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Katie Holmes Stylist Partner: Jeanne Yang of Holmes & Yang

Katie Holmes Jeanne Yang Holmes and Yang best Asian American stylist designer JadeLuckClub

Jeanne Yang of Holmes & Yang is widely recognized as a top stylist to Hollywood A Listers including Katie Holmes. A graduate of Scripps College, Yang began her career in fashion at Detour Magazine, as Managing Editor and Associate Publisher. There, she put unknowns on the cover including Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, and Cameron Diaz. From Detour, Jeanne left to become Senior Fashion Designer for the clothing label Product.  After two years at Product, she left to do freelance styling.

In InStyle magazine, she said that growing up she wanted to be “a senator or a UN ambassador. Quite the 180!” I love that about her!

Holmes and Yang Jeanne Yang JadeLuckClub

To see the Hollywood stars on the red carpet or on magazine covers that she styled, go here. Her roster includes:

Al Pacino
Amanda Seyfried
Anjelina Jolie
Anne Hathaway
Anthony Hopkins
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Benecio Del Toro
Brad Pitt
Bradley Cooper
Camilla Belle
Carla Gugino
Carrie Underwood
Catherine Zeta Jones
Christian Bale
Christina Hendricks
Demi Moore
Denzel Washington
Diane Keaton
Dustin Hoffman
Ellen Barkin
Ewan McGregor
George Clooney
Gong Li
Holly Hunter
Jack Black
Jack Nicholson
Jake Gyllenhaal
Javier Bardem
Jessica Biel
Katie Holmes

“Just days after Katie Holmes debuted her latest fall 2011 collection for her label Holmes & Yang—the line she designs with stylist Jeanne Yangactress Malin Akerman wore one of her new designs on the red carpet! The actress attended the Los Angeles premiere of Sucker Punch on Thursday wearing a simple long red dress, a look that is part of the new Holmes & Yang collection. While the dress won’t be in stores until fall, the current spring collection for the label just dropped at” In Style Magazine

Holmes & Yang JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club In Style Magazine

What do you think of the Holmes and Yang line? Here are some items from Barneys.

Holmes and Yang Blouse JadeLuckClubCute but pricey at $715

Holmes and Yang 2012 JadeLuckClubCriss-Cross dress, $2350

Holmes and Yang JadeLuckClub best Asian American stylist designerSuit Jacket, $2950


The Future of Jazz: Korean American Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly Asian American Jazz Musician JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club the future of jazz saxophone Brookline famousGrace Kelly is not who you think she is. Not an Hermès It bag. Not a princess or an actress. This Grace Kelly is just 19-years-old and setting the jazz world on fire. She hails from Brookline, Massachusetts. Grace won Glamour Magazine Top 10 College Women: The Musician.  “Her dream: “To collaborate with Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Sting. And to win a Grammy!” Hmmm…. someone should hook her up with Sarah Hicks! Seriously.

Have you heard her play? What other outstanding Asian American musicians do you love? Please leave a comment.

You can catch her here.

Sep 17, 2011, 4:30 PM, Lake George Jazz Weekend Shepard Park Canada Street, Lake George, NY 

Sep 23, 2011, 7:30 PM, Bethel AME Church 38 Walk Hill St, Jamaica Plain, MA 

Sep 24, 2011, TBA, Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, Boston, MA 

Sep 26, 2011, 7:30 PM, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, New York, NY

Sep 26, 2011, 9:30 PM, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, New York, NY

Sep 27, 2011, 7:30 PM, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, New York, NY

Sep 27, 2011, 9:30 PM, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, New York, NY 

Oct 1, 2011, 8:00 PM, Cafe 939, Boston, MA

Oct 3, 20117:30 PM, Salem State, Salem, MA 

Oct 4, 2011, 8:50 AM, Natick High School, Natick, MA

Oct 5, 2011, 8:00 PM, Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA

Oct 14, 2011, 7:00 PM, University Club, Providence, RI

Oct 15, 2011, 8:00 PM, The Colonial Theater, Pittsfield, MA 

Oct 24, 2011, 7:30 PM, Stockton Performing Arts Center, Pomona, NJ 

Nov 2, 2011, 7:30 PM, Tula’s, Seattle, WA 

Nov 3, 2011, 7:30 PM, Tula’s, Seattle, WA

Nov 5, 2011, 7:00 PM, Emerson Cultural Center- Jazz Montana Festival, Bozeman, MT

Nov 7, 2011, 7:00 PM, Boise State University, Boise, ID 

Dec 3, 2011, 8:00 PM, The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN), Natick, MA

Dec 11, 2011, 2:00 PM, Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA


Here are her many albums:

* Third year in a row named to “Alto Saxophonist Rising Star” list in the Annual Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll Aug 2011

 “Best Jazz Artist” Phoenix 2011

“BEST MUSIC POLL” Fourth year in a row

Awarded 2011 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award

Grace Kelly Debut on NPR Jazz set with Geri Allen, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington and Dee Dee Bridgewater

WINNER “Jazz Artist Of The Year” Boston Music Awards 2008, 2010

To view her music albums more closely at Amazon, please click on image of album.

Asian American Hip Hop Dancers on America’s Best Dance Crew: Jabbawockeez

Jabbawokeez America's Best Dance Crew Asian American best dancers Jade Luck Club JadeLuckClubJabbawockeez is Bay Area based Urban dance group formed initially by members Kevin ” KB” Brewer, Phil “Swagger Boy” Tayag, & Joe “Punkee” Larot under the name “3 Muskee”. They were the winners of season 1 of the showAmerica’s Best Dance Crew. Other members include Ben “B-Tek” Chung, Chris Gatdula & Phi Nugyen. Wikipedia

How do you think they compare to Kaba Modern and Instant Noodles, two other Asian Hip Hop groups who competed on America’s Best Dance Crew? Who are you voting for?

best Asian American dancers Jabbawokeez JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Jeff  Nguyen
Twenty-six-year-old Jeff “Phi” Nguyen was born in Phoenix, Arizona but moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue his dance profession.  He started dancing when he was 15-years-old.  He makes a living by being a dancer and a hip-hop instructor.  He also coaches in two dance conventions which travel around US cities during weekend.  Aside from dancing, he is also talented in playing the guitar.  His dancing idols are people from his personal life like his best friend Ryan and his own crew members .  God, family and friends are his sources of inspiration.  This guy is fun to be with.  He often goes around joking: “I like Vietnamese Pho! I’m a Virgo and like long walks on the beach! I’m single and ready to mingle! If you’d like, you can call me at 1-800-Vietnamese tease!”

Jeff Phi Nguyen Jabbawockeez America's Best Dance Crew JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Rynan Shawn Paguio
Rynan Shawn Paguio is a twenty-six-year-old from San Diego, California.  This professional dancer started break-dancing with his brothers and friends at the age of 11.  He was living in Murrieta then.  Aside from dancing, he also takes pleasure in singing and playing the guitar.  He names a number of dancing idols including Ken Swift, Crazy Legs, Stormy Mauritzo, Swif Rock, Flo-Master, Poe-One, Poppin Pete, Mr. Wiggles, Poppin Taco, Sugar Pop, Skeeter Rabbit and Gee-One.  But his sources of inspiration are down to 4: God, his family, Gary Kendell and his crew, Jabbawockeez.  Paguio is of Filipino descent and was married November 24, 2007.

Rynan Shawn Paguio Jabbawockeez JadeLuckClub best Asian American Dancers America's Best Dance Crew Jade Luck Club

Ben Chung
Twenty-six-year-old Ben “B-Tek” Chung hails from Mission Hills, California.  He started dancing when he was about to graduate from high school.  Chung is also an aficionado of Fight Night Round 3 on Xbox.  He pays his bills by teaching dance classes and by working as a performer in the industry.  For him, his dancing idols are his very own crew.  His source of inspiration is music.  The mixture of beats, lyrics and rhymes create special feelings and stir him to move.  This born-again Christian is proud to announce that in everything he does, the reason and motivation behind them is to glorify the One up above.

Ben Chung BTek Jabbawockeez JadeLuckClub

Kevin Brewer
Kevin Brewer is a thirty-one-year-old dancer from Sacramento, California.  He earns a living as an expert on MAC computers as he is an Apple Certified Technician.  Aside from being on the dance floor, he also enjoys producing music and being an emcee.  Brewer’s sources of inspiration are God, his family, Bruce Lee and his crew.  He also has a thing for Mexican food.  Brewer likes to inspire and be inspired.  Considering that life is fleeting, he takes pleasure in connecting with people and enjoying moments with individuals in his life.  He says he entered Dance Crew with an open mind and is excited to see how God will move him through the experience.

Kevin Brewer Keibee Jabbawockeez JadeLuckClub

Phil Tayag
Phil Tayag grew up as a garage dancer in Sacramento, California.  Aside from dancing, this twenty-three-year-old father of two is also talented in creating music.  He looks up to Gary Kendall, Michael Jackson and his crew as his dancing idols.  On the other hand, God, his family and life itself are the sources of encouragement and motivation for him.  In joining Dance Crew, he hopes that his crew Jabbawockeez would get an honest exposure that they deserve.  Asked on whom his favorite fellow crew member is, Tayag answers that he prefers no one because he sees everyone equally and treats them all as favorites.

Phil Tayag Jabbawokeez JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club best asian american dancers

Chris Gatdula
Chris Gatdula hails from Las Vegas, San Diego.  This 26-year-old Taurus graduated with a degree in New Media Emphasis, majoring in film and video production.  He regularly works as a dance instructor to pay for his daily financial needs.  Aside from dancing, he is also gifted in video editing and graphic designing.  His favorite sport is snowboarding.  To get inspired, he constantly reminds himself not to fall behind his crew and he always strives to keep up with them.  It is also important for him to stay on top of his game.  His dancing idols are his crew and Full Force.  He also admires the dancing skills of Gary Kendall.

Chris Gatdula Christyles Jabbawockeez JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Jabbawockeez is a finalist for MTV’s 2008 reality talent search Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew; where hip-hop dance groups from all over US compete for the prize money and for the opportunity to be given a touring contract.


Vera Wang’s New $10m LA Digs: It Pays to Be Creative

Vera Wang Beverly Hills New House Living Room $10 million JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubHave you seen Vera Wang’s latest purchase? A gorgeous mid-century modern house in Los Angeles with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, and breathtaking views all around. Her spectacular house once owned by Burt Reynolds.

It pays to be creative. Vera Wang’s net worth is estimated to be $115 million according to Celebrity Net Worth.

“Her new home near Coldwater Canyon features stunning views of L.A. and the ocean. The house was built in 1967, but renovated by the former owner Steve Hermann. Hermann is famous for his high-end home designs, many in Beverly Hills for A-list celebrities. The house covers 4,394 square feet and features four bedrooms, four bathrooms, swimming pool, spa and home theater. Its was constructed with black steel bars, to contrast the white and cream interior and furnishings, with heavy use of glass walls. The open glass design divides the living area into 2 lounge areas, a dining area and kitchen, all allowing you to enjoy the spectacular view thanks to the glass walls. The backyard pool also features its own lounge area.”

Vera Wang New Modern Los Angeles Beverly Hills House JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club


Vera Wang New House


Vera Wang New Beverly Hills Los Angeles House JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club It pays to be creative Asian American Best Fashion Designers

Vera Wang Beverly Hills New House Living Room $10 million JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club


Vera Wang New Beverly Hills Los Angeles House JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club It pays to be creative Asian American Best Fashion Designers


Vera Wang Best Fashion Designer Asian American JadeLuckClub new house

Vera Wang Beverly Hills House best Asian American Fashion Designer JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Her new house is as stylish as she is. Congratulations Vera Wang!


Sarah Hicks Conducts with Sting and John Mayer: Not Your Grandmother’s Conductor!

Sarah Hicks Asian American Musician Not Your Grandmother's conductor Classical Musician JadeLuckClub jade luck club Celebrating Asian American Creativity

My husband was reading Harvard Magazine the other day (ok, we keep it in the bathroom) and pointed out an article on Sarah Hicks. Who is she? Child prodigy pianist. Also plays viola. And conducts … from Prokofiev to Sting to John Mayer! She’s redefining the dying world of classical music in a new and exciting way.


“Born in her mother’s native country, Japan, Hicks grew up mostly in Hawaii as a child-prodigy pianist, playing music rather than leading it. When she developed chronic tendonitis as a teenager, she thought her music career was over. It hurt too much to play the piano, and her father found her crying in her room one day. His advice: “Stop crying. You can still hold a stick.” Harvard Magazine

“Her latest crossover coup, conducting Sting’s Symphonicity Tour on 30 European dates this past summer.”Harvard Magazine


“You should blog on her,” he told me. The article is here.  What is so cool about her is that she rocks it! Literally, as in The Police.


This is what the LA Philharmonic wrote about her: Noted in The New York Times as part of “a new wave of female conductors in their late 20s through early 40s,” SARAH HICKS’ versatile and vibrant musicianship has secured her place in “the next generation of up-and-coming American conductors.” She joined the Minnesota Orchestra as Assistant Conductor beginning in the 2006/07 season, where she is lead conductor of the new “Inside the Classics” series, and concurrently holds the position of Staff Conductor at the Curtis Institute of Music. She completed a two-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in June of 2007. A cover conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra since 2003, she has guest conducted on their Family Concerts, Millennium Stage, and summer series. She has collaborated with numerous soloists, including Hilary Hahn, Nigel Kennedy, and Doc Severinsen; in addition, she has acted as assistant conductor to such luminaries as James Levine, Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, and Yuri Temirkanov.

Sarah Hatsuko Hicks was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Honolulu, HI. Trained on both the piano and viola, she was a prizewinning pianist by her early teens. She received her BA magna cum laude from Harvard University as a composition major; her AIDS Oratorio was premiered at Harvard University in May of 1993 and received a second performance at the Fogg Art Museum. She holds an Artist’s Degree in conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with renowned pedagogue Otto-Werner Mueller. Hicks’ talents have been recognized with numerous prizes and scholarships; she received the Thomas Hoopes Prize for composition and the Doris Cohen Levy Prize for conducting from Harvard University, and she was the recipient of the Helen F. Whitaker Fund Scholarship and a Presser Award during her time at Curtis.

In her spare time, Hicks enjoys running, yoga, her two large dogs, and singing in garage bands, including a pop/punk band, Cowpath 40.

The complete post is here.


Best Fashion Bloggers Who Happen to be Asian UPDATED (and Kate Lanphear)

Nini Style Nini Nyugyn Nguyen best asian american fashion bloggers JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubI’ve been up way too late on many nights surfing the web and my indulgence lately has been fashion street style photo blogs. It started off innocently enough with being the last person on the planet to discover The Sartorialist. Then, I met his chic French girlfriend, another amazing fashion blogger, Garance Doré, and then it spiraled into checking out her blogroll. And then from those blogs, their blog rolls too. Along the way, I found that many of my favorite blogs were created by Asian Americans and my poster child for most amazing fashion blogger is Citizen Couture.

This is why he epitomizes, for me, the reason why I created this blog: to celebrate Asian American creativity and the path less taken! Here’s his story (and he tells it best himself):

Citizen Couture JadeLuckClub best fashion blogs Asian American best bloggers Jade Luck Club“My name is Jason Jean and I’m a former tax professional turned freelance photographer.* After several years in the public accounting industry while diagnosed with juvenile glaucoma and becoming partially blind, I decided to explore my creative side that was suppressed since childhood. I started shooting mid-2008 and fell in love with capturing style/fashion while connecting with various inspirational people throughout the world.”

*I can’t find him on LinkedIn but he worked at a Big 6 Accounting Firm and probably has a C.P.A or was well on his way towards one (I think you need to log something like 2000 hours of accounting at a Big Six firm).  There is also mention of him working at a Wall Street Investment Bank.


He came to this creative place by way of accounting while dealing with partial blindness and he takes the most gorgeous photo portraits. Amazing given that he gets about ten seconds to set up his shot!

So, to showcase these fashion bloggers, I am showing you shots that each of these bloggers took of another fashion discovery that I made while reading their blogs:  Style Star Kate Lanphear. She’s the Style Director at Elle Magazine and has legions of followers who love her elegant punk chic style. And, from what the bloggers say, she’s the nicest person ever. It’s interesting too, to see how each blogger captures Kate. You can get a real sense of their blogs from seeing their shots of the same person.

What is your favorite fashion blog?


Citizen Couture

Jason has insider fashion knowledge and has a “less is more” approach. His talent lies in creating portraits of the Fashionista Insiders and he is able to capture their personalities as well as their outfits.

Kate Lanphear on Citizen Couture Blog best Asian American bloggers fashion JadeLuckClubKate Lanphear Elle Magazine Citizen Couture JadeLuckClub Best of Fashion Blogs BloggersKate Lanphear Citizen Couture JadeLuckClub

Jac and Jil

Tommy Ton is the ultimate fashion insider. Not only does he have an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion (he can ID any item on the person he shoots) but he knows the editors, designers, models, and stylists. He has a distinct photo style and often captures a detail like the heel of an amazing shoe. I spotted some cool photos in Harper’s Bazaar the other day, and, of course, they were his.

Kate Lanphear Jac and Jil blog Tommy Ton JadeLuckClub best fashion blogs Asian American Jak and Jil Kate Lanphear best asian american fashion bloggers JadeLuckClubKate Lanphear Jac and Jil best asian american bloggers JadeLuckClub Tommy TonKate Lanphear Punk Chic Elegant fashion Jac and Jill blog JadeLuckClub


I love this blog but it pretty much just features blogger Rumi Neely who looks like a model but is also a stylist and über blogger. Her boyfriend Colin takes the shots. This is my favorite one. I like the way she writes. Her posts come off as wryly self deprecating and intelligent. She also always looks great and is credited with creating the term, “shoe porn.” Yep, she loves shoes. The higher the better it seems!

Rumi is the “shoppiest” out of these outfits with an eye of a serious fashion curator shopping and mixing up both high and low. The combination stylist, model, and blogger is a powerful trifecta. Expect to see more of her in the media. She’s gonna be BIG! TV show? Her own line? The sky’s the limit for her.

FashionToast JadeLuckClub best asian american bloggers best fashion blogs“I feel like it’s so stupidly me to be posting about a sweater in the middle of summer but this is one of my absolute favorite purchases I’ve made lately. Isabel Marant’s knits this past season were so basic and perfect and I’m already zeroing in on a few pieces from her fall collection that look promising. I’m so inspired lately by almost normal to a fault but clothes that can be worn every day. Also making me happy: that someone with a brain (at a photo shoot for Japanese brand OZOC) finally got ahold of my bangs and cut them in a way that makes sense. THANK YOU.” Her post on 7/3/11


BryanBoy is a friend of Rumi Neely. It does seem to be a very, VERY small world in the land of fashion blogging. Their blogs are part of the same consortium NowManifest and his blog is the most versatile of these blogs. He has videos, lengthy interesting text as well as stunning photos. Alas, he didn’t post on Kate Lanphear either so I used this shot of him instead.

Bryan Boy fashion blogger JadeLuckClub Asian American best fashion blogs


StyleBubble by Suzy “Bubble” was nicknamed this moniker because she lived in her own fantasy fashion-y world as a child. She reminds of Anna Sui-meets-Cyndi Lauper if you gave this mash up a camera, a witty and intelligent voice that comes across in every post, and a bubbly personality. Her intelligence comes across as strongly as her love of fashion. She really, really, REALLY has fun dressing up every day; sometimes up to five outfits a day! She is less about shopping and spending as dressing-as-self-expression.

Suzy Bubble Style Bubble best fashion blogs JadeLuckClub Asian American bloggers best “It’s hard NOT to have a positive relationship with Acne.  They annoyingly don’t get many things wrong.  Lovely collections with lovely pieces that get worn until they start to shrivel up.  Lovely stores.  Lovely magazine.  Lovely shows.  Lovely events.  Lovely people.  You get the idea. ” StyleBubble, July 21, 2011.

You hear voice? Then add a Brit accent because she’s a Brit.

 Fashion is Poison

I found Lucrecia Chen by combing through Citizen Couture. Her blog is Fashion is Poison and she combines love of clothes with her battle with cancer. It’s a powerful and sobering combination.

Fashion is Poison Lucrecia Chen Best Fashion Bloggers Asian American JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Street Peepers

I’m not sure how Phil Oh does it, but he posts stylish people from all over the world. Philip Oh is now shooting for Vogue Magazine.

Street Peepes Phil Oh Phillip Oh Philip Oh Vogue Magazine Best Fashion Bloggers Asian Americans JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Nini Style

I’ve been following this blog for a while and I am always impressed with how meticulously turned out Nini Nguyen is. She’s gorgeous too! The only drawback to her blog is that she tends to wear couture designer labels so it’s not exactly what I would wear or need in real life. Still, it’s always fun to see what look she’s created. Fashion Porn!

Nini Style Nini Nyugyn Nguyen best asian american fashion bloggers JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Asian Models

Female Asian models have recently made strides in the high fashion world. Once just relegated to “check-off-the-diversity-box” category, Asian models have come into their own and now are gaining super model status. This is chronicled in Asian Models blog which tracks both male and female models and their work both in print and down the runway.

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Top 10: Best Asian American Fashion Designers. Who Will be Next? UPDATED

Joseph Altazarra Lily Kwong JadeLuckClub Best Asian American fashion designers

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

Joseph Altuzarra JadeLuckClub Top 10 Asian American Fashion DesignersJoseph Altazarra Lily Kwong JadeLuckClub Best Asian American fashion designers

His clothes are known for Body-Con chic with an edgy twist.

altuzarra collections jadeluckclub asian american fashion designer best up and comingJoseph Altazurra collection Asian American Fashion Designer JadeLuck


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!”

Thakoon Panichgul JadeLuckClub Top Asian Fashion Designers Best Fall Fashion

2. Monique Lhuillier

Her gowns grace red carpets and A Listers and her bridal collection is sought after by socialites.

Monique Lhuillier JadeLuckClub best asian american fashion designers top designers

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.

Jasso Wu Michelle Obama JadeLuckClub best asian american fashion designerMichelle obama jason wu gown inagural ball JadeLuckClub

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!

Alexander Wang top best asian american designer jadeluckclub Celebrating Asian American Creativity

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.

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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.

Philip Lim top asian american fashion designer jadeluckclub Jade Luck Club

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!

Best Asian American Fashion Designer Vera Wang Tiger Mom JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

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.

derek lam michael kors jadeluckclub top asian american fashion designer

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.

Prabal Gurung Best Asian American Fashion Designer JadeLuckClub

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!

Doo Ri top asian american fashion designers jadeluckclub jade luck club

Honorable Mention

Vivienne Tam

She creates very wearable clothes for real women, particularly those in the workforce.

Vivienne Tam Top Best Asian American Fashion Designers JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Peter Som


Peter Som describes his aesthetic as one of “effortless elegance and refined sexiness”, and aspires to provide a fresh perspective to modern American fashion.

Peter Som best Asian American Fashion Designer JadeLuckClub



What’s Your Story & How Do You Make a Difference? Submit Your Video to the White House Initiative on AAPIs

Obama White Initiative on AAPI JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubPresident Obama wants to learn more about YOU! That’s right, YOU! Tell your story via video and submit to the White House Initiative on AAPIs to share your story and how you are making a difference in your community! This is a great way to get an invite to meet the president!

There is nothing more powerful than the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Our stories define who we are, and they reflect our impact on the community around us. At the White House Initiative on AAPIs, we seek to amplify these voices nationally. We are pleased to announce the first ever White House Initiative Video Challenge, called “What’s Your Story?”

We’re calling on you to produce a video, up to three minutes long, telling us who you are and how you have impacted those around you. In your video, answer the questions: How have your unique experiences shaped who you are today? And in what ways are you making a difference in your community? Everyone is welcomed to participate.

We will review the submissions and post a select number of entries on the White House website. In addition, we’ll invite a group of exceptional AAPI leaders to share their stories in person at the White House this fall as special guests in a White House Initiative on AAPIs event. To learn more about the challenge, watch our call-out video.

To submit your video and learn more about the challenge, go to The deadline for video submissions is midnight on November 1, 2011.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing your stories.


The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

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Boston Mamas Blogger: Christine Koh, Choosing Creativity Over Science-y PhD

Christine Koh Boston Mamas JadeLuckClub Celebrating the Path Less TraveledPlease welcome blogger extraordinaire Korean American Christine Koh, who, on the eve of her PhD in psychology, did a career change into a creative career that includes blogging, web design, and making cute babies.

1) Tell me about your family background. Where were your parents born? What do they do? Brothers or sisters?

My parents were born in Korea and immigrated to the United States in their 20’s. They met while they were both living in the D.C. area and then eventually married and moved to Boston — my understanding is that part of the motivation was so all of their kids could eventually go to Harvard (of course!). Though my parents had training in other fields (my Mom completed her nursing degree here in the States), during my lifetime they owned and operated a market and invested in and managed real estate. At one point they had quite an empire of properties in the Cambridge area (again, in striking distance of Harvard!).I’m the sixth of seven — two boys, five girls — though a lot of people ask me if I’m the first born. I’m not sure whether or not that’s a compliment!

2) Where did you do your undergrad? What did you study and why?

A lot of people don’t believe me when I say this, but I wasn’t the greatest high school student — I was most interested in the performing arts and extracurricular activities such as the school newspaper. Anyway, I didn’t know a lot about Wheaton College (in Norton, MA) when I applied but I ended up matriculating (it is a lot harder to get in now than it was when I applied!) and what an extraordinary gift that was! I knew I wanted to continue playing violin but, given my experience with competitive orchestras in high school, I knew I wasn’t good enough to go professional (I started private lessons late…my Dad thought music lessons were a waste of money but my mom fought for them and eventually won). Thanks to some incredible professors I discovered my academic passion for psychology early on and pursued a double major, focusing on the experimental psychology and music performance tracks. Considering my high school slacker tendencies, it was remarkable to me that I graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, but it’s amazing how your motivation changes when you find your passion. And also when you have to pay your own way, as I did from sophomore to senior year. I worked 60-70 hour weeks during summer and winter breaks to save up for tuition and sent my work study checks during the school year to my Mom to help out at home. Being financially responsible definitely took my academic appreciation and motivation to a new level.

3) I find it inspiring that on the eve of your PhD in neuroscience, you decided to do a 180 degree career change into a creative field. Tell me more about that decision. Was it agonizing or a long time coming? How did your friends and family react?

Actually, the path to my 180 was a little longer. After I graduated from Wheaton I pursed a Master’s in psychology at Brandeis University (part-time, while working as a lab manager and research assistant full-time) and then completed my Ph.D. at Queen’s University in Canada. After finishing my Ph.D. I worked for three years as a postdoctoral fellow with joint appointments at Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard Medical School. Though I really loved and believed in my Ph.D. work, I was miserable at the postdoc, for reasons both personal and professional. However, I’m convinced that I needed to go through that experience as part of my life journey. I have always wrestled with insecurity about my intelligence and I think I needed to earn my Ph.D. and then get to a place like Harvard and MIT to prove to myself that I could do it. And ultimately see that it wasn’t such big a deal after all…I mean, yes, the people there are very smart, but they’re still just people.

Anyway, towards the end of my postdoc I started to think about faculty jobs. I was so inspired by my professors at Wheaton and that was my dream from the start – to go back and teach alongside my mentors. But not only had the postdoc sucked away all of my joy for research, I realized that I was a good academic but not passionate about the work in a way that would make me willing to sacrifice as one must in order to pursue academia in the Boston area. I have a lot of friends still in academia and I see how inspired and excited they are about the work… I just didn’t have that fire anymore.

Also, during my postdoc, my father’s health took a turn for the worse and my daughter Laurel was born. My priorities had definitely shifted. I kept thinking, if I’m going to spend time working, I need to be inspired and love what I’m doing.

By the fall of 2006, I was officially drowning emotionally at my postdoc so I jumped academicship before figuring out what was next – I am extremely grateful to my husband Jon for supporting that leap. I mean, yes, I had started Boston Mamas a couple of months prior to my jump, but it wasn’t a career yet. But the universe works in funny ways. A week after I left my postdoc, I was offered and signed my first major editing contract. And interest in Boston Mamas started to pick up and ads and other opportunities started rolling in. And I had been doing design projects on the fly for friends for a while and decided to formally launch my design business Posh Peacock. Eventually I started doing strategic creative consulting for companies. All of a sudden the pieces of my little media and design company were falling into place and intersecting in fun ways. Now, five years out, people talk about this brand I’ve built and while yes, I’ve worked very hard in the last five years, there wasn’t exactly a master plan – I never woke up thinking “OK, time to build my brand!” I just kept gravitating towards and creating in the spaces that I felt passionate about and things evolved from there – it was very organic.

As for reaction, I don’t think I came up against a single piece of resistance when I left the field. All of my friends were like, “Well, finally!” because they always felt I was such an extroverted creative spirit and not meant to toil away writing Matlab code by myself all day. And by the time I left academia, my father had died so when I told my Mom, she was so supportive. She and my father had worked so hard for so long – with a definite purpose but without joy as one of their professional criteria…she just wanted me to do something that made me happy. It meant the world to me.

4) You’ve won numerous awards as a blogger. Can you tell me more some of the awards that you are most proud of? What has been most challenging being a blogger? What has been the most rewarding? Which blog is your “favorite”?

I am truly honored and humbled by all of the press and accolades I have received over the years – it would be hard to pin down a favorite piece of coverage. But there are certainly highlights. I know lists can be rather arbitrary but being selected as one of Nielsen’s 50 Power Moms was definitely a turning point profile wise. And it meant a lot to me to share my perspective regarding blogging ethics on FOX 25 Boston and NPR. It also was pretty funny to have my picture appear in a Boston Globe column alongside Gisele Bundchen (I was interviewed about her comments regarding breastfeeding) and – given my love for fashion – it was extremely cool to be included in a fashion feature in Woman’s Day.

I would say that one of my biggest blogging challenges is witnessing or coping with bad social media practices. I’ve seen many things that have made me cringe over the years and I unfortunately have had many experiences where people have mistreated mutual acquaintances or crawled out of the woodwork in very tasteless ways in an effort to get covered on my site or procure free consulting services. It makes me sad. And as a mom, I can’t help but think, “What would your mother think of this behavior?!”

On the flip side, the most rewarding part of blogging is the community – both the social element and the ability of the community to rally for positive action. I operated in such a cave when I
first started blogging and a definite turning point was when I was invited to attend Disney’s first social media mom event and met a group of truly amazing bloggers. I’ve since attended many conferences and press events and have made incredible friends along the way – there is so much love and support and awesomeness in this space. I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

As for favorite blogs, goodness, there are so many bloggers I adore… I could never narrow it down to just one. But here are a few that spring to mind: Liz of Mom-101, Stephanie of Adventures in Babywearing, and Rebecca of Girl’s Gone Child write with such soul. Gabrielle of Design Mom is such a generous friend and talented curator. Asha of Parent Hacks is such an impressive community builder and is a wonderfully reflective friend…she was one of the first people I “e-met” in the digital space. I can never get enough of the words and photography of Tracey Clark or Karen Walrond. Jennifer James always has her finger on the pulse of the mom blogging community and is a dear confidante. Oh, and I read men too! I love Jim of Busy Dad Blog, C.C. Chapman, Pierre of Metro Dad, and Doug of Laid-Off Dad.

And of course there’s tons of great content at BlogHer, and Kirtsy just underwent an impressive overhaul – I’m inspired to visit daily to discover new blogs or to simply find visual inspiration.

5) With an infant and toddler, several blogs and a small business, you are one busy woman. How do you juggle it all? What is a typical day for you?

It’s a little crazy, I know. I think a big part of it is setting expectations and tuning into what matters in the moment. And another part is that productivity is easy when you love what you’re doing.

But you want details, right? When Violet was born in March, I had no formal maternity leave set up and even after a month when our babysitter started, she was only here 6 hours a week. But my first priority was growing baby Violet and helping my 6-year-old Laurel with the transition. For context, I should say that I had spent several years very privately heartsick over what appeared to be secondary infertility. I came to terms with it – in large part due to the support and love of this community when I “came out” about my feelings of failure – and then was shocked to learn a few months later that I was pregnant. So I feel acutely that this family of four is an immense gift and I want to be present in the moment.

So, during the weeks following Violet’s birth, I focused on my girls. And when Violet slept while Laurel was at school — which was a lot when she was a newborn! — I caught up on client work and blog posts and things. That was pretty much the way it went from March to June. It was delightful!

This summer the schedule has been equally lovely and my plan is to structure it like this during the school year. Our babysitters comes 4 days a week during elementary school hours. Then the rest of the time I’m off with the girls, and my husband is home one weekday with the girls. I work intensely during those hours and then stop the work clock when it’s time to go into family mode. I used to work most nights after Laurel went to bed when it was just three of us but Violet’s bedtime is really variable right now so I usually don’t work at night. Sometimes during the weekends, if I’m really on a deadline Jon will take the girls out for an adventure so I can work but otherwise I just roll with it. Somehow, everything seems to get done!

6) Do you have any regrets changing careers?

Not at all. I’m where I was meant to be. Also, I believe that every path brings you to the next. As I said, I needed to go through the academic process and get to the alleged highest point of achievement (Harvard/MIT) to prove to myself that I was an intelligent person. Sure, it would have been nice to not have to embark on a 10 year journey to answer that question, but that’s just how it worked out. I met so many amazing people along the way and learned an incredible amount about myself.

7) What are you working on next?

Well, I’m actually on the brink of change. Not much will change externally – meaning, I’ll continue with my blogs and such — but I’ll be doing more strategic consulting work. I can’t quite reveal the details right now but basically, I’m going to be doing great work but still on a flexible schedule that allows me lots of time with my family. Thank you, universe!

Also, I want to get back to thinking about fun things to explore on my life list. Oh, and planning a vacation with Jon, perhaps once I’m done nursing (probably next year)! I haven’t discussed him much here but he’s pretty much the most amazing husband in the history of the universe.

8) In terms on what is on your career plate, what do you do for love and what do you for money?

I would say that at this point I do what I love about 80% of the time and then the remaining 20% goes towards client work that is steady and lucrative but not that exciting. If all goes well with this new project I’ve got on the horizon, I’m hoping to knock that 20% closer to 0 in the coming year.

9) What advice would you give to Asian American college students who might have parents who only advocate “safe and traditional” career paths?

It’s so hard — I know! My parents were so bent on me being a doctor or lawyer (it’s always good to have in-house counsel, as my Dad used to say). And then later on in life when they saw my personality my Dad always thought I would be a great diplomat or the first Korean-American talk show host (there’s still time for the latter, right?). But my advice is to try to remain grounded and not be resentful – instead, work towards communication. Let your parents know what you’re trying and why it does or does not resonate for you. Some of the best experiences I had in college were internship programs where I would try something for a summer or winter break and learn that it was something I didn’t want to pursue. For example, being a White House intern helped me learn I didn’t want to go into politics. A mentored program at a law firm helped me learn I didn’t want to be a lawyer. And so forth. And I talked with my parents about all of these experiences. So that’s probably another reason why my Mom was so supportive when I left academia. She knew firsthand of my suffering and at the end of the day, she was my Mom – she wanted me to be happy. And even though she doesn’t completely understand what I do now (at least the blogging and consulting parts), I know she is happy that my work/life balance allows me to do other things that are important to traditional Korean moms – you know, like make adorable babies, be a loving wife, and get dinner on the table!

10) What advice would you like to share with new bloggers who want a great blog like BostonMamas?

My first piece of advice is to blog because of what you can give to it, not because of what you can get out of it. There’s so much more to blogging than free product samples or what have you. Think about what you love and want to share – start with an organic passion.

Second, immerse yourself in the community…really be a part of the community. Comment on other blogs, converse on Twitter, reach out, link to people whose work you love.

And finally, act with grace. Don’t link bait people, drop generic comments without having actually read any posts, badger people to follow you on Twitter, or generally act with the expectation of getting something from someone or with personal gain as the primary motivator.

Thanks so much for reaching out about this interview; it was an honor to share and reflect here!


Christine Koh is the founder and editor of Boston Mamas, the designer behind Posh Peacock, and writes a personal blog at Pop Discourse. She tweets about it all at @bostonmamas.


Probing the Bangladeshi Diaspora

Nazli Kibria Probing the Bangadeshi Diaspora Bangaladesh stereotypesMy Mom Friend, Nazli Kibria,  from my middle daughter’s class turns out to be an expert on sociology who studies immigration issues particularly those of Asians. She teaches at Boston University and I’ve asked her for permission to repost some of her articles and she was kind enough to give me permission. This article goes hand in hand with tomorrow’s post on Bangladesh. While tomorrow’s post is an armchair travel “kid book club” and includes children’s literature, crafts and a recipe, her article gives more background on what appears to be an invisible immigrant group: the Bangadeshi.

I would really love to explore what it means to be “Asian in America,” which of course, is not a one size fits all description by any means. I hope that this essay on Bangladeshi immigrants helps us all to understand this group better.

Please feel free to leave any questions or comments. I can always ask Nazli to do a follow up post on this topic or on any of her other books.

For example, I was going to loan her Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom book and have her comment based on her book Becoming American: Second-Generation Chinese and Koreans (i.e. based on her research, is this extreme or typical parenting for Second-Generation Chinese or Korean Americans?). Just askin’.


This versus this for another blog post?!


Kibria book finds immigrants face ignorance, misperceptions


For Bangladeshis in the United States, the unfavorable image of their country as one of poor, starving people is hurtful to their sense of national pride and distressing in its simplification, says Nazli Kibria, a CAS associate professor of sociology.

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

As a Bangladeshi born in the United States to a family that divided its time between the eastern world and the West, Nazli Kibria has long been privy to Americans’ perceptions of her native country. Most of these perceptions, though not necessarily malicious, are wildly off the mark, she says.

In her new book, Muslims in Motion, Kibria, a College of Arts & Sciences associate professor  of  sociology, examines the Bangladeshi diaspora, telling the stories of challenges faced by Bangladeshis in the United States, Great Britain, the Gulf states of the Middle East, and Malaysia. Her study gives voice to cab drivers and university professors, shopkeepers and restaurant workers, and those who toil almost anonymously as part of the immigrant contract labor force to the world’s wealthiest states.

For Bangladeshis in the United States, the unfavorable image of their country solely as one of “poor, starving people, floods and famines” is hurtful “not only to their sense of national pride, but distressing in its simplification, in its ability to reduce the rich and complex realities of a country they know so well to a one-dimensional stereotype,” says Kibria.

Published by Rutgers University Press, Muslims in Motion is Kibria’s third book. She has previously written about Asian immigrants in Family Tightrope: The Changing Lives of Vietnamese Americans, and Becoming Asian American: Second-Generation Chinese and Korean Americans. Any author proceeds from Kibria’s new book, subtitled Islam and National Identity in the Bangladeshi Diaspora, will go to the Shah AMS Kibria Bangladesh-U.S. Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation established in memory of her father, a politician, economist, and opposition activist who was killed in a grenade attack in Dhaka in 2005. Though a group of men were charged in the killing, they were never brought to justice. Kibria believes the charges were false, the result of a government cover-up.


“Bangladesh—where’s that?”

Kibria has been met with this and other equally ignorant remarks. “Bangladesh is kind of invisible in the U.S.,” says Kibria, who, like many of her fellow Bangladeshis, is sometimes mistaken for Hispanic. Or, in the eyes of many Westerners, Bangladeshis inhabit a limbo between East Indians and Pakistanis. Kibria has found that, culturally, Bangladeshis who mix with other South Asians tend to take on Indian tastes such as Bollywood, which is seen as frivolous in Bangladesh, or gravitate in another direction, toward Muslim communities. “They start to identify primarily as Muslims,” says Kibria. “But nationality, not religion, is most important to a Bangladeshi.” The now-embattled secularism of Bangladesh was initially laid out in its 1972 constitution, a year after the nation, formerly East Bengal, gained its independence from Pakistan.

Today, the low-lying, flood-prone nation—the size of New York state—has a population of 150 million, making it the eighth most populous country in the world, as well as the nation with the largest Muslim majority after Indonesia and Pakistan. But Kibria says that the predominantly Sunni culture of her homeland is laced with indigenous rituals, as well as Hindu and Buddhist belief, lending it the feel of a “folk” religion.

Kibria researched her book from 2001 to 2007, during which she interviewed 200 Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants and their families. Her subjects spoke about the impact of their migration on their family and community life, religious practice, and political views. Whenever possible Kibria attended community and family gatherings. In her book, which includes interviews with Bangladeshis in the Boston area, Kibria considers Bangladeshis’ place in the post-9/11 world, which has sparked greater interest in, and suspicion of, Islam.

“Even Bangladeshis who haven’t been here see the world as pre-9/11 and post-9/11,” says Kibria, who believes the national mood in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks raised stress levels of new Bangladeshi immigrants and those who were living here at the time.But Bangladeshis still choose to come, for one reason only: the dream of an American education for their children. “A lot of people don’t realize that America’s biggest resource is education,” says Kibria, who also points to an increase in Bangladeshi migration to other English-speaking nations such as Australia and Canada.

Kibria cites U.S. census figures showing that there were 5,800 foreign-born Bangladeshis here in 1980. That number steadily climbed, to 92, 237 in 2000. In 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, nearly 7,000 Bangladeshis became U.S. citizens, with the largest concentration in New York, followed by California, Florida, and Texas. While about 2,000 work in the professions, a large number of Bangladeshi immigrants are overqualified, notes  Kibria. “I know a doctor from Bangladesh who now works as a hotel clerk,” she says. While many immigrants get stuck in low-wage jobs, they remain here in the belief that their children will prosper. The downward class mobility Bangladeshis are likely to face in the United States takes its toll, causing depression and health problems, says Kibria. Americans aren’t likely to grasp the odd, split existence of many Bangladeshis, who live like paupers here and “like kings” when they return for periods to Bangladesh, she says.

While the Bangladesh economy is steadily growing, the country has faced periodic violence and unending political woes since it gained independence in 1971. In the ensuing decades Bangladesh has suffered the assassination of its first prime minister, devastating famine, a succession of military coups, and a gradual transition from secular to Islamic rule.

In her book, Kibria points to a new generation of what Kibria calls “Muslim-first”Bangladeshi immigrants, the children of “Bangladeshi-first” parents. But those who rush to stereotype this younger generation will learn from Kibria’s research that, as she writes, a “great variety of religious approach and experience prevails” among these Bangladeshis, whose devotion to Islam, far from being extremist, is more about adding meaning and purpose to their lives, in a way that works for them as individuals. “I believe in Allah and I try to live by the basic principles of honesty and compassion for people who are less fortunate…but I don’t cover my head,” says Tanya, a Bangladeshi American in her early twenties, who was interviewed in Kibria’s book and who lives among the large Asian immigrant population in New York’s Queens.

In her travels, Kibria found that Islam was the common thread among Bangladeshi migrants as diverse as the upper-middle class bank employee in the United States or the United Kingdom and the impoverished rural Bangladeshi who goes to Saudi Arabia on a labor contract. She hopes that those reading Muslims in Motion will gain a better understanding of Bangladeshis abroad in light of their young nation’s religion and tumultuous history.

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

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