Tom Yu on being a model

We asked six models to answer a few questions about who they are an how that shapes thier experiences at Charleston Fashion Week. Here are Tom Yu's thoughts. -- We'll be updating these throughout the week, so keep checking back.

My favorite fashion trend for summer 2009 and what I'm rocking now

Check out Tom Yu's profile.

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My favorite fashion trend for summer 2009 is all about accessories, Christian Audigier metal plaque leather belt, logo curve silver bracelet, and a silver dog tag pendant. I also think that nice vintage Anglo-Saxon brooches fit the spring/summer trend. I feel that strong accessories express my individuality, which is important. Clothes-wise you can’t forget about shorts or cutoffs in various styles, different lengths and diverse colors. Lastly, a nice pair of sunglasses from Crome Hearts with a leather band. Summer, here I come.

My friends would say no matter where I go, I’m always making some kind of fashion statement. Whenever you see me, I’m wearing some kind designer jeans and shirts. This brings out my individuality and love feeling this way. I recently added a new pair of Mark Nason sandals and Chrome Heart sunglasses for the summer.

A favorite wardrobe inspiration

Most of my wardrobe comes from the Style Exchange in Mt Pleasant. They’re very knowledgeable when it comes to fashion! From edgy to casual, they have it all! They know the latest trends and Allen, the owner, gives you the personal attention to meet your needs. He persuaded me to try on a pair Rock & Republic Taylor fit jeans and fell in love with them immediately! Professionally, I’m a National Account Manager specializing in Lafayette 148 and Calvin Klein for hotels and hospitals. So for work, I wear suits and when I go out it’s usually some kind of designer jeans and long sleeve shirt.

Fashion-wise, I would love to see the Disco era resurrected! I admire the butterfly collar shirts with the tight polyester bellbottoms pants. Usually I can only buy these items at thrift stores. I’ve started a wardrobe collection for these vintage items. One day this will all come back and I can’t wait to see it happen!

A favorite fashion experience from the past

I was so excited when my father opened his first clothing store. This was my first fashion experience and it was like a dream come true. Just imagine as a child going to a candy store and picking any candy that you want! I would spend the entire day trying on different wardrobes, from suits to sportswear. My father attended numerous fashion shows and I would beg to go with him! Even in high school, I was very interested in fashion. I was awarded Best Dressed during my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year. I also played in several movies; I played a character named Shinsho for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and also played a stunt turtles for Michael Angelo.

TheDigitel says: Wow! Cowabanga dude!

Some words of wisdom for aspiring CFW models

My advice for any aspiring models is “just go for it!” If you have the passion and desire to be in CFW 2010, start planning ahead and network with as many people as you can! You truly have to believe in yourself and stop at nothing to accomplish your goals! Educate yourself with books and research on the internet.

I hope to get involved with more fashion-related events this year. I am definitely participating in the Charlotte, NC Fashion Week held September 10, 2009. To follow your dreams, you have to take advantage of every opportunity.

On designers, preparation, and getting amped

I have friend who is a model who helped critique me. Every little bit helps!

I would have to say my favorite is Michael Ball (CEO and Designer for Rock & Republic). Michael started making jeans when he didn’t like the fit of his girlfriend’s jeans. He had no experience designing jeans, he just did it. I find that to be a great inspirational story!

Preparing for Charleston Fashion Week takes a lot of hard work and determination. I started getting ready for CFW by looking at runway videos online. Learning how to walk for a fashion show is no easy task! This helped me... I also practiced in front a mirror, focusing on my runway walk and poses. Even after working out at the gym, I would go to the aerobic room and practice walking. I have friend who is a model who helped critique me. Every little bit helps!

I listen to a lot of trance, techno, and house music. This gets me fired up with excitement! My favorite DJ is Gigi D’Agostino (Come Fly With You). I have no shame dancing to this song in my car. I use my ipod regularly to set my grove in! This has definitely help me focus for Charleston Fashion Week!

About my experiences at model rehearsals and in-store fittings

They took no chance in making any errors! The measurements were taken twice for accuracy.

My experience at the Charleston Fashion Week model rehearsals was phenomenal! The staff for CFW was great and easy to work with! As we circled around practicing our walks, they had great advice and pointers all along the way. At the rehearsals, I met some really great people. We were all so excited about the event and being able participate, I took the opportunity to network and ask questions of other models who participated in the event last year. It got me more excited about CFW 2009.

There is a lot of work to do before you hit the runway, and the clothes have to fit and look great. The in-store dress rehearsals for Berlin Formal Wear, Billy Reid, and Style Exchange were great! Everyone that was involved was accommodating and very easy to work with. They took no chance in making any errors! The measurements were taken twice for accuracy. I felt like I was in good hands and it made me even more excited for hitting the runway under the tents of Marion Square.

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