Yuliya Raquel

Ukrainian-born designer Yuliya Raquel recalls being fascinated by her mother’s fashion magazines when she was 3 years old. She had learned to master the sewing machine by age 7 and by the time she was a teen-ager, she was deigning and sewing clothing for family and friends. A move to the US prompted her to put her fashion interest on the back burner while she majored in pre-med in college and interned with a podiatrist. A stay in the hospital cooled her ardor for a medical career and she took up fashion again. In 1997, she began to design professionally for private couture clients. In 2000, she opened IGIGI, with a focus on couture fashion for plus-sized women. [+]