One of them is Isaac Williams, a 7-year-old cancer survivor.
"Isaac was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at 17 months old. He had a mass in his abdomen that was the size of a nerf football,” said his dad, Dennis Williams, Jr. “Seattle Children's saved his life."
Five years later he's doing well – and looking well-suited, thanks to Yang.
Based on his favorite colors and fabrics, she designed him a one-of-a-kind three-piece suit. He’ll wear it as he walks the runway during her September 30th fashion show.
"It's great,” Williams said, grinning.
Yang has seen similar reactions over the years.
"That's why I really like custom and couture and bespoke work, it really can create that magic,” Yang said.
For more than a decade, Yang has included young patients in her show and donated proceeds from the event to Seattle Children's. She said it’s deeply personal.
“Having been in business for 20 plus years, I've had quite a few clients and friends who've had their lives touched by Seattle Children's,” Yang said, tearing up. “I just think of all the faces - it's too much."
But there's also much hope at Building Cure, Seattle Children's Research Facility in downtown Seattle.
“There are lots of different labs doing research for various types of pediatric illnesses,” said Dr. Colleen Annesley, pediatric oncologist and Medical Director of Seattle Children's Therapeutics. "Everyone's aim and goal here is that every child that has an illness like cancer would be able to get treated safely and effectively, with as little disruption to their lives as normal."
Yang toured the floor known as the "Cure Factory,” where researchers are producing new cellular immunotherapy products used to treat children with cancer.
"Just hearing in their voices how appreciative and happy they are that this is available to them and it's provided them a future, there are no words to describe how meaningful that is,” Dr. Annesley said.
Yang hopes her contributions will help fund critical needs of future patients. And her interaction with the families she designs for also gives them something incalculable.
"I can't imagine what they've been through, and to be able to create this memory of joy and just beauty and celebration - it's just the least I can do,” Yang said.
Yang’s 2023 couture collection is called “Made in Nature” and inspired by biomimicry. Tickets start at $150 and include a pre-show cocktail party. 100% of proceeds benefit Seattle Children’s.