60+ AAPI-Owned Fashion Brands to Support Today, Tomorrow, Forever


prabal gurung runway   september 2019  new york fashion week the shows

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1

3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim has been creating accessible luxury since 2005. The designer’s offerings under his brand 3.1 Phillip Lim range from reliable trenches to accessories you’ll own forever.

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2

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung is always a highlight during New York Fashion Week, with celebrity friends ranging from Michelle Obama to A-listers outfitted in his gowns at the Met Gala. Most recently, he launched a bridal collection that we expect to soar.

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3

Sandy Liang

Sandy Liang is Chinatown’s finest. The designer is known for subverting items like the fleece jacket, elevating the gorpwear mainstay to a status symbol.

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4

Claudia Li

Since founding her namesake label in 2015, New Zealand-bred designer Claudia Li has steadily gained traction for her playful use of shape, color, and recently, ’80s prom-inspired headbands in collaboration with Fruta.

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5

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta was a Dominican-born designer who built an empire of couture and ready-to-wear. He passed the torch to two budding designers in his atelier to head the brand as co-creative directors, Asian designer Laura Kim and Fernando Garci. The two carry on the legacy beautifully.

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6

Monse

Speaking of Garcia and Kim, the pair also lead their own label, Monse. The brand is known for dissecting and deconstructing tailored classics for the modern customer (and dogs).

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7

Rui

You’ve probably seen everyone from Dua Lipa to Lil Miquela wear Rui Zhou’s cut out bodysuits, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for her brand.

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8

Jason Wu

Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu has been sending up optimistic florals and feminine silhouettes since starting his own line in 2007.

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9

Thakoon

Since launching his brand in 2004, the Thai-American designer Thakoon Panichgul pivoted his ready-to-wear collection to easy separates in 2019, creating a direct-to-consumer brand that aims for inclusivity. The result is equally chic options with a budget-friendly price tag.

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10

Allina Liu

We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen some of Allina Lius’ romantic blouses on your feed already. After cutting her teeth at The Row and Thakoon, the designer launched her own brand of feminine offerings that belong in a painting.

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11

Public School

Public School is for cool people. Co-designed by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the brand is known for its high-end street style and always-sold-out collaborations. Case in point: these hyped-up clog-sneaker-snapback hybrids.

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12

Bibhu Mohapatra

Born in India and based in New York, Bibhu Mohapatra has become synonymous with city glamour. Look to this storied label for your next gala.

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13

Yohji Yamamoto

The Japanese designer is known for his subversion of clothing as a whole, with a deft hand for creating unforgettable, avant-garde fashion. His ongoing y-3 line with Adidas is not to be missed.

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14

Altuzarra

When we say easy, perfect dresses, we mean easy, perfect dresses by Joseph Altuzarra. Founded in 2008, the designer pulls form his French, American, and Chinese backgrounds.

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15

Asian American Girls Club

Asian American Girls Club is founder Ally Maki’s answer to the Girl Scouts, but make it inclusive. She told ELLE: “I wanted to change the narrative of what a club should feel like, what a club can be for you, your self-worth, identity and confidence.”

16

Derek Lam

Born in San Francisco and now based in NYC, Derek Lam is a Chinese-American designer heralding modern American sportswear. Think classic silhouettes, modern tailoring, and easy basics.

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17

Kinn

Fine jewelry doesn’t have to feel inaccessible, according to Kinn founder Jennie Yoon. She started her brand with the aim of replacing her family’s beloved heirlooms. The result are classic, solid gold pieces to last you a lifetime.

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18

RHUDE

American sportswear meets street style at Rhude. The Filipino American designer Rhuigi Villaseñor counts A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott as friends and fans, so you’re in good company if you invest in this label.

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19

MIKIMOTO

Mikimoto is the Rolls Royce of the pearl industry. The Japanese jewelry brand has been churning out classic strands for more than 120 years, and its collaboration with Comme des Garçons ushered it into 2021.

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20

Junya Watanabe

Look to Junya to up your fashion rep among both the high fashion. and street style crowds. With Rei Kawakubo as his mentor, expect a similar vein of irrelevant design, but with a more youthful, punk aesthetic.

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21

Comme des Garçons

No list of famous fashion brands is complete without Comme des Garçons. Rei Kawakubo was one of the first designers to expose America to the subversive landscape of Japanese fashion, and she continues to broaden our minds with her daring artistry. If her signature voluminous silhouettes are out of your comfort zone, you can always reach for an item from the PLAY line, filled with easy t-shirts, sneakers, and more.

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22

Sacai

Since cutting her teeth under both Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe, Chitose Abe is not to be missed. She launched Sacai in 2009, but you might be more familiar with her collab with Nike. Or not, since the beloved sneakers are nearly impossible to come by.

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23

Verdy

Japanese graphic and fashion designer Verdy is the man behind a bevy of streetwear brands, including Girls don’t Cry and Wasted Youth. The former just launched a collab with Levi’s in celebration of the denim brand’s 501 Day. Good luck getting your hands on them, though, as his items are known for hitting the resale market faster than your checkout cart.

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24

Tomo Koizumi

Tomo Koizumi was first put on our radar when the Japanese designer got Marc Jacobs’ stamp of approval in 2019, when he presented her collection in his New York store. Since then, we’ve witnessed a consistent stream of happy-go-lucky loofa dresses make their way to magazine covers and celebrities alike, along with a recent collaboration with Emilio Pucci.

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25

Anna Sui

You can’t talk about ’90s boho without mentioning Anna Sui, who heralded the look and continues to do so. Basically, ditsy florals owe commission to Sui for what she’s done for the print.

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26

Hirotaka

For pearls your grandma would clutch hers at, check out Hirotaka. The modern fine jewelry line gives the cultured stone an edgier look.

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27

WWAKE

WWAKE’s Wing Yau is pretty much responsible for the constellation style of jewelry and the omnipresence of modern opals. Since creating her brand in 2012, WWAKE has become a go-to stop for ethereal, ethically sourced jewelry.

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28

Kim Shui

With fans including Kehlani, the Kardashians, and basically every hot girl of Instagram, let Kim Shui be your starting point for summer dressing (in as little clothing as possible).

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29

Vera Wang

Is a wedding Pinterest board ever complete without a Vera Wang wedding gown? The designer has been a top designer, specifically for bridalwear, since launching her label in 1990. Ariana just wore Wang for the brand for her at-home nuptials, but if you don’t have a grande budget, I suggest Wang’s line for David’s Bridal as an affordable stand-in.

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30

Commission

Founded by Huy Luong, Dylan Cao, and Jin Kay, Commission is a New York-based brand that takes on what the designers’ mothers’ wore to work. Think ’80s business women with a modern twist.

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31

R13

Chris Leba honors New York City’s subculture with his brand R13. The designer makes distressed denim, platform “docs,” and flame-printed shirts worthy of Guy Fieri look damn cool.

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32

Low Classic

Based in Seoul, Low Classic merges minimalism with utilitarian design. Myoungsin Lee takes “Asian traveller” to heart with oversized, boxy cuts and clean simple lines.

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33

Founded by creative director Han Chong, Self-Portrait is known as the wedding guest dress. More recently, we’re obsessed with his recently dropped kids division. Flower girls, get ready.

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34

Rokh

Under the creative direction of Rok Hwang, London-based label Rokh takes on youth culture with a high fashion lens.

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35

Opening Ceremony

While we still pour one out for the closure of Opening Ceremony’s iconic SoHo fixture, the in-house brand lives on. Founded by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, you can still access their designs online.

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36

Bonbonwhims

Nostalgia hits heavy with BONBONWHIMS. The brand’s y2k jewelry is all over TikTok, so stock up now just in time for summer.

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37

Botanica Workshop

Misa Miyagawa aimed to create lingerie with a low environmental impact. The end result is Botanica Workshop, a sustainable, organic collection that doesn’t skimp on style.

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38

JW PEI

JW PEI wants sustainability to be accessible. He created his vegan handbag line with that as his mission statement and succeeded wildly. You’ll be hard pressed to find a style you wouldn’t want to post to your grid.

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39

Created with recycled sterling silver and brass and with 10 percent of their sales being donated to WWF, Ming Yu Wang’s jewelry is style with a soul.

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40

Senreve

Based in SF, made in Europe, Senreve is a bag with a globetrotting, timeless spirit. Their sculptured designs are luxurious and offered in a wide range of colors so you can find the bag that feels most you.

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41

Backbeat

Founded by LA-based Filipina Isadora Alvarez, Backbeat is your answer to reaching peak Californian ease. With a sustainable business model, the cute clothes are made from low-impact materials under ethical working conditions.

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42

Gentle Monster

For an Asian-owned sunglass brand, look to Gentle Montser. Founded by Hankook Kim, the label makes the sunnies to take selfies in and is backed by Jennie of Blackpink.

43

Rejina Pyo

Few contemporary designers understand cut and color better than Rejina Pyo. Owned and operated out of London, the label makes things we want to wear now, and more importantly, for the rest of our lives.

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44

Minju Kim

For a fairytale-meets-schoolgirl aesthetic, test drive Seoul designer Minju Kim. She’s major in South Korea, with an ever-growing cult following in the States.

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45

Peter Do

Peter Do is one of fashion’s current darlings. Whether it’s his sultry take on suiting or his eye for statement footwear, you’ll be sure to turn heads.

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46

Nana Jacqueline

Established by Chinese friends Nana & Jacqueline in 2016, Nana Jacqueline makes the kind of clothes you want to spend your birthday in. Enough said.

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47

Abacaxi

Designer Sheena Sood takes inspiration from her travels abroad for her label Abacaxi. Her childhood memories of visiting family in India instills itself in her brand, which features rich colors and vintage textiles sourced from Rajasthan, India.

48

Ookioh

Ookioh fuses together the modern demands of a bathing suit—flexibility, comfort, design—with a retro feel. Think details worthy of a pinup girl but in colors and cuts that feel refreshingly new.

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49

Kara

Half-Chinese, half-American, designer and founder Sarah Law explores her own duality with her Manhattan-based handbag line, Kara. Structured shapes are contrasted by heavy metals and blinged rhinestone handles.

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50

Bobblehaus

Trippy streetwear is what Bobblehaus excels at. Founded by two Chinese-American women, Ophelia Chen and Abi Lierheimer, it redefines what we think a hoodie should look like (and who it “should” be made by). Their blog and Instagram also serves as a space for elevating underrepresented voices.

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51

Ashlyn

Creative director Ashlynn Park’s ASHLYN reflects her ties to both Japan and New York. The brand is a prime example of zero-waste luxury, and its upcoming fall 2021 collection proves there is much for the brand to explore. Expect great things from ASHLYN.

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52

Private Policy

Private Policy sometimes feels more like an experience than a fashion brand. Creative directors Haoran Li and Siying Qu set out to create an inclusive collection that leverages both utilitarian design and statement prints.

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53

Naeem Khan

The Indian-American fashion designer has been making absolutely stunning gowns since 2013. Seeing as how he trained under Halston, it’s no wonder the staying power Khan has as a leader in luxury.

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54

ph5

The innovative knitwear brand ph5 was founded in 2014 by Wei Lin. Seriously, sweaters have never been this cool.

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55

BOYY

There are basic bags and there there is BOYY. The Thai accessories label founded in 2006 by Wannasiri Kongman and Jesse Dorsey continues to be a one-stop shop for handbags with personality.

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56

Kkco

KkCo is like dipping your toes into weird fashion. Founded by Kara Jubin, she has the skills to make technicolor checkerboard and oversized collars accessible.

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57

Ren

Ren designer Crystal Ung makes traditional jade jewelry for millennials. Beyond that, 10 percent of sales are also donated to @apexforyouth and Asian Youth Center.

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58

Áraw

Made in the Philippines, Áraw takes resortwear to, well, the actual tropics. Think breezy cotton and easy dresses with pops of sunshine-y colors.

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59

Supriya Lele

The British-Indian designer Supriya Lele makes clothes for people who want to wear very little of them, or at least strategically placed.

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60

Issey Miyake

Genius Issey Miyake is known for his understanding of where textiles and technology meet. Best most for his revolutionary pleat, his perfumes also smell really, really good.

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61

Notte

Irreverent jewelry is finally being recognized, and Notte is quickly making a name for itself in the field. Designer Jessica Tse makes seriously fun jewelry for people who don’t take jewelry too seriously.

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62

Yanyan Knits

Yanyan makes knitwear for the bold. Boring cardigans? No, thank you. Founders Suzzie Chung and Phyllis Chan give you sweaters, skirts, and pants with personality for days.

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63

Simone Rocha

Irish-Chinese designer Simone Rocha is the queen of London Fashion Week. With a fantastical aesthetic that veers into royal territory, her work is fit for a museum’s archives.

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64

Mikoh

Growing up in bikinis on the beaches of Orange County, it was only natural that sisters Oleema and Kalani Miller founded their swimwear line MIKOH. They’re both real surfers, by the way, so you can rest easy knowing their chic suits will stay on in any big wave.

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65

Labucq

You can never have too many shoes when it comes to Labucq’s offerings. Headed by Lauren Bucquet, the brand is a little ’90s, a little TikTok, and all you want to wear right now.

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66

Leorosa

Leorosa is a playful twist on your grandpa’s sweaters, founded by Paolina Leccese and Julian Taffel. Invest in one today and be primed to receive compliments for decades.

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