In honor of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, we thought it would be a good time to share some of the new guard of designers from all over the world, not just here in America, that have caught the attention of our editors. If you want to brush up on some of the more veteran designers who have shaped modern Asian fashion, we’ve got you covered there, too. When we chatted as a group about some of our favorites, the beautiful diversity of the designs stood out, from romantic dresses and minimalist bags to grunge knits and edgy jewelry.
And while we celebrate this group, and before we get to the designer spotlights below, it’s also important to acknowledge the heartbreaking and horrifying increase in coronavirus-related racist attacks against Asians in the past few months. A couple of resources we’d like to recommend are the Stop AAPI Hate organization, where you can report any incidents you witness, and the Hate Is a Virus community, which aims to combat racism and xenophobia.
The Vibe: Modern Marie Antoinette gone weird (in a good way).
The Designer: Yuhan Wang was born in China and trained in New York and London. Her graduate collection from Central Saint Martins debuted at London Fashion Week in February of 2018. Prior to starting her own brand, she interned at JW Anderson and Oscar de la Renta.
These colors, the asymmetry. Just gorgeous.
In case you are looking for something a bit more wearable than a gown, this peach print is too sweet.
The Vibe: Skater girl meets indie darling.
The Designer: Sandy Liang grew up in Queens, New York. She went to school at Parsons and interned at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Jason Wu, and Opening Ceremony. The designer often quotes her Chinese heritage as design inspiration and cast her grandmother to star in the shoot for her first collection.
Sandy Liang has made garter details a signature part of her aesthetic.
A youthful print feels slightly subversive on a mesh shirt.
The Vibe: Grunge art-school dropout.
The Designers: Perverze is created by a collective of anonymous Japanese designers. The brand is only sold online (a retail model that's very unusual in Japan), which adds to its mysterious reputation.
Hands in for the sweater-vest trend.
Who knew a romantic blouse could look this cool? Just add baby bangs and statement pants.
The Vibe: Colorful knitwear that's having way more fun than you.
The Designers: Phyllis Chan, the former Rag & Bone director of knitwear, partnered with Hong Kong designer Suzzie Chung to create YanYan in 2019. The friends live together in Hong Kong, and their line of knitwear is inspired by their lives in New York and Hong Kong with nods to their heritage.
You can just feel the love that went into this piece.
There's nothing we love more than a matching set.
The Vibe: Exquisite tailored pieces that are sleek and minimal yet packed with point of view.
The Designer: Do launched his namesake brand in 2017 after working under Phoebe Philo and Derek Lam. The Vietnamese designer lives and works in New York and quickly amassed celebrity fans including Zendaya and Solange Knowles.
One of Do's most signature pieces is this paneled blazer.
I'm not saying these paneled organza pants are practical, but aren't they magnificent?
The Vibe: Bags ranging from luxurious to cool and forward at a more accessible price point than comparable designer bags.
The Designers: Korea-based design duo Sungeun Um and Soonyoung Kim infuse a sense of retro glamour into their line (the brand's namesake is Gwyneth Paltrow's character in The Talented Mr. Ripley), while still giving the collection a thoroughly modern feel.
Guaranteed this bag will never go out of style.
The yellow lizard is just so lovely.
The Vibe: Sophisticated tailoring, lots of minimalist neutrals, always with a downtown-cool spin.
The Designer: Lee Myung Shin founded the Korea-based brand in 2009. With over a decade of experience refining the brand's aesthetic, the designer is known for churning out beautiful pieces season after season.
In this editor's opinion, buying anything from Low Classic is a smart investment, and these pants with special details are no exception.
For when you still want to wear house slippers, but you have to look pulled-together.
The Vibe: Sculptural silver jewelry with a slight punk sensibility.
The Designer: Pattaraphan Salirathavibhaga is a Thailand- based designer who founded her company in 2018. She graduated from the Pratt Institute School of Design in 2017 with honors and is trained as a bench jeweler and artist.
The Vibe: Chic, effortless, menswear-inspired pieces for when you want to look grown yet cool.
The Designer: Ji Young co-founded the company in 2017 with her husband, Won Seob Lee. The duo is based in Korea.
The designers were inspired by the earthy hues of Morocco, which come through in this safari set.
Never did it get more '90s than a brown satin halter top. We're obsessed.
The Vibe: Seventies-inspired bags that check all the right boxes: lust-worthy materials, classic shapes, and a dash of personality.
The Designer: The South Korea–based brand is designed by Ji Hye Koo. She majored in textile design in college, and at the same time was making shoes and bags as a hobby. Her pastime became her main focus with the support of Net-a-Porter's program for emerging designers.
Always a sucker for a mini bag, especially in stamped croc.
The matte tortoise chain adds a dash of interest to this easy hobo bag.
The Vibe: One-of-a-kind, modern yet steeped in heritage.
The Designer: Russia-based Jenia Kim comes from a family of Korean emigrants from Uzbekistan. She studied at an art school first and then at the Moscow Carl Fabergé college of applied arts. Asian culture is an essential part of Kim's work.
This shirt is inspired by embroidery that Uzbek women made starting in the 1970s.
This striking cutout dress converts into a top.
The Vibe: Architectural bags and shoes that manage to feel classic, androgynous, and modern all at the same time.
The Designer: Established in 2017, the Korean-based brand focuses on giving utility and versatility a fashion-forward spin.
A color combination that will never go out of style.