By Mayshad Mag
Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.
1- Mrs. Yu, can you please introduce yourself.
I was raised between Hangzhou in China and London where I studied. For my undergraduate, I studied fashion management at London College of Fashion and interned at Vogue China during my early 20s, I went on completed further executive programs at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia. I was appointed vice chairman of Mengtian Group, my family’s business, in 2015 and continue to serve in the role now.
I founded Yu Holdings as an evolution of my investment firm, Yu Capital, which I launched in 2015 and now have interests in high-potential emerging businesses in the technology, fashion and lifestyle sectors.
2- What was your inspiration while creating Yu-Capital?
My vision was to create a business and platform that brings together the worlds of strategic investment, fashion, technology, philanthropy, arts and culture to strengthen business and cultural ties between China and the rest of the world.
3- Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Why and how did this person impact your life?
My father is still a mentor and advisor to me. Growing up, I was very lucky to have strong entrepreneurs as parents that I could look up too, who have in turn, supported me on my journey to build Yu Holdings.
People such as Angelica Cheung have been very supportive. I met angelica during my early 20s and interned at vogue china while i was studying at LCF, She told me ‘I thought you were just another rich girl but I saw something in you’. It really meant a lot to me that she saw the passion I have for creativity and most of all perseverance in my character and will to succeed. I am also greatly inspired by visionaries and amazing role models such as Anna Wintour and Diane von furstenburg who have set the benchmarks and moved the global fashion industry forward, i was very lucky to get to know them personally and professionally, and they have both offered constructive and invaluable advices .
Finally, each and every day i’m inspired by my Yu Holdings team and their commitment to supporting the brands and causes dear to me.
4- How are you empowering people in your organization?
At Yu Holdings, we really strive to surround ourselves with inspiring people, breeding a creative culture, somewhat unique for an investment vehicle. The companies we choose to support are very close to our heart and are those that we truly believe can be future leaders in their fields.
Through the creative vision of Yu Holdings, Yu Capital strives to support high-potential enterprises in the global market; Yu Culture works to enrich the cultural landscape through international projects and partnerships; and Yu Fashion is committed to working with organisations and designers to nurture talent, creativity and international growth. Our company mission, is to really add value to those we support, not just financially but through strategising their success in China.
5- A word of wisdom to people who wants to start a new project in life?
I love doing things differently and finding ways to stand out. For example any brand coming to China must understand very precisely who the customer is and what excites them.
I have had the same lesson from both my father and Angelica Cheung; the product comes first, followed by the marketing, and both must be in sync. This makes a successful brand. A certain aesthetic is fine, but you need to translate it for the Chinese customer. The DNA of the brand can remain, but something elegant, flexible and exciting to the local eye is key. At the fashion shows we might say ‘wow’ at a certain look, but for Chinese luxury consumers, it needs to be practical, wearable and not only visually strong.
6- What is your vision or hope for the planet?
I feel as though I am at the beginning of my life’s work. The fulfilment that I envisage is not simply financial but making a difference in the creative industry and supporting exceptional creative talents on the global scale, as well as supporting children’s education and women’s empowerment from the less advantaged part of the world. recently we have started the art education fund with teach for china to offer kids from rural parts of china better art education opportunity by sourcing them professional tutors graduating from best arts college. and we have also been working closely with the costume institute of the Metropolitan museum of the arts to raise the awareness in china and andrew’s bolton’s amazing work, and we have endowed the curatorial position for perpetuity.
By Mayshad Team