Wendy Yu

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Wendy Yu
Wendy Yu 2018.png
Wendy Yu in 2018
OccupationCEO, Yu Holdings; investor; philanthropist

Wendy Yu (Chinese: 余晚晚; pinyin: Yú Wǎnwǎn) is a Chinese heiress, investor, patron of the arts, and philanthropist. She is the founder of Yu Holdings and the first Asian contributor to Vogue.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in the Zhejiang province of China, south of Shanghai, Yu is the only daughter of Jingyuan Yu, billionaire founder of the Mengtian Group, which is Asia's largest manufacturer of wooden doors.[1][2][3] Her father "groomed her to be a businesswoman from an early age".[2] A self-described "geeky tomboy" as a teenager, Yu had a fascination with calculus and data.[1] She excelled at math while attending junior school in Hangzhou, and completed training for the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad.[1]

At age 15, she moved to England to attend the Taunton School, Somerset.[1][2][4] There, Yu became interested in fashion, and went on to study Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion,[1][2] graduating in 2013 with a degree in fashion management.[5] She also completed executive programs at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, the Oxford Investing Program at the University of Oxford on impact investing and the Emerging Leader Development Program at Columbia University in New York City.[2][5] While in school, Yu was presented to society at the International Debutante Ball in New York and the Queen Charlotte's Ball in London.[6]

Career and philanthropy[edit]

Yu interned at Vogue China in 2012, under the editorship of Angelica Cheung.[7] She returned to China after completing her studies in London to work for the Mengtian Group, where she was made vice chairman in 2015.[8]

In 2015 she founded Yu Capital, an investment firm focused on emerging businesses in the fashion, lifestyle, and technology sectors,[1][7][9][10] which evolved into Yu Holdings in 2017.[5] Yu Holdings has invested in Chinese companies including transportation network company DiDi and property rental company Tujia.com,[1][2] as well as individual designers, including Mary Katrantzou.[1][2] Yu brought Katrantzou to China in April 2018, and connected her to other potential investors.[2]

Through her fashion ventures and her personal style, Yu has established herself as an influence on fashion in China, particularly with respect to luxury brands.[2][11] In December 2017, the Chinese business magazine Gafencu Men listed Yu as one the 300 most powerful people in China, and the Hong Kong edition of Tatler named her one of Asia's eight most stylish women.[2][7] In August 2018, Forbes China included Yu in their annual "30 Under 30" (listing elite members in various fields who are under 30 years old), in the field of Art and Fashion, for her role as CEO of Yu Holdings.[12] Yu also has a substantial social media following, with over 700,000 Weibo followers.[2]

In early 2018, Yu endowed the position of the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.[2][13] Andrew Bolton was named to the position, whom Yu met through her friendship with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour,[3] who has described Yu as having "a globally minded view" of fashion.[2]

Yu has also become a patron of the arts through the support of London institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust.[2][13] With respect to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Yu was a founding member of the institution's Young Patrons' Circle.[7] Based on her support of the fashion industry, Vogue has described her as "one of the youngest as well as one of the most significant donors in fashion today".[1] She is also the first Asian contributor to Vogue.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Yu lives in Shanghai.[1][15] She has a couture and accessory collections and limited edition Barbie dolls,[2] which she has indicated that she intends to eventually display in a fashion museum in China.[9] In January 2018, Yu hosted a Chinese New Year dinner at Kensington Palace.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Quick, Harriet (May 5, 2018). "Meet the Met Gala's biggest new donor". Vogue.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Wolfe, Alexandra (28 July 2018). "A Chinese Heiress Makes a Name on the Fashion Scene". The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ a b Yiling, Pan (25 April 2018). "What the Fashion World Needs to Know About Wendy Yu". Jing Daily.
  4. ^ "Meet the super-fashionable Chinese women conquering London". Tatler. 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Conti, Samantha (22 January 2018). "Exclusive: Wendy Yu Invests in Mary Katrantzou, Eyes Growth in China". Women's Wear Daily.
  6. ^ Duan, Noël; Duan, Noël. "I am a daughter of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and I was a European debutante". Quartzy.
  7. ^ a b c d Cerini, Marianna (25 January 2018). "Asia's Most Stylish: The Top 8 Female Fashion Icons". Hong Kong Tatler.
  8. ^ "'Princess' becomes entrepreneur". europe.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b "How Chinese fashion investor Wendy Yu is boosting British brands". South China Morning Post. 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Yu Capital创始人余晚晚获邀出席2016剑桥中国高峰论坛". Elle China. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  11. ^ Moss, Victoria (1 March 2018). "Meet Wendy Yu, the billionaire millennial making investments in British fashion". The Telegraph.
  12. ^ Genevieve, Marie (August 2, 2018). "福布斯中国2018年30位30岁以下精英全榜单 (Forbes China 2018 30-year-old elite full list)" (in Chinese). 福布斯 (Forbes China).
  13. ^ a b Bellstrom, Kristen (July 30, 2018). "Les Moonves, CBS, SoFi, Ivanka Trump: Broadsheet July 30". Fortune.
  14. ^ "余晚晚担任美国版 Vogue 首位特邀亚洲撰稿人". 汉丰网 (Hanfeng Net). 29 January 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Wendy Yu: building bridges between the East and the West". LUX Magazine. Spring 2018.

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