I'm a Fashion Director, and These Are the Asian Designers I Love to Support

Editorial Note: This post was originally published at an earlier date. Since our support for AAPI-owned brands is forever, we thought we'd update any sold-out products to make it easy to shop the latest and greatest from some of our favorite designers.

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(Image credit: @carolineinnycity; Styling: Sandy Liang ensemble)

It is of utmost importance now and always to support Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. With the rise in hate crimes against AAPI communities during the pandemic, we must continue to join together and stand against anti-Asian violence. We highlighted just a few resources to know here and also recommend organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate, where you can report hate incidents you witness. Another way to show support is to shop Asian designers. In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, we wanted to highlight a few Asian fashion designers. We actually spoke with Shopbop's fashion director, Caroline Maguire, to learn about just a few brands she personally supports. Given that it's her role to lead fashion direction for the retailer, she has also developed strong relationships with some of the inspiring designers in question.

"Over this past year, it hasn't just been the hate crimes affecting our AAPI communities but also the huge loss and suffering that Asian-owned businesses are dealing with as a result of the pandemic," Maguire said. "With everything our communities are facing, it is an especially important time to support Asian-owned brands—we have to recognize that we're all human and need to show our support and stand up for each other."

Keep scrolling to check out a sampling of brands Maguire loves.

Sandy Liang

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(Image credit: @sandyliang)

"As a fellow native New Yorker, I am a huge fan of Sandy. Not only are we friends, but she is über-talented, and I love how she likes to think outside the box! I love that she takes classic styles and kicks them up a notch with unique design details—you can see this, especially in her fleeces, gingham dresses, and tulle ball gown skirts." — Maguire

3.1 Phillip Lim

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(Image credit: @therealphilliplim)

"I admire what Phillip has achieved on behalf of the AAPI communities this past year. Not only has he created the @nytougherthanever campaign, which aims to help underserved communities of New York, but he also has set up so many GoFundMe pages for the victims of recent Asian hate crimes. Phillip has done an incredible job of making communities both near and far aware of the ongoing attacks while simultaneously showing them what justice looks like and what humanity is capable of." — Maguire

Monse

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(Image credit: @monsemaison)

"Laura Kim. Laura, oh sweet Laura! Such a talented designer with awesome creative inspiration. She and Fernando Garcia created Monse with a focus on distinguished design details that are equal parts statement yet wearable. I love everything they create! Laura is so personable and is such a talented chef as well!" — Maguire

Self-Portrait

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(Image credit: @mrselfportrait)

"Han Chong: I've known Han for quite some time now. It has been amazing to see him evolve so much within such a short amount of time. It all started with the infamous lace dress, and since then, he has expanded into such a distinctive method of layering lace, netting, and sheer panels to create the most beautiful feminine-luxe pieces." — Maguire

R13

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(Image credit: @r13)

"Chris Leba: I have been obsessed with R13 since day one! Chris constantly pushes the envelope through his design evolution and willingness to test new trends. Each and every season, I am completely WOWED at the amazing things he continues to do with denim." — Maguire

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Bobby Schuessler is a fashion editor with over a decade of editorial experience covering shopping, style, and beauty. He's spent over seven years at Who What Wear, currently leading the market team to deliver highly covetable and convertible content. He creates data-driven shopping guides featuring top retialers like Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Net-a-Porter and is at the forefront of Who What Wear's shopping tentpole strategies, including Amazon Prime Day. He also works on branded content initiatives and appears on camera in video and shopping livestream franchises. He has also worked across a variety of other media brands and fashion retailers like Refinery29, PureWow, Men's Health, and Gilt covering commerce, trend reporting, women's and men's fashion, home, and lifestyle.