May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich history, culture, and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. In honor of this month, we’re shining a spotlight on a few AAPI designers who have made a significant impact on the fashion industry.
Alexander Wang is a Taiwanese-American fashion designer who rose to fame in the early 2000s. Wang launched his eponymous label in 2007, and since then, he has become known for his edgy, minimalist designs. Wang has won several awards throughout his career, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2008 and the Swarovski Award for Womenswear in 2009.
Vera Wang is a Chinese-American fashion designer who is best known for her bridal wear. Wang began her career as a figure skater before transitioning to fashion design. She worked for Vogue magazine for several years before starting her own bridal line in 1990. Today, Vera Wang is one of the most famous and successful bridal designers in the world.
Phillip Lim is a Cambodian-American fashion designer who launched his eponymous label in 2005. Lim’s designs are known for their clean lines, bold colors, and effortless style. He has won several awards throughout his career, including the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear in 2007.
Prabal Gurung is a Nepalese-American fashion designer who launched his eponymous label in 2009. Gurung’s designs are known for their feminine silhouettes, bold prints, and use of luxurious fabrics. He has dressed many high-profile celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Kate Middleton.
Jason Wu is a Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer who rose to fame in 2009 when he designed the inauguration gown for First Lady Michelle Obama. Wu launched his eponymous label in 2007, and since then, he has become known for his elegant, feminine designs. He has won several awards throughout his career, including the Swarovski Award for Womenswear in 2010.
Yeohlee Teng is a Malaysian-born fashion designer who launched her eponymous label in 1981. Teng’s designs are known for their minimalist, architectural style, and she has been praised for her use of sustainable and ethical practices. She has won several awards throughout her career, including the National Design Award in 2004.
Bibhu Mohapatra is an Indian-American fashion designer who launched his eponymous label in 2009. Mohapatra’s designs are known for their elegant, feminine style, and he has dressed many high-profile celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and Lupita Nyong’o. He has won several awards throughout his career, including the “Young Innovator Award” from the National Arts Club.
Thakoon Panichgul is a Thai-American fashion designer who launched his brand in 2004. His designs are known for their feminine, modern, and elegant style. Thakoon has dressed several high-profile celebrities and has won several awards, including the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award.
Kini Zamora is a Hawaiian fashion designer who is known for his contemporary designs. Zamora’s designs are characterized by their bold prints, bright colors, and modern silhouettes. He has received numerous awards, including the Best Designer of the Year Award at the Honolulu Fashion Week in 2014.
Hiroaki Ohya is a Japanese-American fashion designer known for his minimalist and understated designs. His clothing designs are characterized by their clean lines, neutral color palette, and use of high-quality fabrics. He has won several awards, including the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award in 2015.
Yuki Matsuda is a Japanese-American fashion designer and the founder of the heritage-inspired brand, Yuketen. His designs are characterized by their classic and timeless style, inspired by vintage American workwear and outdoor wear. He has collaborated with several high-profile brands, including Monocle and Woolrich.
Peter Do is a Vietnamese-American fashion designer known for his minimalist and modern designs. After working for brands such as Derek Lam and Celine, he launched his eponymous label in 2018 and has quickly gained a following for his sleek and sophisticated aesthetic. He was named a finalist for the LVMH Prize in both 2019 and 2020 and was a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2020.
Ashlynn Park is a Seoul-born, New York-based fashion designer known for her contemporary yet elegant designs that often feature intricate details and unique textures. After studying fashion design at Parsons School of Design, Park launched her eponymous label in 2016 and quickly gained recognition for her bold, feminine designs that combine traditional techniques with modern aesthetics.
SO TELL US, WHICH ASIAN OR PACIFIC ISLANDER DESIGNER DO YOU THINK HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON THE FASHION INDUSTRY?
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