How do you spot a Yazbukey girl?
For starters her dress code is a conversation stopper. It’s because of those telltale accessories like the Plexiglass lipstick necklace or the provocative clutch with the words, ‘Slave to Love’. Her favourite phrase is; “I bought it in Paris” and her life’s mission is to dress with an element of surprise. Oh la la!
Sisters Emel and Yaz Bukey launched their label in 2000. Yaz, who had worked with Givenchy, Maison Martin Margiela and Jeremy Scott to 1999, merged her first and second names and the marque was born.
The tongue-in-cheek wearable pop art quickly gathered a cult following. It won a presence in big name department stores while maintaining a reputation in the coolest multi-brand boutiques.
Images of smacking red lips, edgy graphics and playful accessories quickly attracted a following of influencers and celebrities including American actresses Elizabeth Olsen and Christina Hendricks, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese and Italian jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez.
At Yazbukey’s Paris fashion shows where guests include models, designers and musicians, the scene is upbeat and staged as ‘performance art’. The last, for spring summer 2017, was held in a car repair shop.
Yaz is a graduate of the Studio Bercot, the most progressive fashion school in Paris. With boundless creative energy she turns industrial materials into brightly coloured, hand-crafted little luxuries in a collection of handbags, clutches, jewellery, shoe and bag charms, a belt, phone cases and clothing. Those materials have earned her the title, the ‘Queen of Plexi’.
Yaz (when working with Emel) designed a limited edition pink Plexiglass gift box for Ladurée for Valentine’s Day and other collaborations followed: a candle topped with a pair of red Plexiglass lips for Cire Trudon (Marie-Antoinette’s favourite candle maker); a capsule collection of mittens-with-motifs for the 120-year old glove maker, Causse Gantier (it’s owned by Chanel) and a lingerie line emblazoned with red lips for Princess Tam Tam. Yaz also designs the accessories for Zac Posen’s Z Spoke line. Her 2016 collaboration with the Japanese cosmetic house Shu Uemera sold out.
At her last show I asked where she found her boundless creative energy. “I have a kind of fire where creativity lies,” she said. “Plus, I am surrounded by a group of friends who are stimulating. And there’s an inevitable and powerful creativity when you come together with partners.”
Yaz – you add an enormous pop of colour to our lives.
Writer: Lucy Lu, photography: Brandie Raasch