Arizona Costume Institute Presents Yeohlee Teng

New York fashion designer talks about her career at ASU

New York designer Yeohlee Teng visited Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts on March 20. The event, which took place at the Tempe Center Fashion Studio, was hosted by Dennita Sewel and the Arizona Costume Institute, the support group of Phoenix Art Museum Fashion Design department.

Yeohlee Teng; Moebius Shapeshifter – poncho, shawl and bodysuit; 2008;
collection of Phoenix Art Museum,
gift of Yeohlee Teng in honor of the exhibition
“Extending the Runway: Tatiana Sorokko Style”

In addition to her position as The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design at Phoenix Art Museum, Sewell also leads the new fashion program in the School of Art at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. ACI benefactor members were invited to mingle with students and heard an inspirational presentation from Sewell and Teng.

Designer Teng moved to New York from Malaysia to study fashion at the Parsons School of Design. She has worked primarily in New York City and established her own house, YEOHLEE, Inc., in 1981.

Teng believes that “clothes have magic.” She dresses the “urban nomad,” a term she coined for her Fall 1997 collection, defining a lifestyle that requires clothing that works on a variety of practical and psychological levels. She is a master of design management and believes in the efficiency of year-round, seasonless clothes.

Her designs have earned a permanent place in the Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the late Richard Martin, then chief curator, called her “one of the most ingenious makers of clothing today.”

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