The folks who represent Gilt MANual sat down with the young, fresh, and forward thinking designer Hyden Yoo to capture a bit more insight into his background, and personality. The Q&A is short, too the point and light hearted, which is sometimes hard to capture and often forgotten in many interview/ features we see in today’s fashion world.

Hyden Yoo earned no design degrees, didn’t intern at a respected fashion house, didn’t put in years toiling in the fashion closet of any downtown men’s mag. The New York-based designer took more of a circuitous route in establishing his eponymous, genre-bursting line of forward, yet widely-appealing, menswear. We grilled the designer on his origins, the state of the Knicks, and where to get the best Korean food in the city.

When did you first decide to become a designer?
I was sitting at my desk, pretty much hating my job and my life. I wanted to do something completely different, so I began to list out things that I really liked or enjoyed. Since everything listed involved fashion or clothing, I quit my job, and here I am! Now, I’m just sitting at my desk again, hating life.

You have a pretty unique occupational backstory. What did you do before getting involved in fashion?
I did a few things. First, I got a consulting job out of college; then that job got deferred, so I worked at a retail store. Then I taught high-school calculus. Then I dabbled in trading options. Then I went to be a personal trainer. Yes, I was in shape back then. Finally, I went back to the consulting job, when it finally started up. Oh, and yes, it’s true, I won an episode of Fear Factor and saved that money to start my brand somewhere during all of this.

Read the rest of the Interview at Gilt MANual.

Photo Credit: William Yan.