Yun Zhang, Wayuu & Sea swimwear designer – It’s Shanghai

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Projector is a regular series where we feature a prominent person from the creative scene.


Inspired by Latin America and plagued by the limited number of bikini options in China, Yun Zhang decided to create her own line of swimwear. Wayuu & Sea was officially launched last year in July and is popular among expat circles in China. The brand is known for its colorful prints, cheeky cuts and bright bags. Below, we catch up with the aspiring designer and entrepreneur on her brand’s inspiration and mission.

What is the inspiration behind Wayuu?
I always had the idea of ​​making beach clothes in China and have been a beach lover since I was a child. I have also made several trips to Latin America, which have greatly inspired me. My idea was to create a brand for women of all shapes and sizes, to mix and match beachwear and inspire creativity in others.

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What does Wayuu mean?
Wayuu are an indigenous tribe in Colombia, known for their colorful hand-woven bags. Each bag we sell comes from an indigenous community in Colombia and takes two weeks to produce.

Can you tell us more about the collection?
The bikinis are inspired by the bright and bold designs of the Wayuu bags and are meant to complement and match with the bags.

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How did the reception go?
My customers are not necessarily Chinese, perhaps because the cuts are more Latin: smaller and sexier. So far, I have organized around six pop-up events in Shenzhen to target the local community and teach people how to style bikinis. I would like to have a store in Bali because there is more market for swimwear there than in China.

Who is your favorite designer?
I am very inspired by OndadeMar. They have a very tropical feel and I love that they also support women’s rights and women’s empowerment.


This interview has been edited for clarity. To learn more about the collection, check out @wayunsea on Instagram or add the WeChat ID: wayunsea.

[All images courtesy of Wayuu & Sea]

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