Andrew Yee (she/they), is a Grammy award-winning cellist, composer, and mother. She first met us at Meg a few years ago and is a client that we hold dear to our hearts.
This Pride Month, we caught up with Andrew at the Boerum Hill store to try on some of her favorite pieces and caught up with her to discuss her life as a cellist, a mother, and a trans woman.
Andrew wears the Oversized Blazer and Blu's Pant in Red.
Q: Tell us about yourself. How did you end up where you are today?
A: I am a cellist, composer, and a mother. I started cello in the fourth grade in a public string program in Fairfax, VA. I practiced really hard and I got into Juilliard, where I started my string quartet (The Attacca Quartet). We now have a consistent touring schedule, and recently won our second Grammy. I came out as trans after the quartet was pretty successful. I was afraid it was going to rock the boat, but I think it has been the best thing I’ve ever done for my mental health.
Q: You recently released an EP with your quartet, The Attacca Quartet, and Sylvan Esso. What was it like to work on this project?
A: That recording session was so fun. We started off in separate recording spaces and couldn’t see each other. We were all cracking each other up between takes. The music-making was also at such a high level, and the arrangements by Gabe Kahane were so special. We ended the day by all sitting in the same room and played a cover of a song by Low, and it was one of the holiest moments of my career. I’ve kept in touch, and everyone is so sweet.
Andrew wears the Kaftan in White.
Q: Tell us about your cello. Why is it so special to you?
A: My cello was made in 1884 in Italy by a man named Eugenio Degani. It has a very special sound. I love it because it is not an obnoxious loud cello, it CAN play loud, but it more invites others to be their best and is like a warm hug.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a cellist?
A: I love how much other people love the cello. I realized very recently what a gift I had of being able to ask the room if they wanted to hear it. I had always been self conscious that I was taking up too much space. I really didn’t want to be the person who stands up in the middle of a party and says “who wants to look at me for a while?”
Q: How did you become introduced to the Meg brand? Do you have a favorite piece at Meg?
A: My friend took me on a birthday wander a few years ago and told me she wanted to buy me an outfit. I was still a little anxious about being in any space for women, whether it was a Uniqlo dressing room or the women’s bathroom. I was always afraid someone was going to be mean to me, or even worse try and gently tell me I was in the wrong place.
I walked in and was greeted with not only kindness but was brought more options to try. I was being told they wanted me to not only be there, but to linger and find the right thing. I recently wore the Wide Strap Dress at a premiere of an orchestral work I wrote, and it made me so happy.
Andrew wears the Double Belted Overthrow Jump in White.
Q: How do you celebrate Pride Month and what does it mean to you? Do you have any favorite memories from Pride?
A: Pride month always ends up being such a meaningful time. A few years ago, I got engaged to my partner on Riis Beach (where we had our first date), and last Pride we brought our baby back to Riis to dip his toes in the water. The queer community in New York is one that I will forever be connected to and indebted to.
Pride has taken a different turn this year, and our lives as queer and trans folk around the country are being stripped of care and dignity. I have been sick to my stomach for almost a year watching the country band around my eradication and so this year for Pride, I choose not only to stand behind all my community around the country, but will choose to show joy and choose to show I am a good mother, and to show that being trans is not my sickness, it is my gift.
Q: What does being a trans woman mean to you?
A: Being a trans woman is a gift I give my ten-year-old self, who first wondered if everyone felt this way. To live openly and honestly as a woman and to be a successful musician that chose my musical path were the two things I didn’t think were possible. Let alone being a mother to a perfect kid, with a partner who celebrates me and makes me belly laugh every single day. I am one of the lucky ones, and it is a blessing to know it while it’s happening.
Andrew wears the Haven Pants in Black and the Biggie Shirt in White.
Q: Thanks so much for this beautiful interview, Andrew. Where can we learn more about you and your work?
Pieces styled by Blu Foichat.
This Pride Month, we are donating to Callen-Lorde health center, whose mission is to provide healthcare to LGBTQ+ patients, regardless of their ability to pay. To donate to the health center, purchase a pair of Pride Hoops or make a separate donation here.