Yi was born in Shanghai and raised in New York. She began creating visual fantasies with garments while learning to sew and design theater costumes. From theater costumes, fashion styling came as a natural transition. After receiving her BFA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she returned to New York City to further develop her aesthetic taste by working at Vanity Fair, W, Details, and WWD magazines. She embarked on her own styling career, after assisting Alastair McKimm. Her work has appeared in: Another Magazine, Details, Esquire, I.T Post, Men's Uno, Nylon, Soma, 25, and Vogue China. Yi is curently on staff at Vogue China and travels between New York and Shanghai.