In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re honoring a handful of our favorite Asian designers, both in our hometown of New York and abroad, for their always impressive contributions to the fashion industry. From beautifully eye-catching designs to notable sustainability initiatives, the AAPI community has certainly made its mark. These are just 10 designers that we support, today and every day.
Honing in on an “East meets West” aesthetic, Founder and Creative Director Hanako Maeda is known for structured tailoring backed by feminine details and modern silhouettes. Maeda is a regular on the New York Fashion Week runways and has dressed icons like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Anna Hathaway and Gemma Chan.
3.1 Phillip Lim
With a brand ethos of sustainability and community, Phillip Lim has been a key player in the forward movement of the fashion industry. His current label 3.1 Phillip Lim is known for its effortlessly chic aesthetic and ethical initiatives.
Sandy Liang is a New York born-and-bred designer whose spirited collections tie edgy influence with elevated details. She’s been one-to-watch and surely will continue to be in the seasons to come.
Founded in 2015, MONSE is a NYC-based label headed by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia. This young brand has earned a cool-luxe title for itself and has been worn by Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Claire Danes and more.
Altuzarra was founded in 2008 by its Creative Director Joseph Altuzarra. His approach to design is a favorite amongst the fashion crowd, driven by the brand’s mission to provide apparel and accessories to help women feel confident and sexy in their everyday lives.
Yan Yan Knits
Founded by former rag & bone Director of Knitwear Phyllis Chan and Hong Kong-based designer Suzzie Chung, the duo has created a premium knitwear brand of thoughtfully designed products. Their designs intertwine nods to their Chinese heritage with forward-thinking whimsy.
After launching in 2013, Self-Portrait has become a fast favorite of it-girls and celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Beyoncé. Han Chong is known for his beautifully detailed, feminine designs that have risen to commercial success.
Sacai, founded in 1999, is headed by Chitose Abe whose meticulous craftsmanship has been a distinct market differentiator for the brand. Abe is known for splicing two items of clothing together to create garments with an elevated yet deconstructed sensibility.
Arguably one of the most beloved designers on the New York fashion scene, Anna Sui’s cult classic label is known for tying a vintage appeal to cultural arcana. Sui is a first generation American and uses her journey of the “American dream” as inspiration for the brand.
A strong advocate for social justice and influential design house, Prabal Gurung started his namesake label in 2009 and has been worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga and Scarlett Johansson, to name a few. The brand’s ethos ties glamour with inclusion and ethical standards.