January 07, 2024
Good Life - Yenny Hsieh of New Balance
Yenny first came to us pulling looks for artist Johan Lenox, back when we still operated the business out of our downtown loft. Our team was immediately struck by her sincere energy and she quickly became a regular stylist with us during a time when pulls and pickups had to be coordinated completely digitally, which was a further testament to her diligence. Over the years she remained a constant support and cheerleader for our team, even as her role at her "day job" with New Balance continued to grow and she's had to continuously move between Los Angeles and Boston. Today she's more firmly settled into Los Angeles and now—no surprise to us—works on runway and collaborations at NB. But what has continued to inspire us about Yenny is the way we see her attacking life through all the ups & downs of the past few years. We're really pleased to continue Good Life with her here:
Joonmo Kim - If all your memories were to be erased but you get to keep one, what one memory would you keep? Please describe it specifically.
I hold close the memory of visiting Berlin with my parents for the marathon. Growing up, the only time we traveled internationally as a family was to visit our extended family in Taiwan. Most of the time, we would keep our family trips local - it wasn't for a lack of interest in vacationing elsewhere, it was because we couldn't afford it. During school, I had opportunities to study abroad and my parents supported each opportunity, keen on hearing about my experiences when I returned. They would speak of the places in Europe they wished to see once they retired, but when retirement came, I found that they still had difficulty justifying traveling to these places.
Last September, I was able to run the Berlin marathon and saw this as the window to plan a trip for us together. I think it reminded my parents of when I was younger and played competitive sports, where they would show up to each of my meets, matches, races, etc. Maybe the idea of needing their support for the race gave them purpose, whereas spending money on themselves to travel and vacation was never something they've felt the same agency to do. I felt a degree of urgency during the trip - there was so much I wanted my parents to see and do, in return for all they sacrificed to provide me with opportunities to travel here during school. But in reality, their favorite moments were us slowly taking everything in, enjoying the quieter neighborhoods, and appreciating being there together. After the trip, they told me it was the first time in their lives where they've ever truly felt like they were on a vacation. For my parents, who have given me everything they could, this has been the sweetest memory and most meaningful way I've been able to give something in return.
Favorite places to relax in Boston?
I like revisiting running routes that I frequented growing up, and taking in what's familiar vs. what's changed.
What advice do you have for someone running their first marathon?
I could get really granular on nutrition, gear, etc., but what I find so empowering about fitness is knowing exactly how much you can deadlift, or in this case, knowing exactly how far you can run, and then actively improving or working on it. It's made me feel so much stronger, it's allowed me to better understand myself and appreciate my body so much.
What was a moment of disappointment that later on turned out to be a blessing in disguise or important learning moment in your life?
In high school, I found out that I have a retinal condition that ended up taking me out of all impact sports for 3-4 years. As someone that was really looking forward to continue playing sports in college, it forced me to figure out early on what my identity looked like outside of it. I really struggled with this at first, finding another outlet for my energy, but it helped foster the conversation around how I could find other ways to connect the things I'm passionate about within sport and community. Over time, I began seeking creative opportunities to bring fashion and sports together, and although the journey hasn't been particularly linear, I've now been able to fold together these personal passions within my work at New Balance. There are bound to be moments in life where the journey abruptly stops short or we suddenly feel cut off from the things we love, but there's always the opportunity to find other ways to engage, and fleshing out that new approach may yield the most meaningful journey within itself. You can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond.
Most worn New Balance model?
We joke about who on our Collab team is "Team Early," always wearing the shoes that haven't hit market yet. On the other hand, I'm team all day, every day. 99% of the time, I'm wearing the JJJJound x NB 990V4s. There's nothing quite like it for me, especially how that model wears over time. Also, V4s are the only pairs I want on my feet after a long run.
What's your question for the next person?
What is something that makes you feel authentically yourself?
Photographer: Angella Choe
special thanks to metahaiku for location
Yenny wears the Alden Single Breasted Blazer, Bib Crop Vest, Freestyle Buttondown Shirt, Junction Trousers PS and then the Sammy Double Breasted Blazer, Freestyle Buttondown Shirt, & Florider Trouser.
"Good Life" is an ongoing conversation with special people in our community. We've always understood that we are the sum of the people around us, and you can find out more about Goodfight by learning more about THEM.
Each Good Life interview is ended with subjects leaving a question for the next person without knowing who they will be--this creates an unbroken line of communication between people who are mostly complete strangers, ironically unaware of how they are unwittingly connected through various relationships in our world.