Although we are slowly making strides, the fashion industry still has a long way to go in its inclusion of people of color. When we think of designers, names like Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and Karl Lagerfeld come to mind. However, there are so many amazing talented Asian American designers that create lines that helps us express our individuality and emotions. Here’s a list of up and coming Asian American designers from varying niches of style that we should all keep our eyes on!
Esther Kim is a Korean-American artist who brings her art to life. Her drawings feature a fluffy adorable anthropomorphic bunny with wide eyes and girlish lashes. Mysterious while still maintaining her cute demeanor, Esther’s pastel bunnies are depicted engaging in a wide array of activities from artfully holding roses to smoking cigarettes. She has a line with a Korean clothing brand titled Estherloveschuu. Her line features stylish millennial pink striped turtlenecks to slippers and dolls of her larger than life rabbit. Esther Kim has also done collaborations with well-known brands such as Lazy Oaf and has worked with Anna Sui, Urban Outfitters, NYLON, Nasty Gal and numerous others.
Yeha Leung, owner of Creepyyeha, designs fierce lingerie that fuses fetish and feminine. Her pieces are a work of art, all made by hand. Yeha’s intimate wear are chain cladded, leather soaked, but at the same time scream grace and beauty with pastel lavenders and pinks adorned with delicate details like pears and jewels. Her work is a tender romance between tough bondage and delicate lingerie. She has designed bras for celebrities like Rihanna and FKA Twigs.
One of my all-time favorite fashion idols, Jenn Im is a fashion and beauty blogger who achieved fame on her YouTube channel, Clothes Encounters. She has always had an eye for style as shown from her early YouTube days where she presented her amazing thrift finds. At only the age of 26, Jenn has amassed over 2 million subscribers and recently launched her own clothing line. Eggie is described as an extension of Jenn’s closet, made for every occasion and inclusive for all.
Depressed and anxious, Neek Lurk created a clothing brand inspired by his raw emotions of emptiness and melancholia. Anti Social Social Club (ASSC) is a brand that reiterates our inner feelings of apathy and is shrouded in mystery. Infamous for always being sold out, ASSC has been sported by street fashion forward idols like Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. Perhaps a representation of our fleeting emotions, ASSC is designed in a wavy turbulent font and is known for the phrase: Get Weird.
Cassey Ho is upbeat, positive, and always ready to break a sweat. She’s a social media fitness idol and owner of her wildly successful YouTube channel, Blogilates. More than just fitness tutorials, Blogilates has become a community of dedicated empowered workout buddies who follow Cassey’s instruction. Cassey’s POP Pilates are now even offered as classed at 24 Hour Fitness gyms. Cassey has opened up her own shop of fitness clothing, POPFLEX Active which features designs inspired by mermaids and florals.
These are just a few examples of inspiring Asian American designers. Please drop me a note if your favorite isn’t on this list!