For Nana N. Yoshida (’09, MA ’17), education never goes out of style. The talented Tokyo native and accomplished fashion designer recently graduated from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences’ MA in Arts Administration program. It’s her second degree from Baruch.
“What I loved about the MA program is that it puts art, and artists, before profit,” Ms. Yoshida explains. “I realize now more than ever that each piece of clothing I make with my hands is a work of art.”
Since childhood, Yoshida has loved making her own clothes, a process she likens to cooking one’s own dinner. “I didn’t want to compromise on any of the ‘ingredients,’ so to speak, like the color of the thread, types of buttons, or fit,” she recalls.
She came to New York after high school to immerse herself in the city’s culture and quickly found her professional niche, establishing her own clothing label, Yn Couture, and providing costume design for such artists as Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna. All the while, she took evening classes to earn a BBA at the Zicklin School of Business.
“By working throughout my college career, I had more real-life experience to share in class,” she says. “And at Zicklin, I learned how to turn enthusiasm into profit, gaining valuable lessons to make my ready-made clothing line more effective and efficient in the early 2000s.”
This summer Yoshida received a Lenore G. Tawney Foundation ArtTable Diversity Fellowship at the Museum of the City of New York, where she provided curatorial work and researched costume designers from the early 20th century. At the same time, she continued work on her personal project: a photography book showcasing the clothing she has made over the past 20 years. “It uses fashion to highlight the trends, fads, and social changes that have taken place in New York, especially Brooklyn, since 1997.”
Yoshida continues to draw on her two Baruch experiences. “By studying at both Zicklin and Weissman, I learned business from two different perspectives,” she explains. “Each degree came at the right moment in my career.”
—Gregory M. Leporati