interview by Anna Fitz
photography provided by Yokoo
Atlanta-based designer Yokoo has been picking up steam on the internet, gaining recognition not only for the oversized chunky knitwear that she makes and sells but also because of her eclectic sense of style, minimalist self portraits, and that trademark haircut.
Where did your name come from? Was it inspired at all by Japanese designer Tadanori Yokoo?
Years ago, I had fallen in love with my college freshman English professor, and he had decided to give me a Y for my birthday. It was wonderful. The next day I broke up with him.
The three “O”s were not always so cute. They actually started out as zeroes. When I found them they were rather humble little things. They used to tell me how they were all going to be big, big movie stars one day. I told them if they wanted to be movie stars then they had better change their names, because no one would ever give an Oscar to someone named Zero.
Finally, they agreed and decided to call themselves Oscars. I told them that was just plain stupid, and then they settled on just “O.” Oh, and I fell in love with K because she can cook. But don’t tell her that because she’s really sensitive.
How did you dress when you were in high school?
One has to understand that high school used to be nothing like it is today. Dressing up was not a part-time job the way it is today. You had maybe like three or four kids that put a lot of time, if any, into chiseling a look out for themselves. Because it contrasted so drastically with my environment, I was fascinated with the whole preppy lifestyle. I had a certain fondness for United Colors of Benetton. Then I would incorporate a lot of the underground hip hop hippie movement into my style as well. People like De La Soul had a huge impact not only on my way of dress, but also on how I started to perceive the world. I wore the hippie hip hop haircuts, the big medallions, and a lot of Nikes.