The bags that Yuki Yang designs are objects of luxury. You can tell from the sturdy feel of the leathers and exotic skins that are used in the making of the bags, and their smooth edges and clean lines that could only have been achieved at the hands of seasoned craftsmen.
But the bag that started her journey to becoming a designer is much humbler. “It was an ordinary canvas messenger bag with a red pentagram printed on it,” says the founder and creative director of home‑grown luxury bag label Abara, on the gift that she received from her grandmother on her first day of elementary school. “It wasn’t that often that I was given gifts, and this was extra special because finally, I got the first bag of my life!”
It may not have been crafted from leather, but it was certainly a luxury for Yang, who grew up amid the forest-filled landscapes of Hunan in China. “I carried that bag with me everywhere I went because it was all that I possessed at that time,” she recalls. “It was with me throughout my school life and accompanied me over many mountains—both literally and metaphorically.”
The peak of that metaphorical mountain is Abara, Yang’s very own fashion business, which she launched in 2021. Getting there was an arduous climb. In 2005, she left Hunan for Shanghai, where skyscrapers replaced the mountains of her youth and she could pursue material pleasures—namely, fashion.