Soyaaulait is designed by Ying Luo, born and raised in the minority Miao (Hmong) nation in south western China, and trained as a designer and modelist at Raffles Design Institute Beijing and École Supérieure des Arts et techniques de la Mode (ESMOD) in Oslo, Norway. She has resided in Oslo since 2004. In her design, Ying draws on the rich handicraft traditions of her childhood home region and those of her adopted homeland. Always pushing herself to appreciate her heritage through the lens of modern reality, Ying brings to life vibrant collections for independent, forward-looking women of all ages. -I also turn to nature for ideas and inspiration, says Ying. -This northernmost region in Europe enjoys some of the most dramatic scenery and weather in the world, and it never fails to produce some unexpected or awe-inspiring palette of colours and shades of light. It always finds a way into my work.
Ying was raising eyebrows even before completing her degree at ESMOD in 2007. In 2006, she was invited to take part in an exhibition at Oslo City Hall under the auspices of the Norwegian arts and crafts association Den Norske Husfliden. The theme of the exhibition was the transformation and continuation of beauty and utility in costumes from the traditional to the modern. At the Esmod graduation show, Ying brought home the awards for Best Women’s Collection and Best Use of Materials, judged by a jury of design tutors and independent fashion professionals led by London-based designer Kristian Aadnevik.
Soyaaulait’s arrival on the fashion scene in 2007 seized the attention of industry professionals both at home and internationally. Selected by Who’s Next Prêt a Porter the brand was invited to showcase in Paris in September 2007 as Fresh Talent of the Season. With her following collection, Ying was honoured with the inaugural show at Oslo Fashion Week as Debutant of the Season. In 2009, Soyaaulait was invited to showcase it’s collections at the well-respected salonTranoï Femme during Paris Fashion Week.