TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW
Yoshi: This is Yoshi reporting for Gamers Classified and I’m here with international cosplayer and entrepreneur Yaya Han. Hi Yaya, how are you?
Yaya Han: Hi everyone!
Yoshi: So you’re doing a little bit of traveling these months. Can tell us a bit about your sort of schedule and what brings you to Sydney?
Yaya Han: Well yeah, I’ve been on a three-week trip. I went to Johannesburg South Africa first from the States to appear at Comic-Con Africa and then from there straight to Australia to be at Oz Comic-Con Brisbane and now Sydney so I haven’t been home in about three weeks and the time zones are all over the place now but it’s been a really fun trip and I think ReedPOP is doing a great job holding these conventions at different countries and I love meeting cosplayers and fans from all of these different cultures and see how the local communities are developing so it’s been really very special.
Yoshi: Thank you very much for joining us and I know that while you’re in Sydney you’ve teamed up with Spotlight to talk about your cosplay fabrics. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yaya Han: Definitely. So I have a fabric line that is produced in the United States. The company’s based in the United States and it is sold at JOANN stores nationally in the States. A lot of people started asking about it internationally and Spotlight in Australia really took the initiative and they gave it a go and they’re distributing it now. I am really excited to see my fabric come to Australia and have you know this availability to people here because I designed the fabrics really with cosplayers and costume makers in mind. It’s from my many years of using and sewing where I kind of have an idea of what fabrics I want and that I need; and what kind of attributes I wanted to have, how durable I needed it to be, how stretchy it needs to be. So it’s just been a really amazing opportunity to give back to the community. This is my way to make materials available and encourage cosplayers and newcomers to jump in and do DIY and get hands-on with making their own costumes.
Yoshi: Definitely, as opposed to, you know, curtain or cushion fabric.
Yaya Han: For sure. I mean, in the States we also had the issue for a long time where big fabric stores didn’t realize that cosplay was a market. Cosplayers would shop at these fabric stores and have very limited access to specialty materials or the materials were very low quality or they wouldn’t be able to stand up to the wear and tear of costumes because they were designed for upholstery or garments or something like that. I think costume fabrics need very specific attributes to really withstand years of wear and tear and you know have the degree of mobility that we need so when the fabric company approached me it was really exciting. It’s not like I just out of the blue decided “I’m gonna make fabrics and try to sell it to this big store!”. I was approached by a fabric company that is called CosplayFabrics.com and they sort of said we think that you have a lot of expertise and we are curious: what would cosplay specific fabrics look like? And so, we kind of developed it. That was three years ago and now we release two collections per year in the US and hopefully they will also be coming to Australia via Spotlight.
Yoshi: Congratulations! The next time you’re in Spotlight, pick up your Brother sewing machine and also pick up your Yaya Han cosplayer fabrics. So aside from cosplay, I see that you’re into the Free anime. Can you tell us what you like about this anime?
Yaya Han: Oh yeah, I’m a huge anime fan in general. Always have been. It is sort of what got me into cosplay in the first place. So Free is a swimming anime. It’s a sports anime focused swimming and I just really like the character development. I’ve been following it for three seasons and a lot of the anime is actually based in Australia because one of the swimmer’s trains in Sydney. This whole week I’ve been going around Sydney to hunt for the real-life anime locations. It’s like a hobby of mine. I like going to the real locations that animations are based on and so we actually swam at the North Sydney pool, the one that’s by the Harbour Bridge. I think we were out last night till 12:30 at night to recreate a night-time scene so I’ll be posting those on my social media. Those comparison photos. It’s just another way to express that you’re a fan of something.
Yoshi: That’s definitely dedication. So on that topic of social media, if people wanted to stay in touch with you how can they do that?
Yaya Han: I have Facebook Instagram and Twitter. Those are my big three. So Facebook is Yaya Cosplay and Instagram and Twitter is Yaya Han. And of course, I have my website with my portfolio and everything you need to know about me at YayaHan.com . So yeah, follow me on my adventures and, specifically, the anime postings!
Yoshi: Yaya Han. International entrepreneur and cosplayer. Thank you very much for your time.
Yaya Han: Thank you so much guys!