Ching-Ya Collaborates with Artist David Tonnelier as YAYA YAYA | SINGULAR COLLECTIVE

GFW's Director-at-Large Collaborates on Her Latest Runway Collection

By Rachel Godfrey

For Ching-Ya Ni, fashion transcends labels and vanity: It is a walking platform for sustainability and transformation.
“I’ve always loved getting dressed and putting outfits together, but I grew up with a limited budget and a lot of hand-me-downs,” she said. “I had a hard time identifying myself in fashion because I always saw it as materialistic. I want to create more purpose in my collection to create a meaning past superficiality.”
As Gainesville Fashion Week’s Director-at-Large, Co-Producer and Art Show Director, Ching-Ya epitomizes the multitasking maven. Saturday’s runway show will be her second collection for Gainesville Fashion Week, and her first collaboration with artist David Tonnelier.

Ching-Ya Ni

An avid urban street-style junkie, Ching-Ya incorporates her Miami swag and Asian heritage into her pieces.
“I’m always very graphic in my personal style,” she said. “People have called me a chonga and a Harajuku girl. Even when a piece is dark it’s still very loud.”
The collection features items that both men and women can wear. Ching-Ya said androgyny has been resurging in the fashion industry and her pieces speak to that trend of incorporation.
“I’m inspired by a lot of emotions,” she said. “This collection features a duality theme which plays into everything from the color scheme, the graphics and the cuts of the material. You’ll see a lot of light and dark and happy and sad.”
The recent ‘90s resurgence has powered Ya’s designs, along with fusing re-purposed vintage items with cutting-edge technology.
“In Gainesville it might be considered avant-garde, but I’m really excited that we’ve been able to transform pieces and make them eco-chic.”