Stay Home Snaps: YAITO

The couple behind the NYC-based bespoke clothing label walks us through their work-from-home routines.

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Founded by creative director Carlton Yaito and art director Tulie Yaito, bespoke clothing label YAITO is known for its vibrant, made-to-order outerwear and hand-distressed denim jackets. New York natives Carlton and Tulie have worked with brands like Awake NY, Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger and Russell Athletic, also crafting one-off pieces for Roc-A-Fella co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Don C, Aleali May and more.

Carlton and Tulie’s studio is located in their bright, breezy Queens apartment. Although the artisan duo are well-versed in working from home, they’ve been forced to make adjustments due the coronavirus outbreak. Inside the YAITO live-and work-space, Carlton and Tulie break down their coping mechanisms, offering advice for isolated creatives and seeking solace in classic tunes.


Carlton Yaito, co-founder and creative director

What’s your daily routine?

Normally I get up around 7:30 a.m. but for the past week or so I’m going to bed at that time. My schedule has flipped — I work during the night amd sleep a lot during the day. Now I’m eating dinner at 1 a.m. and sewing at 4:30 a.m. It’s been interesting, to say the least.

Where in your home do you like to work?

Our studio is in our apartment, so I’m normally sitting behind my desk in the studio for the majority of the day. Even when I’m not working, I’m [usually] there just thinking.

Work From Home Style Advice Interview carlton tulie yaito bespoke custom apparel new york city NYC quarantine covid 19 coronavirus isolation

What do you wear while working from home?

It’s starting to warm up so I’m normally in shorts or Uniqlo sweats and a vintage tee from eBay. [As for] shoes, sometimes a pair of Rick Owens. I’m literally going from the bed straight to my [sewing] machines. When I say it’s been the coziest time ever, I mean it — it’s been the coziest time ever.

What are you eating now?

I’ve been downing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like a nine year old for the past three weeks.

How do you maintain a good head space in isolation?

Honestly, I work from home so much there really isn’t a change. I normally [stay at home for] two weeks when I’m designing a piece I really want to finish, so this past month-and-a-half has been pretty standard.

As someone who already works from home, has your workflow shifted at all?

The biggest change for me has been my schedule, seeing as I’m up all night and asleep during the day. Work has slowed down a little because I can’t get certain supplies as fast as I normally do. That’s the biggest blow. I can’t wait for [New York City's] Garment District to open back up. I might spend an entire day down there once we’re out of here.

Do you have any advice for creatives who aren’t used to working from home?

Hone in on your skills. Whatever it is that you do, whatever it is that you create, take this time to be the best at it and understand every degree of your craft. Fashion alone is such a different market now because [many people] depend on factories, patternmakers and graphic artist to [help] execute their vision.

Right now is the best time to try and learn all those things. Put in your 10,000 hours — that shouldn’t just be during quarantine, that’s a principle we should all follow so we can create to our highest capability. Loving what you do shouldn’t just be about the finished product, it should be about the process and journey it took to get there.

What are you listening to and doing for fun?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Paul Hardcastle and Lisa Stansfield, tons of jazz. I also got caught up in the hype and started Ozark, but that show is freakin’ amazing!

Tulie Yaito, co-founder and art director

What’s your daily routine?

[By and large] I do things on my own time. The spontaneity of it keeps me sane. However, I do meditate, write and practice self-care daily.

Where in your home do you like to work?

Lately I’ve been working from my bedroom. I’m currently writing a book and [being in my bedroom] helps with the intimacy I need.

What do you wear while working from home?

Oversized vintage tees that I usually find on eBay are my go-to, but since the quarantine started I sometimes switch it up to something more fitted.

What are you eating now?

Oatmeal with sliced banana, blueberries and a spoon of Nutella on the side.

How do you maintain a good head space in isolation?

Before I start my day I spend about five to 15 minutes meditating. It helps me to start on a positive note and it aligns what I am grateful for.

As someone who already works from home, how (if at all) has your process or workflow shifted?

Working from home has become the norm for a while now, so the process hasn’t shifted. The only difference is that with the global pandemic there isn’t an urgency to get things done, so I can work at my own pace.

What are you listening to, watching and doing for fun?

I’ve been listening to a mixture of old and new music. This week it’s been a lot of The Fugees, Paul Hardcastle and Masego. When it comes to TV, I’ve been binge watching Ozark and The Outsider.

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