About Young & Able:
At Young and Able, we are unique in the way we source our content. We take the time to engage with each and every one of our designers in order to convey their individual styles and processes to our customers. Our designers take pride in their creative practices, particularly in regards to production. Many of the products featured on Young and Able are made by hand on a small scale with locally sourced materials. We want to tell the story behind how and why a product is made, and create a community where both designers and consumers can interact at every level. When you support the designers at Young and Able, you are doing more than just buying their products. You are learning about their inspirations and stories, and supporting their future in the industry.
We believe that platforms like Y&A offer a necessary resource to contribute, nurture and support an emerging designer’s career.
We recognize that with recent focus on sustainability, “slow” fashion, and transparency, manufacturers and consumers are paying more attention to the quality and craft that goes into each of their products.
Rosa Ng, Founder
Rosa Ng is a multi-disciplinary designer and experiential retail strategist. Her career began as a knitwear specialist and has worked for Alexander Mcqueen, Jason Wu, Kate Spade and Calvin Klein Collection.
She founded Young & Able in 2014 with the initiative to showcase and nurture young and emerging designers. It is an e-commerce and seasonal pop-up shop of thoughtfully curated merchandise boasting 24 months of physical retail in New York. The core mission is to serve as a storytelling platform to help young designers and entrepreneurs showcase their handcrafted work in fashion, textile, jewelry and home goods. It has produced 20 pop-up shops and featured over 300 designers in interviews, video content, creative workshops, and offline activations in an effort to engage with the community and inspire awareness.
Excerpts from Interview by The Emerging Designer (NYC fashion network)
Why did you start Y&A?
What inspired me the most to start Young & Able is my friends who chose the path of starting their own brand right after college. I’ve always walked away so inspired and motivated after seeing their latest collection. But the problem is they all share the struggle to get their name out there outside their own networks. I truly believe in my friends and the many makers and emerging designers out there and as consumers, we want to know more about what we are spending our money on and we should invest on things that will last.
It didn’t make sense for me to enter into this saturated market as a designer. Instead, I wanted to fill a void in the market and launched Young & Able, an online platform where we have editorial and blogger photoshoots, behind-the-scenes footages, interviews and Q&As with our feature designers so both designers and consumers can interact at every level. Let’s collectively support the design entrepreneurs of our generation!
How do you select the designers for the site? It seems like it’s more than just good product.
The quality and the design of the product is a key factor but a lot of it is about the designer’s story, their presentation and how I connect with them.
You went from design to e-commerce. How has the transition been and how has it helped you?
Coming from design and having to start up an e-commerce, I felt like I was doing everything backward only because if I was creating a collection, the whole development of an e-commerce would be in the back burner until I have an actual collection. But there is also a lot of similarity. I knew I had to already think about branding and be selective of the designers that I choose. I created Young & Able with the same principles of how I would see my own collection.
Can you describe the brand in three words?
Independent, Community, Transparency