Career

Girl you need to know: Style influencer Yan Yan Chan

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Highly creative and very talented, style influencer Yan Yan Chan is a star on the rise.

Hailing from across the ditch, style influencer Yan Yan Chan is a staple on the Australian fashion scene. Not only does she have a range of major street style moments under her belt, the star also runs her own blog which hosts an insight into her day-to-day and a portfolio of many enviable collaborations with big-name brands. Now named the latest Deadly Ponies Pony Rider, Miss FQ caught up with Yan Yan Chan to chat about her career, her wardrobe and what being a Pony Rider means to her.

Scroll below to learn more about girl-you-need-to-know Yan Yan Chan:


What’s your story? Where did you grow up and what do you do now?
I was born in Hong Kong but grew up in Sydney. My Dad was a music producer back in the ’80s, so we grew up listening to every genre and musician you can think of and watching a lot of old films on his projector in our living room. My parents always kept us busy, so I danced every afternoon, did art class on Thursday nights and studied film and photography. Because of this I always knew I wanted to work in a creative industry.

I created a blog on Tumblr in my second-to-last year of high school, and after I graduated, I interned and assisted whoever I could. I worked about four jobs back then, and then eventually moved to New York a year and a half out of high school to do some more interning. By then I knew I wanted to work in fashion.

Two years into my blog, I ended up creating content/producing shoots for a bunch of brands, without intending to, and now it’s my full-time job. Now, my blog is basically an insight into my life and a portfolio of collaborations I’ve done with brands and other creatives.

What did you do career-wise in between uni and launching your website?
I was always assisting on shoots or interning. And when I wasn’t doing that I was blogging on the side and sometimes studying. I ended up getting a full-time job with Topshop in my second year of university doing social media and a little bit of PR.

Tell us about your ‘aha’ moment when you decided to create and launch your website.
When I initially launched my blog, it was intended as a side project. But after my short stint in New York, I decided that I was going to make something out of myself in Sydney. I wanted to work hard, become creative, learn and eventually move back to New York and get a job.

I was jobless when I first came back to Sydney, so I reached out to a few brands I already had a relationship with and started shooting content as a face and as the brains behind the project. From coming up with the idea, producing, executing, editing and curating a story, I slowly started falling in love with the whole process. Basically, I did anything and everything I could to gain experience and have some kind of work behind me. My work gradually grew from there once other brands started to see what I was creating.

What has been your greatest ‘pinch me’ moment in your career so far?
I’m such a big advocate for manifestations, and I think everything that has happened to me so far, whether it be in my career, or life in general, has come out of hard work, and positive thinking. It sounds crazy, but I feel like I’m constantly pinching myself, because every project and every person I have and get to collaborate with, has been so surreal and fulfilling. I’m just really happy with how things have evolved.

Is there any advice you would give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps career-wise?
Start off by interning, or assisting, and pay attention. Any time I’ve ever interned in my life has been incredibly valuable. You can learn so many things by just watching and paying attention and learning from someone else and the way they work, how they approach clients and interact with other people. Basically everything they don’t teach you in a classroom. So, intern, and intern a lot!


WATCH: Deadly Ponies MBFWA resort collection


What three items are currently on your shopping list?
I’m currently escaping winter and spending some time in the South of France and Italy. So I’m on the hunt for some beautiful vintage pieces that I can’t get anywhere else.

How important are luxury investment fashion pieces in a modern wardrobe?
I’m a big advocate of investing in pieces you know you’ll wear more than just a few times; especially when it comes to basics and outerwear. Quality over quantity and something that will wear well over time is important. It’s also nice knowing what I represent in my day-to-day is created out of love and care. It’s just a much more sustainable approach.

What are the pieces in your wardrobe that you revisit season after season?
Vintage denim, fresh white shirts, my collection of silk scarves and my new Deadly Ponies Pony Rider leather that I can’t wait to break in.

A post shared by Yan Yan Chan (@_yanyanchan) on

When is a leather jacket an outfit essential?
In moments when you need that extra layer to help conquer the day.

You’re clearly a big Deadly Ponies fan. What makes Deadly Ponies’ designs stand out from the pack?
They’re made with detail and they’re understated. I love when pieces look different on different people and allow the wearer to make it their own.

So you’re the brand’s latest Pony Rider *wink*. What does being a Pony Rider mean to you?
I think a Pony Rider is someone who has a point of view, are brave enough to share that point of view and to create something out of nothing. They’re someone who is empowered by their surroundings, are leaders, spontaneous and light-hearted.

What happens if you show up to a party and you spot another Pony Rider?
Hey girl, hey!

Photos: Instagram

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