Our first introduction to Malaysian designer Aaron Yong was in 2016, when he flew the flag for the Harper’s Bazaar New Generation Designer Award. That debut S/S ’17 collection was a sophisticated and refined outing that belies his youth. The 23-year-old showcases a knack for architectural cuts and forms — but what really stood out was the sumptuous knits, that possess a raw and luxurious homespun finesse.
Flash forward to 2018, and Yong’s minimalist designs could already be found at some of the most exciting multi-label boutiques around the world. Among them are the Corso Como outposts in Shanghai and Seoul; June Bo in Huangzhou; and A’maree’s in Newport Beach and Blake in Chicago. His success boils down to what the modern woman looks for in clothes these days: practical, timeless designs that hide some truly innovative details. While it might not be the sort of fashion that’s packed with Insta-like factor, these are clothes that’d never be dated.
You mentioned in a previous interview that your design philosophy is guided by Brutalist architecture. Could you explain how is this evident in the SS ’18 collection?
That philosophy is a part of the brand’s DNA and will forever be evident throughout every collection. The most evident element is the constant use of grey — the term originates from the French word for “raw”. The movement’s eminent architect Le Corbusier described his choice of material as beton brut or “raw concrete”. Also, the construction of my clothes features the minimal amount of (fabric) pieces but still respecting the flow of a garment at the same time. It’s very much like how Brutalist buildings are usually formed with repeated modular elements, forming masses representing specific functional zones, distinctly articulated and grouped together into a unified whole.