Photo credit: Silas Kappal
Yaya Han discovered cosplay in 1999, when it was still a small, quirky section of the geekfandom. While Yaya had virtually no knowledge of sewing or crafting at that time, her childhood passion for Art and Japanimation got her hooked on the idea of dressing up as her favorite characters. Armed with a used $40 sewing machine, Yaya threw herself into making costumes headfirst, and quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation.
To this day, Yaya has made over 300 personal costumes in every fandom genre imaginable, as well as her own original designs. Her longstanding consistency of creating intricate and lavish costumes has made her a Craftsmanship Icon in the cosplay world, and inspired countless people to get into cosplay. Since 2005, Yaya has built a successful business creating unique costume accessories available online and at conventions, as well as her line of Yaya Han Brand merchandising. She has been invited to appear as a Guest, Panelist, Judge, Performer and Host to hundreds of conventions and events all over the world.
Over the years, Yaya has played a pivotal role in introducing cosplay to the mainstream audience. She has been a Guest Judge on 3 seasons of TBS TV Network’s “King of the Nerds” competition show, starred in the Syfy TV Network’s DocuSeries “Heroes of Cosplay”, and been interviewed countless times by media outlets about fandom and cosplay. Last year, Yaya lent her image to the comic book series “Wonderous 2: The Yaya Han Saga”, produced by Lionforge Comics, and became a legitimate superhero in the comic book world.
Yaya’s current focus is on making tools and materials more available to the cosplay community, through collaborations with global creative companies. She has been designing a popular line of cosplay sewing patterns with The McCall Pattern Company.
JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores released the Cosplay by Yaya Han fabric line, making high quality cosplaycentric materials easily accessible to professionals, and amateur users in North America. Most recently, Yaya became a Brand Ambassador for the Bernina Sewing Machine Company.
Commercial ventures aside, Yaya often participates in charitable projects involving cosplay, and strives to be a positive force in the community. Through hard work, unmatched passion and infectious enthusiasm, Yaya has helped cosplay gain respect and integrity as an artform in the fandom world and art communities, and her decade long campaign for creativity has helped raise Cosplay to the standards we know today. Everyday, Yaya continues to pave the path for the beloved art and lifestyle we know as Cosplay.