Choi, Young-Eun is the creative director and fine jeweler of CYE Designs, based in Seoul. Young-Eun has a formal background in fine art, not fashion, and this background is the foundation of her brand. She obtained a BFA in Painting while living in Seoul before moving to the US in 1995 to obtain a second BFA in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. After finishing her second BFA she moved to NYC and obtained an MFA in Sculpture from Hunter College CUNY.
While in New York she worked under Vito Acconci in his Brooklyn Dumbo studio as a scale model maker. She was also a gallery assistant in Chelsea. Being primarily focused on art, the transition into the fashion world occurred slowly. In 2002, starting first as a hobby and outlet for her creativity, she began making jewelry using basic techniques. Wanting more, she learned goldsmith and silversmith techniques from a private studio in Williamsburg while taking jewelry courses at the School of Visual Arts.
In 2005, Young-Eun moved back to Seoul to officially launch her business and start selling in high-end boutiques and department stores. Here in Seoul, she personally works on every piece of jewelry with her assistants in her fully equipped studio, making sure that each piece is of the highest quality. She continues to use jewelry as a channel for her original passion of art while simultaneously setting precedence for fashion trends.
In fine jewelry her inspiration derives from unique natural color gemstones and diamonds. She creates pieces in tune with current trends yet timeless by utilizing unorthodox structures in her designs. She employs a variety of methods when creating prototypes or one of a kind pieces which may include Rhino, wax carving, or handmade.
She approaches fashion jewelry design by blending structure and function to create unique but comfortable pieces. Small to big, many of the fashion jewelry designs are statement pieces. Pieces are structural and architectural with conceptual dimensions. Less burdened with material and production costs, she explores and pushes the boundaries of traditional applications of jewelry on the human body by focusing highly on function as well as form.