthetic and function of the product.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My last show was at New York Fashion Week. I would love to exhibit in Paris one day.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
My design inspiration comes from my daily life in New York and the memories from my childhood in Mauritius. I like a good workout to fuel my creativity.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I like to think minimal when designing. A good design does not need much. After designing a product, I like to animate it with colors, textures and embellishment if necessary and according to trends.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I currently live in New York but I am from Mauritius. I mainly use New York and Mauritius as the main source of inspiration. New York is full of resources and definitely helps my designs. We have a lot of museums for inspirations and research. The competition is high in New York and everything is fast paced.
How do you work with companies?
I have worked for different companies such as Diesel, DKNY, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors and Coach. I keep in touch with them and sometimes go back to freelance when they need me. I try to stay flexible when working with other companies and adapt to their culture and design language.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
The company should select a designer based on his design aesthetic and what he can achieve for the brand. Review the designer’s portfolio and let the work speaks for itself. Then asked for recommendations about the designer’s working process.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I am usually more creative when I am at the gym doing a work out. I would often brainstorm and design things in my head. Once I get to the studio, I would sketch everything on paper. I would then do my research based on my designs. After my research, I would put a mood board together with the rough sketches and inspirations. I would look for materials and add it to the board. I would refine the design as needed and add it to the board.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
I like objects that combines different materials:A night lamp made with concrete and metal.The espresso machine.A circular mirror with a wooden frame.The media console made of wood and metal.Candles
Can you describe a day in your life?
I would wake up and drink an espresso to start my day. I try to get my workout in the morning so that I can have the rest of the day to do whatever I have to get done. I would then check all emails and catch up on some social media. Then it is all business tasks from accounting to legal matters and research. Design is a very small amount of what I do currently as an entrepreneur.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
Spend some time working for established companies and learn as much as you can. Talk to your cross functional partners from product development to merchandising. It will help a lot to learn the relationships with suppliers and factories, to marking up your product and having a strong assortment.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Designing something and seeing it come to life is very rewarding. But there are always limitations with production and of course the cost.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Be open and flexible to criticism and change, adapt to the environment you are designing for and know your audience. Communicate your design intent clearly with your partners. Design smartly by having some options to narrow down, but don’t waste time designing a thousand options: know what you want.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I mainly use Illustrator to CAD my designs and spec. Hand sketching is always good to get the ideas on paper and doing rough sketches. I like going to museums for inspirations and looking at paintings for colors.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
If a design is not working, do not waste time on it. Move on to the next project and come back to it later. Maybe you will have a fresh idea then. If not, throw it away.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It depends on the object. Some requires more time if you developing custom pieces to assemble it. Some are simple but needs more attention to construction. Usually a week or so. The development process and prototyping takes longer.
What was your most important job experience?
My time at Coach helped me a lot. I learned about sourcing, materials and production. Learning about costing was very helpful for what I do now.
Who are some of your clients?
I have worked for Diesel, DKNY, Kenneth Cole, Michael Kors and Coach
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy designing accessories. I believe an accessory makes the whole outfit and gives the customer the opportunity to express themselves.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I would like to be the creative director of one of the big fashion houses in the future.

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