YUE-SAI - Creating the vision of Asian beauty





Selina Yoon, founder of Asia for Kids met with Yue-Sai Kan,
creator of Yue-Sai Wa Wa, at her home in New York City.

Yue-Sai's staircase wall was filled with the covers and articles of magazines featuring Yue-Sai, such as People, Time and Vogue magazines.She also has many photos with world leaders and dignitaries, including Jiang Zemin, Queen Sirikit of Thailand, the Pope, and more.Yue-Saiís work in China ≠ as a TV personality, best-selling author, and creator of the leading cosmetics company ≠has made her one of the most famous women in China.Now, she brings her tireless vision of bridging the East and West to the U.S., with the launch of her beautiful new line of Asian dolls, Yue-Sai Wa Wa.

I sat across Yue-Sai in her second floor office to learn more about Yue-sai Wa Wa. When I met her in April, she was still busily working on the doll and package design. I continue to be impressed with Yue-Sai's energy and determination yet how sincere she is in exceeding her goal of creating a great doll for children so she will have a strong self-esteem.Some of the interviews were conducted after Yue-Sai completed her Yue-Sai Wa Wa for the World market.

Selina:What made you start an educational toy company when you had a successful cosmetic company?

Yue-Sai: A few years ago, my New York neighbor asked me to bring back for her daughter a Chinese doll from China. I said, of course no problem at all, feeling confident that I would find many. I was shocked that there were none - not even in China! Instead what I found even in China was all blonde hair dolls, mostly with blue eyes! I was very concerned that the standard of beauty set for children is a singularly blonde one. How can we allow our standard of beauty be only blonde, while half of the human race has black hair, black eyes and yellow-based skin tone? As someone whose work is intimately involved in defining the terms "Asian beauty" and "image", I am particularly concerned by this sociological phenomenon. This is why I started thinking about creating an Asian doll that would educate children all over the world about all things Asian while being absolutely beautiful.

Selina:At Asia for Kids, we also received many requests to find Asian looking dolls from concerned parents. We could not find any back in 1995.While there are some baby or toddler dolls now, we have not had any Asian fashion dolls worth mentioning including so called Asian Barbie doll until now.Yue-Sai Wa Wa is definitely fashionable and beautiful.What does Yue-Sai Wa Wa mean and what were some of the goals you had in designing her?

Yue-Sai: Wa Wa in Chinese means both doll and child.I think of her as a little ambassador connecting East and West. She must be an intelligent, creative, loving and cultured little role model that will inspire and teach. She also must have a wardrobe as fashionable as anyone in the world yet she will have more -- she will have that special style and taste reflecting her time-honored heritage. She must have that shiny Asian black hair, black eyes and porcelain color skin tone. I want her to be the best reflection of ourselves. In short, I want her to embody all the virtues of an ideal Asian beauty.

Selina: What were some of the difficulties in creating Yue-Sai Wa Wa?

Yue-Sai: I learned that it is easy to create an ugly doll, but hard to make one which can be compared to the best in the business. A doll is really more complicated than I could ever have imagined.No one in the industry had an experience designing an Asian looking doll before. Let's take her eyes, nose or lips, we would have a designer create the face and it would not look quite right.We would have to start all over again and again. Now, I have much more admiration for people in toy industry than ever.

Selina: Yue-Sai Wa Wa has some resemblance to you, Yue-Sai. Were you the model for the doll design?

Yue-Sai: Yes, some features.After all Yue-Sai Wa Wa is my baby.

Selina: You have introduced 11 different Yue-Sai Wa Wa for the international market.Most of them feel Chinese in its heritage. Would you bring out Yue-Sai Wa Wawhich reflect other Asian cultures? What are your future goals and plans?

Yue-Sai: I plan to bring more styles that reflect Asian heritage, yet are contemporary and stylish.The Asian population is booming in America ≠ not only the Chinese, but Japanese, Korean, Phillipino, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian too.All of Asia must be represented in the childrenís educational market, and Iím excited to extend our offerings to reflect these rich and fascinating cultures as well.

Selina: All of us at Asia for Kids love Yue-Sai Wa Wa and we wish to see many more Yue-Sai Wa Wa in the future. Would you like to say a few words to Asia for Kids readers?

Yue-Sai: I appreciate your vote of confidence. I feel that Asia for Kids and Yue-Sai Wa Wa shares common goal of promoting multiculturalism. It is my most sincere wish that Asia for Kids readers will love Yue-Sai Wa Wa as much as we do. To me, she brings much inspiration, happiness and beauty. I am particularly pleased to have the support of Asia for Kids readers.

Selina: Thank you Yue-Sai and we will pass along comments from Yue-Sai Wa Wa buyers back to you.We look forward to many more.

We welcome your feedback. Please e-mail your feedback about this interview or Yue-Sai Wa Wa dolls to

To purchase Yue-Sai Wa Wa, click here.

Learn more about Yue-Sai, click here.