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.
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.
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.
The Vibe: Colorful knitwear that's having way more fun than you.
The Designers: Phyllis Chan, theformer 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.
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.
The Vibe: Bags ranging from luxurious to cool and forward at a more accessible price point than comparable designer bags.
The Designers: Korea-baseddesign 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.
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.
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: 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.
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.