In the recent years, the usage of go-go dancers has been very popular amongst party promoters in the Midwest, not that I’m complaining. The girls go on stage to show off their dancing abilities, as well as their beautiful looks. Their sex appeal is highlighted by their creatively designed themed outfits. One of those responsible for the outfits you’ve seen is a talented go-go herself, Yuli Xenexai.
Yuli Xenexai has been turning heads since she was old enough to roam the clubs in the Twin Cities, but now she’s turning heads for a very different reason. She herself has been a go-go for about five years now and found that the outfits designed for go-go’s weren’t really for her. So, as the old saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. Thus, Teaser by Yuli was born
Having great relationships with models and go-go’s and being one herself, has given her an inside edge to make designs like none the other. It allows her to make original pieces that look great on the model, as well as a comfortable fit. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me as each piece stands out on its own. Classy, but sexy at the same time.
If you were at Epic for their United Event during the July 4t weekend, you may have seen the sexy duo of Yuli and Trisha Lynn debuting her “El Wire” jackets, which were light up jackets that seem to blend in seemlessly into Kindbeat’s stage design—a match made in glow stick heaven. The crowd reaction was unbelievable, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as this brand continues to make a name for itself and its creator.
I’ve been fortunate enough to know Yuli for a very long time, but it seems like it took us much longer to get together and make our schedules fit for this interview, but not to be deterred, we finally were able to meet up and talk about the Teaser by Yuli designs.
Ryan: I’m here with the very beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, and talented Yuli Xenexai, of Teaser by Yuli, a clothing line designed for Go-Go dancers and models alike. This has been a very busy time of year for you, so thank you for finding the time to do this interview with Hmoodle.
Yuli: I am!I ts so ridiculous! It was hard even scheduling this interview, but business has really picked up in the last few months for TEASER, so life right now consists of my corporate day job and straight home to working on outfits all night. I’ve been sleeping on average 3-4 hours as well as multi-tasking all the marketing and business relations for my fashion line by myself. I’ve slowed down on the go-go gigs alot this year to focus on TEASER, as well as the bigger dreams I have.*sigh* Then I try to squeeze in a little fun and family time on the weekends though. At the end of the day I cant complain about the lack of sleep and little personal time. I absolutely love what I do and am very blessed for every opportunity no matter how small or large the project.
Ryan: Before we talk about your clothing line, lets first talk about your experience as a Go-Go. How long have you been doing that?
Yuli: Wow, it seems like its been forever! I’ve been go-go dancing for almost five years now. Chandy, Pada & I were like the very first Asian go-gos in Minnesota when the whole go-go boom first occurred in the Twin Cities. Its been a long and wild ride, but I think I’m ready to hang up the boots this year.
Ryan: Hanging out the boots? Many people will be disappointed to hear that. What got your interested in becoming a go-go dancer in the first place?
Yuli: You know to tell you the truth I had no interest in it at first. I was really apprehensive about it because I’m actually really shy and reserve, which alot of people don’t know that about me. So I didn’t know how I would handle all the attention and criticism, but after a little nudging from friends and my promoters Jay & Julie from G-Entertainment at the time I slowly dipped my feet in it and fell in love with the whole glamour of being a go-go. I’ve always loved to dance and Jay and Julie really opened up the opportunity for us to do it and to make something of it. Even today I still love to get dolled up, rock the stage make up and lashes, put on the big hair along with the tiny outfits and dance my ass off. It was never about attention or recognition. Call it the Beyonce & Sasha Fierce complex, if you will! I’m a whole different person when I go-go. It’s a little strange, but true.
Ryan: I can see that. You do seem like you’re in your own world when you’re on stage. Now, there seem to be alot of mixed feelings about girls who go-go dance. What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about go-go dancers?
Yuli: Well, I think there are misconceptions on both sides honestly. I feel like alot of people have misconceptions about go-gos, but on the flip side girls that go-go have misconceptions about the industry they get themselves in.
I personally feel that people don’t realize the time and work that goes into being a go-go. They always say things like, “they are just cheap strippers” or “all they do is stand there look pretty and shake their ass”, as well as “They’re not even hot”. Though I respect that people have personal opinions I still believe they need to be a little more humble themselves because I’m pretty sure they don’t wake up looking like Angelina Jolie or dance like Ciara themselves. It takes alot of courage to get up there and put yourself in front of a crowd half naked and dance your ass off. I think go-gos deserve alot more respect for that. I mean you try dancing hard for twenty to thirty minutes straight while sucking your stomach in, under bright lights, sweating & panting and still try to put a smile on your face, as well as being social with the crowd, which includes being in tons of pictures. I admit its no piece of cake. We really put ourselves out there to entertain people and enhance the party experience. If you don’t like it then don’t come out to the club and then get on your computer and complain about the go-gos because your $10 entrance fee honey, just paid me for the night! As a go-go you put in alot of time in effort in your look and promoting yourself as well as promoters. Its a huge effort!
Now of the other side of that it seems like the whole go-go craze now has sky rocketed. Its like anyone and everyone is a go-go now. Just slap on some fur boots and underwear and instantly you’re a “go-go”. I think girls have to realize that this isn’t a career. You should have ambitions other then trying to be the next Jeri Lee. Its a cut throat industry full of shady promoters that don’t want to pay you for your work and people who will judge you heartlessly. You need to grow a thick skin and learn to manage yourself so that your not being used and abused by promoters or the crowd. I feel like the whole glamour of go-gos is dying off. When I first started I really looked up to the big name Cali go-gos and tried to study their look, outfits , performances and personalities. Its a whole package that makes you successful in the industry. I feel like that standard has totally fallen off. I’d like to see that “wow” factor get back and for the new go-gos to push themselves further in their goals. I mean stop dancing for free or $50 when you are spending $80 on yourself to get ready for that event. Promote yourself, bring your “A” game , and set yourself up with promoters that have good intentions for you. Stop letting them use your image and service for their own gain.
All in all I’d like to see people in general to have more appreciation for go-gos and for go-gos to have more appreciation for themselves.
Ryan: Sounds like some good advice, so how do you go about proving those misconceptions to be false?
Yuli: There will always be haters, but personally for every hater I have, I have ten more supporters than that one miserable person, and it still means the world to me when people are so supportive and have nothing but nice things to say. I think that you just have to believe in yourself, have confidence in what you do and keep pushing yourself to the next level. People who matter in the industry will recognize that. I’m at my highest paid for gigs now at the end of it then I was when I was younger, skinnier and more in demand! laughs I am so grateful for still being able to get booked for great gigs and the opportunity to work with awesome promoters, but its all come with hard work and persistence.
Ryan: How do you think being a go-go dancer prepared you to begin your own fashion line?
Yuli: I guess it all goes back to my obsession with the glamour of go-gos. I’m so critical of myself and always want to be flashier and more creative then before. So, I think being a go-go myself made me understand what works on stage as far as outfits go. What looks good from near & far. What styles are most comfortable, but look good when you’re bouncing and rolling around on stage. Dancing for so long has made me realize what is practical, but looks amazing on girls, so its really helped my line as far as the concepts I come up with and knowing what will work for a go-go’s movements and duties. Its definitely thanks to alot of hot glue though it keeps everything in place if you know what I mean!
Ryan: I’ve got a pretty good imagination, so I think I know what you mean. I’ve been fortunate enough to have known you for a long time, but don’t worry, I won’t reveal how long, but I never knew you were this creative. Have you always been that way and were always interested in being a designer of fashion?
Yuli: Man, we have known each other a long time, but yes I’ve always been crafty and creative since I was a kid. You could ask my friends & family. I’ve always been into decorating, baking, event planning, and all that domestic stuff! Designing outfits really just came out of my creative urges. Once I started go-go dancing, we had an amazing designer from Cali who did all the So Cal go-go outfits and I just thought..”Hey..I can do that”, o I started making my own go-go stuff and outfits for Myth Night Club in Maplewood, Minnesota when I worked there. It really just became more of a convenience to do outfits or costumes for my own events instead of shelling out alot of money for costumes I didn’t love and/or didn’t fit well.
Ryan: Tell us a bit about the line and how it got its start?
Yuli: TEASER is all about being sexy, sweet, & fun. I love that good girl next door naughtiness. I think guys love that and girls love it as well. TEASER is sexy without being slutty. I always hated ordering go-go outfits that looked too “stripper” and not enough “Go-go”. I wanted to create a line that was fun, adorable, and completely customized. I hand make every outfit myself right now. Basically I deconstruct and then reconstruct outfits and then add on that “TEASER” appeal to it. Everything is custom made to your every imagination and I do NOT duplicate outfits I have previously made, ever. So, no other person in the world will ever have your exact same outfit. It really started this past fall after I had made a few custom pieces for myself and people really took notice. Ms. Linda Leigh from Trilogy Productions had asked me to do some outfits for her go-gos for their Toga Party and they were really well received. Thanks to Linda I got alot of encouragement to keep doing more and then it just took off from there.
Ryan: You make outfits specifically designed for Go-Go dancers. Do you have plans to expand your line?
Yuli: Yes, right now it is more geared towards go-go dancers and models, because there is always a demand for the next party, photo shoot, and/or event. I have though done some custom pieces for people and their birthdays or themed parties and those are always my favorites to do. My sister’s twenty-first Birthday “Lady Gaga” custom Corset is still one of my favorite pieces. I do hope to expand it. We’re taking baby steps right now. I will be putting out Halloween Costumes this year and doing a few fashion shows where they will be more costume, street wear and couture geared. I would like to have a bikini line by next summer of 2011, but we will see how busy TEASER is this year. I hope to get a small production company going to pump out more of the constructing and sewing aspect of it soon, so that I can focus on designing more.
Ryan: Tell us about the creative process that goes into making a piece. How long does a piece take?
Yuli: It all just begins with the concept really. From there I don’t really have a “plan” it kind of just comes to me. People tell me what they want and I give them my feedback. Its all kind of envisioned in my head. I don’t sketch or anything. It all just comes together as I am putting it together. It depends on the level of detail really, time wise. I can pump out something in a couple days if I want. I get really obsessed with finishing a project. I’m excited about it, so I stay up for hours every night after working my full time job just to get the piece done! I mean my living room is a disaster for days, my roommates can attest to that but its so worth it when you see how much they love their custom piece.
Ryan: I know you recently debuted your glow stick type themed jackets at Kindbeats United and the response was phenomenal as you and Trish performed on stage. I’m curious to know how you thought that one up and again, how long did those take to make?
Yuli: Oh man! Those “El Wire” jackets??? Tell me those were not just the most ridiculous things you’ve ever seen? I was actually trying to research on something else and came up on this Youtube video with M.I.A’s lighted dancers at Coachella. I was so blown away! I knew I had to do it and bring it to Minnesota, which would blow people’s minds. I mean it just has never been done before especially by go-go’s. I’m always thinking about how I can push the envelope and raise the bar to new heights. I did my research on how theirs were constructed. I was just waiting for the right opportunity to do it and the guys at Kind Beats were generous enough to trust in my vision and creativity, so we debuted it at KB’s United J4th party at the biggest party night of the year with me and Trish. I tell you, that was the most intense go-go segment of my life. The crowd loved it. The people in the front were going crazy! We were actually making those jackets up to the last minutes before getting on stage! It was really meticulous work, but it paid off big time!
Ryan: Yes, it did. No one I’ve talked to has had to bad thing to say about them. Obviously things are going well for Teaser by Yuli, but what are your goals for the company?
Yuli: Right now, everything is just happening so fast. I’m really trying to take baby steps and soak it all in while I can. I just want to really build the brand for now and get it to a national level, though we have crossed outside of the USA with my promotional project with TEASER Dolls of the month. Teaser Doll is where I feature a prominent go-go/model for the month on the TEASER Facebook FAN page and she in turn helps me cross promote by getting my brand out. My best good friend Trisha Lynn was the very first in June and this month for July we are featuring Jennifer Nguyen out of Vancouver, Canada. I’m working on girls in Australia and as well as in the states. I would love to see TEASER go global. Hopefully we will get a website running this year and maybe hit a few small boutiques with Exclusive TEASER lines.
Ryan: Sounds ambitious, but if anyone can do it, you can. Where can are readers look at examples of your designs and or contact you if they are interested in having you make outfits for them?
Yuli: Right now, I am working solely from the TEASER Facebook Fan Page at:
but I can be contacted via email at:
Ryan: Thank you Yuli for always being as sweet as your a beautiful. Any last words for our readers?
Yuli: A huge thank you to all the supporters! You push me to better myself everyday! Also, big thanks to my biggest fans, my mom & dad. They have been my biggest cheerleaders in life. Shout out to my beautiful family and friends whom love me unconditionally and believe in my creativity and success. Trisha Lynn, my baby boo, you are such an inspiration, my muse, and incredible friend. I can’t thank or love you enough for everything! Also, lots of love to some of the best promoters in the cities that have always supported me and put my work out there. Linda from Trilogy Productions and all the Kind Beats guys, and especially Jay & Julie at G-Entertainment who really got me in the industry to begin with. Love you guys so much!
And the biggest hug & Thank you to Ryan and Hmoodle for this incredible article, it means alot to little ole me. Watch out for Teaser in 2010! Hugs and Kisses!
Its an amazing thing when you can watch someone blossom into an amazing talent, as well as an amazing person. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that as I’ve gotten to know Yuli throughout the years. I guess I’ve never noticed her being shy and reserved, but looking back, it all makes sense. So much was made about her beauty, that no one really took the time to get to know the person. A person with hopes and dreams like anyone else.
It seems that Yuli is seeing her dreams become a reality as Teaser expands beyond the confines of the Twin Cities. The brand has already proven to be a notch above everyone else with its “El Wire” jackets, which Daft Punk would be jealous of. The crowd reaction they received that night will only feed into the creativity and the continuation of the brand as it tries to become a global phenomenon. It will be interesting to see where this ride ends for Yuli Xenexai.
I want to thank Yuli for taking the time out of her schedule to be apart of Hmoodle. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them here, or if you want to be featured on Hmoodle, you can contact me at RyanM@hmoodle.com