Spotlight: Yun Zhang, Swimwear Designer of Wayuu & Sea

By Phoebe Kut, September 14, 2020

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Spotlight is a regular series where we feature a prominent person in the creative scene.


Inspired by Latin America, and plagued with limited bikini options in China, Yun Zhang set out to create her own swimwear line. Wayuu & Sea officially launched last year in July, and has been popular among expat circles in China. The brand is known for its colorful prints, cheeky cuts and bright bags. Below, we catch up with the budding designer and entrepreneur about the inspiration and mission of her brand.

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What is the inspiration behind Wayuu?
I always had the idea to do beachwear in China and have been a beach lover since I was a child. I’ve also taken multiple trips to Latin America, which have hugely inspired me. My idea was to create a brand for women of all shapes and sizes, to mix and match beachwear and inspire creativity in others. 

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What does Wayuu mean?
Wayuu is an indigenous tribe in Colombia, who are known for their colorful, hand-woven bags. Each bag we sell is sourced from an indigenous community in Colombia, and takes two weeks to produce. 

Can you tell us more about the collection?
The bikinis are inspired by the bright, bold patterns from the Wayuu bags, and meant to complement and match with the bags. 

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How has the reception been?
My customer base isn’t necessarily Chinese, perhaps because the cuts are more Latin style: smaller and sexier. So far I’ve had about six pop-up events in Shenzhen to target the local community, and to teach people how to style the bikinis. I would like to have a store in Bali as there is more of a market for swimwear there than in China.

Who is your favorite designer?
I’m very inspired by OndadeMar. They have a very tropical feel and I like that they support women’s rights and female empowerment as well. 


This interview has been edited for clarity. To check out more of the collection checkout @wayunsea on Instagram or add WeChat ID: wayunsea. 

[All images courtesy of Wayuu & Sea]

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