by Maria Angelica Nunag May 26, 2022 3 min read
The global fashion industry is growing at the speed of light. New brands are emerging from various places and gaining increasing volumes of attention in their respective niche markets. When it comes to Asian fashion designers, we often think about Anna Sui, Alexander Wang, Vivienne Tam, and Derek Lam - true pioneers championing Asians in the mainstream luxury world of fashion.
As the multi-cultural trend continues to dominate wardrobes around the globe, so does the rise of the next generation of Asian / Asian American fashion designers. Here’s a closer look at 5 designers we are keeping tabs on.
Known for oversized masculine cuts flattering the silhouettes of both men and women, Peter Do is a rising star and already an industry darling.
Immigrated from Vietnam to the suburbs of Philadelphia, Do first fell in love with clothes and garment making in high school where he crafted a dress out of curtains and dyed it in beet juice for a Project Runway type of club activity.
After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, he worked together with his hero and biggest mentor, Phoebe Philo, under Celine.
Numerous planning and meetings done over the most delicious bowl of Pho later, Peter and his long-time friends established a brand of their own. Peter Do is loved and worn by personalities like Bella Hadid, Bretman Rock, and Johnny Suh of NCT.
We got another Vietnamese conquering the city that never sleeps. Chris Leba founded R13 in 2009 honoring the underground scene of America where culture and art thrive at a rebellious level. Distressed denim, biker culture, and the ‘90s grunge are common themes in his designs. You’ll see a few cowboy-inspired fits born off of his 20 years experience in Ralph Lauren. R13 is a brand for the free-spirited, the tattoo-laden artist, and the streetwear junky.
The Japanese designer, now Creative Director of Veilance, first offered freelance design consulting to the company before proving himself and rising to his current position.
Veilance at its core focuses on simple clean-cut designs that merge fashion, functionality, and technology. They designed their Fall / Winter wear to keep you warm without having you look like a bear in layers. Their everyday wear inspired by Japanese simplicity and authenticity is designed to look appropriate as you go from business meetings to casual meetups - blurring the lines between work and play.
Xander Zhou transcends ethnic, racial, cultural, and gender boundaries. His coined term “techno-orientalism” is the heart of his collections. Blending together his Asian roots and futuristic inclinations, he has created what can only be described as the fashion of the near galaxy - something you would imagine humans, androids, and aliens alike would wear in an alternate reality. His ability to bring such eccentric designs to clothes that look incredibly wearable today is worthy of praise.
We can’t talk about rising Asian American Fashion Designers without the King of stacked jeans himself, Alan King. Alan grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in NYC with 2 siblings and quickly grew tired of wearing hand-me-downs that did not fit him properly. With money saved from Lunar New Year and part-time jobs, he started reselling supreme, Bape, Jordan’s, and Yeezy sneakers. His desire to make clothes that fit everyone just right no matter how tall, how huge, how small, or how thin they are blossomed into what is now a growing luxury streetwear brand - AKINGS. Drawing inspiration from the culture of the NYC streets, he wants all his customers to feel like a king in his clothes.
Now taking a leap at the NFT universe, Alan and his team are determined to launch Web3’s first Wear 2 Earn NFT trading cards. Each card has a physically redeemable garment that holders can wear in real life. Earn not just from the trade of cards but from showing up in AKINGS gear in the virtual spaces, in-game, and even in real life. This is a ticket to the AKINGS ecosystem that continuously strives to reward its community members. Learn more about this project by joining their Discord today.
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