Yaya Han is a cosplayer, designer and author. She discovered cosplay in 1999, when it was still a small, quirky section of the geek-fandom. Armed with a used $40 sewing machine, Yaya threw herself into making costumes headfirst, and quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume design and creation. To this day, Yaya has made 400 personal costumes in every fandom genre imaginable, as well as her own original designs. Her long-standing consistency of creating intricate and lavish costumes has made her a craftsmanship Icon and beloved competition judge in the cosplay world, and inspired countless people to get into cosplay.
Over the years, Yaya has played a pivotal role in introducing cosplay to the mainstream audience and shaping it into a commercial industry. She has been a Guest Judge on 3 seasons of TBS TV Network’s “King of the Nerds” competition show, starred in the Syfy TV Network’s Docu-Series “Heroes of Cosplay”, and been interviewed by countless magazines, books, newspapers and online media outlets.
Yaya’s current focus is on making tools and materials more available to the cosplay community, through collaborations with global creative companies. She designs Yaya Han branded cosplay sewing patterns for The McCall Pattern Company, which are distributed worldwide. JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores carries the “Cosplay by Yaya Han” line in key categories of fabric, trims and EVA foam in all of their 860 stores and online. She helped launch a sewing machine for BERNINA and partnered with Dremel to bring rotary tools to JOANN stores.
In 2020, Sterling Books published Yaya’s self-written book about the evolution of modern cosplay called “Yaya Han’s World of Cosplay,” in which she also chronicles her life story of being born in China, raised in Germany and coming to America as a teenager and setting her life’s work in motion through the discovery of cosplay. The book is available worldwide wherever books are sold.
Commercial ventures aside, Yaya often participates in charitable projects involving cosplay, and strives to be a positive force in the community. Through hard work, unmatched passion and infectious enthusiasm, Yaya has helped cosplay gain respect and integrity as an art-form in the fandom world and art communities, and her decade long campaign for creativity has helped raise Cosplay to the standards we know today. Everyday, Yaya continues to pave the path for the beloved art and lifestyle we know as Cosplay.