House of Skye – House of Tech, Function, and Fashion
Skye Yayoi Drynan is the Founder, CEO, & Head of Design of House of Skye.
“I believe in the power of reinvention and fighting for your dreams. It’s been an incredible journey: From humble beginnings, I worked in my dad’s gift shop, then waited tables while earning a college scholarship. After graduating from college, I began my professional career at entry level, in a call center. After years of hard work and struggles in a cut-throat industry, I ultimately became one of the largest funders of biotech innovation globally. I am now pursuing my creative dreams in fashion and music. I had the courage to shatter glass ceilings through hard work and perseverance and so can you! Sky’s the limit!” --Skye
This innovative, self-made Wellesley alumna has always been a leader, as a teen playing Olympic Development Soccer, to assisting in oncology research at the Whitehead Institute early on in her 22-year career in biotechnology. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Disruptive Therapeutics Acquisition Corp and ASAF Angels and is a board observer for Antios. Skye is a prolific inventor with utility and design patents issued in fashion and tech worldwide. She made a name for herself in the intimates industry with the globally patented SexyBack Bra (7 patents in more than 100 countries) and in the coveted Hollywood / entertainment field with her couture line worn by celebrities including Kevin Jonas, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, Iggy Azalea, and Jarred Harris, to name a few. Skye’s inspirational story and her bold designs are featured on magazvision shows, music videos, concerts, magazine covers and on the red carpet.
Skye draws creative inspiration from her Japanese roots, world travel, and the natural rugged beauty of her home in Montana.
24Fashion TV: Hi Skye, and welcome to 24Fashion TV! We have a motto at 24FashionTV: “Always be fashion!” What do “Fashion” and “Style” mean to you? And what motto do you have?
Skye Yayoi Drynan: “Fashion” for me means keeping things fresh and setting new trends and “Style” is like a fingerprint that is timeless and uniquely you. My fashion motto is “High-tech, high-function, high-fashion.” House of Skye is an innovative, solutions-based fashion brand underpinned by patented technologies, including my globally patented SexyBack Bra.
You are a frequent participant in lots of fashion events and shows and always attract celebrities to see these shows and sometimes even walk in them – how did you accomplish this? Who was the first celebrity that supported you and why? Is there something in your designs that speaks to that certain group of people?
It takes time to build these relationships and the journey started about five years ago for me. House of Skye® is built one sartorial look at a time in collaboration with the stylists and our clients. Our brand is for those who appreciate old world craftsmanship married with modern materials and innovative designs. Gwen Stefani and Carrie Underwood are two of the celebrities that first supported House of Skye®. Our aesthetic is bold meets whimsical, with an edgy rock and roll twist. Our drop-the-mic looks spoke to them.
What inspired you to start your career as a designer?
I’ve always loved fashion since I was a little girl. It’s in my blood. My dad reminds me that I made us outfits including gold vests and ties since I was about 6. My Japanese grandma Kayko has always been my personal style icon with her tailored silhouettes and flashy style.
What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome, in the industry or within yourself, before you ‘made it’ as a designer? When did you first say, ‘I’m a designer,’ when someone asked what you did?
When I walked away from my 22-year career in biotech investing about a year ago to focus on House of Skye® is when I felt like I could first say, “I’m a designer. I’m doing this!” The biggest obstacles are figuring out how to build the right team to have your creations come to life as beautifully as you imagine. The other challenge of course with the SexyBack Bra® was the years of patenting and product development to create the ultimate transformer bra and manufacture it at scale. Building brand awareness is another big hurdle of course. This year, House of Skye®continues to gain momentum on all of these things.
Your SexyBack Bra® collection is incredible! How did you create it, why, and what inspired you to create that new type of bra with its variety of wear options?
Thank you! My inspiration for creating the SexyBack Bra® was to save myself and my girlfriends from a variety of wardrobe malfunctions which unfortunately we’ve all experienced. The SexyBack Bra® is my solution for reliable invisible and comfortable breast support for a variety of clothing styles from backless, to strapless, to everyday wear. It’s an engineering feat in bras that works for a variety of body types with its adaptable strapping and tab system. Creating the bra was a multi-year process, from refining the cup shape to creating the right structure so that the bra can be worn multiple ways with high comfort. The SexyBack Bra® is one-of-a-kind and has seven patents issued in over 100 countries!
What’s the message of your style, or what message do you think your clientele and the fashion-buying public receive?
Beautiful designs can have innovative technology and function all in one.
What was your favorite masterpiece and tell us a little of that? Who wore it, when, etc.?
One of my favorite pieces is the hand-beaded bomber jacket that Kevin Jonas wore a couple weeks ago for the Jonas Brothers’ “Remember This Tour” at the Hollywood Bowl. The piece was straight off the runway from the “Phoenix Rising” collection. We have a limited edition ready-to-wear bomber that has the same design available at www.houseofskye.shop.
Do you think the fashion business follows standard business cycles or has a periodicity of its own? What part of the cycle do you think we are in now?
There are clearly cycles. We’ve seen such a move towards leisure, outdoor and street as our lives evolved from the pandemic. I think those will remain big trends, but also as we all get out and about in the world again, folks want to stand out. House of Skye® designs are for those who want to shine.
Do you like social media and being in the public eye? Are there good and bad things about it and about the effect it has on the public?
I’m really appreciative of my fans, friends, and family. They inspire me to keep growing as an artist and as a person. I’m a private person by nature, so it’s a new frontier being in the public eye. The good and bad thing about social media is instant feedback. Sometimes you feel like a rock-star and sometimes you feel like hiding under your sewing machine. What I do appreciate about being in the public eye is that it provides you with a platform to effectuate change. I’m grateful for that.
What’s next for you? New collections, collaborations, shows? What should we expect from you next?
We just wrapped up “Phoenix Rising” and a capsule collection, “Galactica.” “SnowBeast” is next. I’m from Montana, so this is my innovative take on the great outdoors, from glamping to skiing.
24Fashion TV viewers are extremely varied, but we have a lot of new designers on our platform. What message would you give to them? Do you have any advice for people that are about to come out of design schools around the world?
My advice to new designers is to find your own voice and be uniquely you. I think it’s also important to have mentors and constantly be a student of fashion. That’s the magic in being creative -- every day you get to manifest your reality!
Thank you so much for the interview and we are looking forward to seeing your next beautiful show!