Witty Conversation with Irene Yuan of Cuyana

August 19, 2015

I’m so excited for this next chapter in Witty Conversation With because it’s featuring someone from one of my favorite brands, Cuyana.

Meet Irene Yuan, Head of Marketing for clothing and accessory brand Cuyana and someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting on several occasions. This is a woman who does it all but makes it looks easy and she’s done an incredible job of growing a brand with a beautiful mission (not to mention gorgeous products.)

Get to know Irene in today’s Witty Conversation With…

Witty Conversation with Cuyana I wit & whimsyYou do marketing for one of my favorite brands, Cuyana. What does a typical day look like for you?

It’s varied but exciting. Sometimes I’m traveling for work: going to NY or LA to meet with editors or partners, helping with photo shoots, the occasional conference. When I’m in the office, it’s a lot of meetings – with our merchandise, product, design teams but also with partners or press, interviews with candidates, etc – and always countless to-do’s to execute each marketing campaign. With so much going on, I try to set aside time each day to take a step back and think high-level about what’s going on, to make sure all our campaigns are thoughtful and cohesive!

What are your 3 favorite pieces from Cuyana?

I love my overnight bag (always travel with it), my long-sleeve tee (I live in it), and an oversized turtleneck sweater we did for Holiday 2013.

What are your top 3 favorite places to eat/drink in San Francisco?

My favorite restaurant is Nopa: everything there is amazing. For bars, I love Palmers in Pac Heights and Press Club, a wine lounge, in Union Square / SoMa.

You have the day off…how are you spending it?

The “real” version is relatively unexciting: I’m going to SoulCycle, running errands, meeting friends. Most of my weekdays are pretty packed so simple things like this are super enjoyable for me. The “idealistic” version is probably going to the beach and reading a great book. Reading for pleasure is such a luxury these days and I love it.

Irene Yuan Feature I wit & whimsy

What’s a piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

Things have a way of working themselves out. Even in the most challenging situations, which, when you are younger feels like the world is falling apart, things somehow end up getting resolved and, even if it’s for the worse, which happen sometimes, I’ve always come out wiser and more equipped for life ahead.

What are 3 of your favorite apps and why?

I love VSCO – it turns pretty much any photo into a work of art. I love my Starbucks app: I pay using it always and never have to bring my wallet when I make a coffee run. Lastly, the Rent the Runway app is surprisingly easy to use. I’m a big fan of RTR for the many special occasion events I have, and I’m now super comfortable using the app to place orders.

Who (or what) inspires you?

My mom does because she’s the strongest person I know and loves unconditionally.

What is a piece of advice you’d give to someone trying to break into the world of fashion?

There are creative ways to get into fashion! When I was younger, I sometimes felt discouraged because I thought you had to go to design school or have a specific fashion network to work in the industry. But it turns out there are creative ways — through business, through tech — to enter the fashion world. For ex: interning in venture capital for a firm that invests in e-commerce or fashion start-ups, leveraging analytical skills to enter through merchandising, starting in marketing/advertising and entering that way, etc.

Witty Conversation with Irene Yuan of Cuyana I wit & whimsy

Finish this sentence “I have a dream…”

I have a dream that fashion can become an agent of change: whether on an individual-basis as a tool for confidence and self-empowerment, or on a larger scale as a vehicle for intentional living and thoughtful consumption.


Thanks so much to Irene for partaking in this! You can see past Witty Conversation With features here. And my styling of some of my favorite Cuyana pieces here, here and here.

[Photos courtesy of Irene Yuan]

comments +

  1. I loved this interview! Thanks for introducing us to Irene!

    Her Heartland Soul

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