8 Emerging AAPI Fashion Designers to Know Now
Over the past year, we've seen a disturbing uptick in violence against the Asian and Pacific Islander American communities. These attacks have been extremely devastating, and it's more important than ever to show up as an ally and be actively antiracist. Helping and showing support for the AAPI community can take on many forms, from donating to organizations that help combat racist acts against Asian Americans like Stop Asian Hate, to joining rallies and protests, to simply reaching out to friends and family.
One very actionable way to support is with your dollar by shopping APIA-owned brands and businesses. We know the pandemic has been extremely challenging for smaller labels to navigate, and many were forced to skip collections or put their brands on hold. We wanted to highlight a new group of very talented designers whom you'll want to support now and always.
Founded by designer Rok Hwang, the collection focuses on mixing masculine designs with raw and avant-garde elements of women's wardrobe. Having worked as a RTW designer at Celine under head of house Phoebe Philo followed by Louis Vuitton and Chloé, Rokh debuted his first collection in Paris in 2019.
Rokh Floral-Print Ruffle Button-Front Crop Top
Mame Kurogouchi has a true artist's perspective of the world, and she is constantly inspired by the simple patterns and beauty of nature in her designs. She uses traditional Japanese techniques in the creations of her pieces, and her oversize silhouettes are minimal and effortless in design.
Mame Kurogouchi Floral Watermark Knit Skirt
After launching his collection in 2014, Calvin Luo has explored the subcultures of '50s-era Americana, the '70s, and a Virgin Suicides-tainted '90s suburban America. Luo often blurs the lines between masculine and feminine in his designs and carefully incorporates wearable patterns and colors.
Peter Do's namesake label was collectively established in 2018 by a group of long-time friends in NYC. The brand has already become a favorite among stylists and young talent like Zendaya and Yara Shahidi. Do's youthful approach to design blended with razor-sharp tailoring makes this luxe brand one to watch.
Peter Do Blue Frayed Two-Tone High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans
Peter Do Pastel Yellow Squid Paneled Tencel Lyocell Maxi Dress
After stints at Marni and Fashion East, Yuhan Wang launched her own label in 2018. Wang's collection, initially inspired by loungewear, is skillfully infused with beautifully draped fabric with hints of bright primary and pastel colors. The collection integrates the traditional Chinese ideas of femininity and its connection to Western culture, exploring the line between coverage and exposure.
Ming Ma established his collection in 2018 in Shanghai. The label is filled with ethereal pieces that are so elegant yet maintain a sense of ease. He seamlessly blends modern and traditional craftsmanship for a fresh take on femininity.
Ming Ma Floral Embroidery Single Breast Blazer
Ming Ma Balloon Sleeve Gather Waist Blouse
Ming Ma Floral Embroidered Asymmetric Hem Ruffle Skirt
Yan Yan, which means "everyone" in Cantonese, is a premium knitwear brand founded by former Rag & Bone Director of Knitwear Phyllis Chan with Hong Kong designer Suzzie Chung. The brand is filled with fun, eclectic pieces that juxtapose modern and traditional elements as a nod to the founder's heritage.
Yan Yan Rosebud Short Sleeve Cardigan in Black Lambswool
Named after the the Portuguese word for pineapple, Abacaxi blends a tropical spirit into an NYC lifestyle. South Asian American designer Sheena Sood's collection balances playful, bold colors and modern versions of traditional silhouettes.