Who is Wendy Yu

Who is Wendy Yu, the billionaire without whom the Met Gala would not exist?

Unlike Rihanna, Madonna, Kim and Kanye, and other mononymous celebrities who will be present at this year’s “Fashion

Oscars”, Wendy Yu – one of the most important guests – is a name that may still be unknown to you. Not for much longer.

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Sophie Davidson

Among the 600 or so guests who will walk up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art next Monday for the annual

charity gala (also known as the Met Gala) will be someone of the utmost importance: Wendy Yu, an investor and philanthropist

who made an endowment in March to create the position of Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute in perpetuity.

By sponsoring the world’s largest costume collection at only 28 years old, Yu becomes one of the world’s youngest

and most important donors to fashion. It also ensures the affiliation between the Yu name and the Costume Institute

for generations to come.

The Costume Institute’s chief curator, the talented Andrew Bolton – now Wendy Yu Curator in Charge – has chosen the

theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and Catholic Imagery” for its annual exhibition. So we can expect to see a number

of extravagant and baroque outfits, and most certainly several Madonnas, priestly garments, and other angelic apparitions.

The dress code is a true reflection of the weight of the charity event: last year’s gala raised an impressive $12


Although Yu just arrived from Shanghai on an overnight flight to meet Vogue in the depths of London’s East End (equipped

with a vanity full of night masks, Chanel serums, and skincare devices), the drastic change of scenery and jet lag

didn’t faze her enough to divulge any secrets about what she’ll be wearing Monday night. “It will be a very large

dress made by one of my favorite designers, with jewelry from a Chinese designer depicting Buddhist symbols,” she

explains about her interpretation of the religious theme. At 9 a.m., in her black taffeta empire dress and sparkling

stilettos, Yu is cheerful and fresh.

Yu, who attends about eight times a year at large events where evening wear is required and builds her own collection

of couture and ready-to-wear pieces (including from Valentino, Dior, Ralph & Russo, Huishan Zhang, and Mary Katrantzou)

knows a thing or two about costume. But as a new donor, this year’s gala will be pivotal. The gift, made through her

investment company Yu Holdings (based in Hong Kong), will support the work of the Costume Institute and help strengthen

cultural relations between East and West. Bolton will give a series of educational lectures in China, where there

are currently no museums dedicated to costume or fashion. In exchange, Yu will help Bolton deepen his relationship

with the country and introduce him to domestic talent.


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British-born Andrew Bolton, who has helped make fashion one of the most prominent creative arts with his exploratory

and provocative curatorial work (more than 815,000 people visited the 2022 exhibition “China: Through the Looking

Glass”-the fifth most visited at the Met), and who has built one of the world’s largest costume collections,

is excited about the union. Fifty positions on the Met’s curatorial teams are thus filled.

The appointment came “very naturally,” Yu says. She began following Bolton’s work closely after seeing the

“Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty” exhibition in 2022, which “really moved her.” Then, last year, she was

introduced to Bolton and Anna Wintour by Melvin Chua, the famed public relations officer and event planner.

“At that point, I didn’t know much about Wendy. She was interested in participating and being involved in the

Costume Institute’s activities, but she didn’t really know what she wanted to do,” Bolton recalls. When Bolton

and Wintour proposed naming her position permanently (her successors would also be called “Wendy Yu Curator

in Charge”), “she thought about it for 24 hours and agreed,” he continues. “We became great friends. She’s

only 28 – I had no idea what I wanted to do at that age! And she’s a very impressive businesswoman – she’s


Yu developed her business acumen as a child in the wealthy province of Zhejiang. She is the daughter of Chinese

businessman and entrepreneur Jingyuan Yu, founder of the Mengtian Group, Asia’s leading manufacturer of wooden

doors – a business that boomed when China’s cities grew exponentially at the turn of the century. Mr. Yu, a

computer engineer by training and a former employee of the Chinese government, was one of the first generations

of entrepreneurs to succeed after the Cultural Revolution. He passed on the value of “work hard, study hard”

to his daughter. “My father always asked me ‘Where are you? Where do you want to go? And how are you going

to get there?’ I think it’s pretty rare for a father to talk like that to a five-year-old,” she says. “He taught

me that nothing is impossible and that as an entrepreneur, you have to solve problems. On a personal level,

he emphasized three qualities: be a loving person, contribute to society and family, and always try to improve

– when you have an idea, work hard to make it happen, and always make sure you give something back to those

who helped you get there.”

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Yu, a math major, says she was both a geeky and tomboyish teenager, fascinated by math and data. When she moved

to the U.K. at age 15 to attend a Catholic school near Croydon, she remembers her math teachers being impressed

with her ability to solve equations without a calculator.

While she was predestined for the world of business, her fascination with the creative arts, particularly fashion,

developed in her 20s, when she entered the London College of Fashion to study fashion management and immersed

herself in the world through exhibitions: https://crackhockey0.bloggersdelight.dk/2022/04/16/white-adidas-originals-womens-white-adidas-originals-gazelle-adidas-originals/, books, and her own wardrobe. In 2022, she founded venture capital firm Yu Holdings (which employs 20 people),

and her first investments included ASAP 54 (a shopping platform described as “the Shazam of fashion”) and

sustainable accessories company Bottletop. In January, she also acquired a minority stake in Mary Katrantzou.

“I want to become someone who propels creative talent in the business sector,” Yu says.

Her biggest successes come from investments made with Yu Holdings in the DiDI and Tujia app, the Chinese

equivalent of Airbnb (which was valued at more than $1.5 billion last year). “For every investment, you

have to carefully measure the risks, and people have doubted my commitment as a Chinese person but also

as a woman,” says Yu, who is keen to disassociate herself from the stereotype of the hedonistic, shopaholic

“fuerdai” (the name given to the wealthy children of China’s nouveau riche).

“It’s through hard work and solid results that you prove yourself. I also still have a bit of a rebellious

streak, and I like people to challenge me,” confides Yu, who currently lives between Hong Kong, Shanghai,

London, and New York. “I consider myself a citizen of the world.” She keeps her head on straight by meditating

daily, and relying on the help of spiritual and professional mentors. “I always consider my footprint, what

I will leave behind. How can I use my wealth to make a positive social impact and support the arts industries?”

she continues. “I believe my generation is flexible and versatile. And I and my peers are also lucky enough

to live in both the East and the West. China has huge potential as a fashion market; https://postheaven.net/drivermother94/the-ren-lacoste-legends-12-collection-colette-bodega-ato-matsumoto-s-bastien, and I really want to support young talent and create a platform to help designers and brands grow on the international

stage, through investments and partnerships with the Met and the British Fashion Council.” It is also working

with BAFTA to launch Chinese film talent. At a time when trade negotiations are very tense between China and

the United States: https://uchatoo.com/post/358658_http-cpescortservice-com-1005-air-max-homme-pas-cher-air-max-95-pas-cher-nike-ai.html, Yu’s donation is a miracle. It remains to discover her statement dress on the red carpet Monday night