The newest Asian American Fashion Wunderkind is Joseph Altazarra. His ethnicity is a bit under the radar but he’s half French-Basque (father) and half Chinese American (mother). It’s a good looking combination! He studied art history at Swarthmore College then interned for Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler and Givenchy despite not having a formal fashion education. It helps that he runs with NYC It Girls like his cousin and model Lily Kwong, “Lauren Santo Domingo, the Vogue editor, and Vanessa Traina, who walked in his spring show.” NY Times Blog
His clothes are known for Body-Con chic with an edgy twist.
The first eight designers are from the U.S. Embassy site and I added two more favorites. Thank you to my friend Ginny for sending me this link!
“Asian-American designers are a major force in the global fashion industry, as the New York Times recently noted. In this group are Vera Wang, Anna Sui and other established figures, plus relative newcomers such as Jason Wu and Thakoon Panichgul (both of whom are favorites of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama). Each designer has a distinctive aesthetic, reflecting the deep Asian-American talent pool in fashion and other fields. Here, models show off evening wear by Monique Lhuillier, a Filippina-turned-Californian.”
Asian American designers are rocking it. Who will be the next Big Thing? Can you suggest some under-the-radar Asian designers? Let’s discover them together!
1. Thakoon Panichgul
Known for gorgeous prints and COLOR, Thakoon is a line that says “happy!”
Her gowns grace red carpets and A Listers and her bridal collection is sought after by socialites.
3. Jason Wu
Dressing Michelle Obama put him firmly on the fashion map, but his flowy, feminine and flattering creations are what makes his line go supernova. His studded-on-the-bottom handbags are also the newest It Bag.
4. Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang is Downtown NY cool. I love his looks but I am not cool enough to pull them off. Working on it!
5. Anna Sui
With a funky boho vibe, Anna Sui is pure fun. I bought a dress from her capsule Target collection that gets a lot of compliments. No one can believe I bought it for $4o! Her own line is even nicer.
6. Phillip Lim
He started his own company at only age 31 (hence the 3.1) and he’s a runaway wunderkind commercial success. He hits all the right notes, season after season.
7. Vera Wang
Her dad is a gazillionaire industrialist and her mom is a Tiger Mom. Known for her prodigious work ethic, Vera Wang is a runway and “for the masses” big-time success. Her Tiger Mom should be proud!
8. Derek Lam
To me, he’s the Asian Michael Kors known for lux casual. I can’t afford him but I have been coveting his clothes for more than a decade.
9. Prabal Gurung
He strikes the right balance of flouncy and tailored. If you can’t afford him, he did a nice capsule collection for J. Crew. There is still a little bit left.
10. Doo Ri
She understands drape more than any other designer, except, maybe for Donna Karan who famously failed that class in design school. Her clothes are lux, louche and gorgeous. I want!
She creates very wearable clothes for real women, particularly those in the workforce.
Peter Som describes his aesthetic as one of “effortless elegance and refined sexiness”, and aspires to provide a fresh perspective to modern American fashion.