Will he be a future pioneer of the fashion industry? – Tianyu Liu



6:00AM at dawn, Paris’s skyline just started to shimmer. Tianyu already started his day of study in ESMOD located at 12th Rochefoucauld. “ I get up at 6:00AM, have breakfast, do my assignments, then have classes from 2:00PM until 7:00PM; finish my dinner and get back to dorm, continue with my assignments until 2-3:00AM. I almost do this everyday and I am actually amongst those who sleep more.”


In this top-notch fashion academy, young minds gathered from all over the world. Although they have come to ESMOD for their fascination of its rooted history and reputable teaching, many are not expected such workload in their study. The elimination rate can be as high as 30%-40% in a 30 students program. Professors will not give much mercy to these froshmen. Students often need to redo their assignments, while failing an exam means retaking or leaving.



Casually touching on these, Tianyu apparently has already adapted to such study-life style with pain and joy. What keeps him going, is his disappointment of current fashion industry, his strong heart to change such, as well as his past experience working with artworks in YMM.


“ I have to find something in my life I can be so dedicated that I forget to rest and eat.”


“ In YMM, I found drawing is an enjoyable activity. Teacher there gave me a lot of instructions and suggestions that I still benefit today.” When Tianyu was 8 year old, his parents sent this boy who “only likes drawing and drew all over textbooks”  to YMM Manga Studio. The colorful decorations and lifting atmosphere immediately attracted Tianyu. “I can confidently draw anything here and communicate with other students. I remember specifically that Teacher Yang played many Miyazaki’s movie and sponge bob’s animation. Now I think it was so great and many of my imaginations were probably inspired since then.” 


Till now, Tianyu still loves Manga, and likes to immerse himself in the big bang of imagination without boundary. He quoted a Japanese Mangaka’s line to describe his love for drawing: “Because I am a god in my drawings.”


 “ You can create the whole world you want with simply a pen and a sketchbook. This gives a great sense of accomplishment. When I am dedicated to drawing, I could never get tired. I think every human being should find one thing in one’s life to be crazy about and get such feelings.”


Tianyu has a habit to bring his big drawing pad with him wherever he goes so that he can put down a few stokes when he is free. His drawing pad has a mysterious character he created after watching the Phantom of the Opera and sketching of 3 foreigners with shades in a Café. He once stayed up 2 whole day and nights to finish an artwork to participate in the competition.  When he recalls his experience in YMM, Tianyu is grateful of YMM’s teaching environment and motivational teaching method. This gave significant acknowledgement to Tianyu’s passion for drawing in the Chinese education environment, and helped him be sure about pursuing art as his career.  



“Brand Names Designs are boring, I hope to create cosplay style fashion design”


 When talked about why chose fashion design, Tianyu thinks that contemporary art in China is too fuzzy and illusory to be defined or compared. However, fashion design such as a cloth can be evaluated. Most importantly, designer can change people’s lives with their artistic concepts through designing different clothes and make people realize that they could wear these!


His passion for manga naturally connects animation with fashion. He found that in manga there are a lot of fashion elements, while exaggeration and shape-shifting in manga can also be applied to fashion design. “Now fashion designs are too boring, especially for man, including the big brands in Paris Galeries Lafayette. They are either too boring or too Shocking. Can we have something more interesting, that are close to cosplay but not too exaggerated? This is my direction, but there is a long way to go.”


 In ESMOD’s intense training, Tianyu’s designing and pattern making skills are improving quickly. His foundation in drawing is helping him rapidly finding connections between drawing and fashion. He says that pattern of a clothes is like lines of a drawing. The drawing is already attractive if the lines are beautiful. If a piece of cloth has great patterns, it doesn’t need to have a fancy design to be elegant.



Loves Yohji Yamamoto who “Slapped Western Fashion Industry in the Face”


In Tianyu’s journey falling in love in fashion design, famous Japenese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto is an idol that is almost like a lighthouse. Tianyu bought all books about Yohji and finished each and every one of them. He admires Yohji’s rebellion the most. 


“ He could stick to himself, which is very rare in his time. In the 80s, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, and Issey Miyake, slapped western designers in the face in an industry that is dominated by westerners, which feels so great!” At that time, fashion design styles in the west are mostly tight and slim cut. When Yohji presented his work, western fashion industry was astonished. Almost all medias were criticizing him and said his designs are meant for beggars and that Japanese people are damaging European culture. But Yohji has not changed his design concept and stuck to himself with his style. At the time, many European fashion designers admired this stubborn Japanese in their heart. “It is a wonderful feeling, as they thought they were the best in designing, but someone suddenly slapped them and show them that clothes could be designed differently.” Yohji gave many designers motivation to innovate and move forward. This brought more possibilities to the industry afterwards. Yohji later also gained a lot of fame all of a sudden.


When mentioned his idol, Tianyu’s eye started to shine. He thinks that he has many ideas close to Yohji. For example, Tianyu does not think high heels build beauty in ladies and believes the back of a focused person is beautiful. Now although Tianyu still likes Yohji’s style, he no longer blindly worships Yohji. He evaluates Yohji’s works to find the catalysts and questions in the designs, which is a progress. 



This summer, Tianyu  accepted YMM Art Academy’s invitation to share his experience to younger students who want to study abroad. “I strongly agree with their desire to explore the world, and hope they can appreciate their time for their own creations. These two are so important for whoever loves art or want to pursue art.”


n September, Tianyu is flying to Paris to start his second year in ESMOD. Coming back to YMM, the place where his passion for drawing started to root might be the best relaxation for Tianyu. We see a lot of talent and possibility in this boy walking out of YMM and we look forward to his future.


Will he be a future disruptor of the fashion industry?