Grace Choi

Grace Choi was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong. She discovered her passion for the fashion industry at an early age and has experienced great success in modelling for over ten years.

While she was still at the prime of her modelling career, Choi had become a fashion show producer and created her own event planning company, Gorgeous Productions.

Choi established her own label, Yi-ming, in 2011. The name, Yi-ming, is derived from her name in Mandarin pinyin. She is fascinated with the distinctive style of oriental fashion cultures and aims to create a modern, chic interpretation of the East-meets-West style of ladies’ wear. After the first collection launched in 2012, Choi has received inspiring responses and had then been approached to design chinoiserie uniforms for two new luxury boutique hotels in Hong Kong and won popularity from the public. In 2014, Choi received the ‘40 Under 40 Award’ by Perspective Magazine.

In my designs, I have tried to reimagine the traditional cheongsam as a modern outfit, with a focus on the following elements:

  1. Size: We create cheongsams in a more loose-fitting, casual style.
  2. Fabric Pattern: We design our own graphic prints featuring familiar and nostalgic images, such as food, cityscape, signature signage, and photography.
  3. Cutting: We do not only make the original front lapel opening design, but create a more asymmetric hem – shortening the length of the cheongsam collar and the entire cheongsam to appeal to a younger demographic and to cater to our daily lifestyle.
  4. Material: We use different kinds of fabric rather than the traditional silk satin fabric with no stretch.
  5. Buttons: We make use of different kinds of materials in the making of buttons, such as gems, metal and plastic, and we create different shapes of fabric buttons not just limited to the traditional flower knot.
  6. Lifestyle Elements: We aim to save time from customisation – the traditional tailoring method of cheongsam making. Instead, we produce ready-made cheongsam in different sizes for the customer to choose.