Interview with Wei He
My goal: Create, Inspire, and Learn.
Wei He is many things. A fashion and costume designer, seamstress and model. Wei taught herself to sew and has become well-known for her craftmanship and attention to detail. Always willing to learn new skills she also does woodworking, crochet, and soon videography.
I support every type of Artist! I want to learn and create everything I can from my knowledge. I love to travel and show what the midwest has to offer! ♥
Originally from Saint Louis, MO she is currently a local designer in Kansas City, MO. Wei has been competing in costume/cosplay runways since 2007 and started judging runways in 2009. She has won numerous awards such as:
Otaku House Finalist, Otaku House Top 40 out of 1600 2011
Best of Novice Class- Skit, Archon 35 Collinsville, IL Oct 2011
Best of Master Class, NatsuCon 11 Collinsville, IL Aug 2011
Judge’s Choice – Swimsuit, NatsuCon 11 Collinsville, IL Aug 11
2nd Most Promising Seamstress, ACen 11 Rosemont, IL May 2011
Best of Masters Class, Anime STL 11 Saint Louis, MO Apr 2011
Best Overall Workmanship, Kawa Kon 11 Saint Louis, MO Mar 2011
In 2010, Wei spent a year judging runways for workmanship, stage presence, and skit presentations including:
Naka Kon ’12, Judged Hall Runway
Virtual Con 1, Costume Guest of Honor and Costume Judge
Nebraskon ’11, Judged Hall & Main & Swimsuit Runway
Naka Kon’11, Judged Hall Runway
Nebraskon ’10, Judged Hall & Main & Swimsuit Runway
Motaku ’10, Judged Hall & Main Runway
Wei has also been in the fashion industry as a model since March 2011 and a designer since September 2011.
Wei is a master of many crafts and supports the art and fellow artists in her community. She also gives back to the community by giving her time to many charitable organizations in the area. Known for her unending energy, her outgoing and friendly personality and her sense of humor, Wei He will be one to watch in the coming years.
Wei, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a little about where you were born and when you were a child?
I was born in the suburbs of Saint Louis, MO. I was never a creative child, but I always worked hard on learning the skills to become what I am today! I am always giving thanks to the amazing friends and family for supporting me, I have achieved many goals.
Were you always interested in the arts?
Yes! Art inspire me to be creative, and it is a passion. I am impressed by many artists that draws or paints, because that is a skill I have not acquired.
Are there other artists in your family?
I have a lovely sister in Saint Louis, MO that recently received her BA in Graphic Design from Webster University. I love all her work, and I know she will go far! She helped inspired me!
When did you first take an interest in fashion and costuming?
In 2005, I learn that people dressed as their favorite animated or video game character; also called cosplay. I feel in love then and there, but was not brave enough to sew a costume until late 2006.
Did cosplaying play a big part in your wanting to learn to sew?
Yes! It was great being a fan of many anime and video games. I wanted to create and make a drawing come to life. Now, I have my own goals of making my fashion designs come to life!
I understand you got to such a high level of expertise that you were asked to teach a high school sewing class. How did that come about?
In high school, one bright student was recognized for being Department of Honor for each subject. Out of hundreds of students, I earned the title “Department of Honors in FACS”. [Family and Consumer Science] I was proud, and well known for skipping sewing classes into independent sewing, in which I made a wedding dress for my final project. At my high school, with my retired teacher as my guardian, I taught a simple Sewing I course for young high school students. I loved everything about it!
I love your Lili (Tekken 6) and Medusa costumes. How long did it take you to make them?
Lili is my most known costume. It took 50+ hours to make, due to drafting skintight, chaps and corset combination using non-stretch fabric. The costume is lined, 400+ garments hammered, hand sewn lace.
Medusa was actually my first costume. Late 2006, I chose my first recreational costume to sew. After 3 months, 200+ hours of hand sewing 10,000 pearls, drafting, lining and making the dress, I entered my first cosplay masquerade as a beginner. To my surprise, I won Best of Show, surpassing the workmanship of beginner, intermediate, and master class. Since that runway/masquerade, I was inspired to continue my creations!
What is more important when making a costume. Accuracy or creativity?
Both! I want to portray my character and her costumes, but I enjoy creativity! I am picky on my costumes and always wanting to learn new techniques! Being accurate and making it as professional as possible is important, and the creativity it takes to make an animated character come to life is an amazing feeling.
What is the cosplay scene like in the Midwest now?
Good! Since I started judging, I have met many cosplayers that improved over the years. I watched them start at beginner and now in the same class as I am! There are many potential cosplayers here!
You were also a judge at many events. How hard was it for you to make decisions on others work?
Yes! There are many amazing and impressive costumes. The community is always growing, and judging can be stressful having to calculate and choose winners.
You had some pieces in the Restyle Runway Charity Event ~”Forever Altered”. Can you tell us about this event and the pieces you had in it?
Restyle was organized by Friends of JCDS, and organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Designer put together a collection, using some of the JCDS members as models and local models. All the collections were sold for JCDS. “Forver Altered” was my first fashion collection. It was a 5 piece bridal collection. I felt that weddings are beautiful, like all people! When people stand at the altar for make their vows, their life is changed. Any money or time spent helping others will result in altering someone’s life for good!
What do you like about modeling?
I get the chance to meet amazing photographers and beautiful, sweet models! Cosplaying, I show off my own costumes. Modeling allows me to model for other designers. Designing, lets me view my creations on a runway!
What have been some of the runway shows/fashion events you have modeled in?
Creative Infusions [60s & 70s Throw Back]
~ Pinkie Couture Kansas City, MO March 2012
~JCCC Overland Park, KS March 2012
InkStudio [Girl With Dragon Tattoo Series]
~Photoshoot Raytown, MO Jan 2012
Raw Emotion [MISS SEPTEMBER]
~Photoshoots Lee Summit, MO Sept 2011
Enchanted Affairs [4 Different Collections]
~Xpressions Kansas City, MO July 2011
May-Hem [Anastasia's Collection]
~Crossroads Kansas City, MO May 2011
Rock N Fashion [Envolve and Hemline Collections]
~Crosstown Kansas City, MO April 2011
I understand you also help promote artists and will be working in video in the future. Tell us more about this.
I am in the process of buying equipment! I see all steadicams at Anime Conventions, and unbelievable videos of costume. It’s an experience! Besides costume photos, seeing a full 360 of a gorgeous cosplay on your scene is magical! People portraying their characters are breathtaking!
Any up coming projects you can share with us?
2013, I will be pairing up with cosplayers in midwest also the coast in cosplaying! I am currently drafting my Fall Collection!
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
My website is not up yet, but here are a few links:
Or UserName: OneWei
For all Cosplay related sites!