RISING MILLENNIAL ASIAN DESIGNERS

RISING MILLENNIAL ASIAN DESIGNERS

RISING MILLENNIAL ASIAN DESIGNERS

Feature photo courtesy of @privatepolicyny

These Chinese designers are establishing themselves globally, challenging the traditional Eastern v. Western dichotomy of style. 

CHLOE XIANG

We are at new heights of globalization: with the fast paced development of technology in all industries, it has never been easier to travel or share information around the world.  Although we most often associate globalization with STEM industries and academia, modern fashion is not excluded from this transformation with its spread of culture. Fashion plays a big role in shaping identity and society; with the increasing accessibility of fashion to and from all parts of the world, we are able to see the fusing of more and more aesthetics, imagining and creating new hybrids.  

Chinese designers are participating in the globalization of fashion by emigrating from their home country of China to other eastern and western countries and spreading Chinese culture and aesthetic internationally. It’s important for us to be aware of these emerging designers during such a vibrant era of new developments to understand how Chinese voices are shaping and improving fashion worldwide. 


SANDY LIANG 

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FW19

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Sandy Liang is an American-Chinese designer based in New York City who embraces the duality of her identity to create a brand inspired by both her Chinese roots and her American upbringing. Her first lookbook was inspired by the “Chinatown grandma”and specifically casted her own grandma as a model.  In the late-19th century, when Chinese people were outcasted and discriminated by the American public, Chinatown was born as a support system for Chinese people. Centuries later, Chinatown remains as the landmark for Chinese immigrants, serving as a hub of community and culture where Chinese immigrants can bond over their hybrid identities and shared experiences. By infusing this iconic location into her fashion collection, Liang highlights their strength and shares the story of a neighborhood that is too often commodified and repackaged for tourist consumption. By projecting Chinatown from her personal, authentic perspective, Liang reclaims the iconic neighborhood of Chinatown. Liang’s grandma, Paw Paw, represents an authentic muse that touches the hearts of many Chinese people who, too, grew up in a family-oriented culture.

Shop Sandy Liang here and follow her on Instagram and Twitter


HAORAN LI AND SIYING QU OF PRIVATE POLICY 

Haoran Li and Siying Qu both graduated from Parsons where they first met and decided to launch their brand, Private Policy, in NYC upon graduation. The two designers have created a brand that showcases both Chinese and NYC influences, as well as represents a youthful voice driven by a mission to have customers make their own rules. The clothes at Private Policy are not designed for a specific gender and the designers “see fashion as a medium for reflecting what is going on in the world, almost like a news outlet.” Private Policy’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection directly celebrated the theme of globalization. The statement piece of the collection was a coat and pant set made up of vibrant flags from different countries stitched together; through designs such as this, the designers were able to visually demonstrate how the world has become a giant global system made up of coexisting cultures and identities. 

Shop Private Policy here and follow them on Instagram. 


CLAUDIA LI 

Chinese-born, New Zealand-raised, and New York based Claudia Li is directly disrupting the perception of Asian women in the west. In September, Li casted all Asian models in a groundbreaking show to transform the “minority” model, typically seen as a monolithic ethnic group, into a majority that represented people of various Asian backgrounds. Beyond just featuring one Asian model for the sake of representation, Li was able to celebrate individual Asian ethnicities with models from countries such as Japan, Philippines, and Singapore. Li took advantage of the visual medium of fashion to create a new image of Asian women for people to remember. Breaking away from the stereotype that Asian women are supposed to be quiet and delicate people and thus dressed in hyper-feminine, delicate dresses, Li used a variety of fabrics and silhouettes to show that Asian women are much more complex than their caricature. Her collection ranges from oversized, boxy button down shirts to flowy crepe skirts to highlight the variety in personality and identity of the models. 

Shop Claudia Li here and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.   


MASHA MA 

Masha Ma is a Chinese-born designer who has left her mark globally, having gone to school in London and now running her label in both Paris and Shanghai. Ma uses her own experience growing up in China as inspiration for her designs. Uninterested in playing into the stereotyped images of dragons and lions that are often associated with the “Chinese aesthetic,” Ma wants to be true to her own experiences growing up in a post-Mao society where, as she describes, “everything was very grey, very uniform.” As a Chinese person with a much deeper and more nuanced understanding of her own culture, Ma refuses to abide by the western lens of stereotyped orientalism. Instead, Ma forges her own futuristic and minimal style to redefine the Chinese aesthetic. 

Shop Masha Ma here and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.   


SAMUEL GUÌ YANG 

Born and raised in China but currently based in London, Samuel Guì Yang creates designs inspired by the human form and its close relationship to fashion. Seeing fashion as fine art, Yang has created films and exhibitions to showcase his work as a multimedia piece that goes beyond the boundaries of a runway. His designs are inspired by both traditional Chinese garments and European fabrics, using silhouettes from clothing such as the qipao, a feminine dress originating from Machu-ruled China, and pairing it with fabrics such as Scottish Harris Tweed. 

Shop Samuel Guì Yang here and follow him on Instagram


ANGEL CHEN

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photo by woolmark @thewoolmarkcompany

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Angel Chen is a Shanghai based designer who went to a fashion school in London and regularly shows her designs in Milan, and more recently in New York. She is well known for her ability to showcase the story of her origins and to blend in inspiration from Chinese history, such as from the Qing and Ming dynasties, through her design aesthetic. For example, Chen often uses bright reds, a symbol of luck and joy in China, and traditional embroidered motifs of lions and dragons in her designs. However, Chen knows that more important than celebrating her culture for herself is the ability to portray it for a global audience that is equally appreciative. Chen is a master at fusing Eastern and Western aesthetics and became the first Chinese designer to release a capsule with H&M. Chen states that while designing the capsule, her “priority was to reflect Chinese culture,” emphasizing her own dedication to depicting traditional Chinese motifs in an authentic way. 

Shop Angel Chen here and follow her on Instagram


SUSAN FANG 

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SUSAN FANG SS20 Air•Rise Bubble headpiece with bubble butterfly’s at each crystal stem🦋 “My eyes always follow the light, the ethereal tiny rainbows on bubbles.” Inspired by the moment when abstraction rises to form meaning, SUSAN FANG presents her SS20 collection ‘Air · Rise’. The concept of ‘Air · Rise’ derived from the curiosity of investigating when colour meets an object, when shadow creates movement and when light rise to form life. SUSAN FANG is always instinctively curious, trying to explore the essence of nature with the pursuit for innovation. For SS20 she introduces Macrame combined with the signature Air-weave technique adding another dimension to her 3D garments. Continuing with the technique of Air-Embroidery developed from last season, Susan uses feathers to weave between layers of organza to create distant blurs of a watercolour phan- tom. Sponsored by Swarovski, Susan integrates colourful crystals within her glass bubble accessories as well as further elevating these transparent elements within the woven fabrics. As a continuation of the beauty of nature, the new collection introduces a wider collection of bubble shoes and accessories with motifs of stars, butterflies, moon, and water. For SS20, the ‘Air · Rise’ show presentation aims to create a dreamy multi-dimensional space with light, colour and bubbles. The show will begin with SUSAN FANG AW19 Campaign video, shot in the pure and dreamy lands of Yushu, directed by Charles Guo. Followed by an artistic and contemporary dance performance presented by Immersive Performance Workshop. The show will leave the audience in a surreal and interactive experience of energy exchange and a crystal bubble rainfall. In partnership with @swarovski Creative Direction & Choreography @charlesguoguo Production & Music @44kwshanghai Styling @bananafoggy Model Casting Director @yuyuyu_zz Makeup @valentina1121li Hair @epochacademy Contemporary dancers @luluf_dancer @liuzhiningqi @beijinggrubb Dancers Hair @tongtongtong.zhou Dancers makeup @ekko_qin Catwalk director @chico1717_ Visual motion by Semicolon C Photo by @gleeco_shanghai

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Susan Fang was born in China, grew up in Canada and the United States, and has now established her eponymous brand in London. Inspired by her parents who grew up as farmers in China and interpreted recycling as a way to use every material to its fullest,   Fang is known for her invention of a new weaving technique called an “air weave”. This technique is used to make a fabric, seen on most of her designs, that is waste-free and malleable to fit all shapes and sizes. By using knowledge gained from traditional Chinese culture and her upbringing to invent the air weave, Fang’s unique perspective is able to transform the fashion industry to be more inclusive and sustainable. 

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SUSAN FANG SS20 Air•Rise Bubble Swarovski Rainfall hat ☔️ It is a great pelasure to be working with @swarovski this season, thank you so much @nadja.swarovski @annmarie_harris_collins @india_plumbly @yuting3108 for your amazing support! Sponsored by Swarovski, Susan integrates colourful crystals within her glass bubble accessories as well as further elevating these transparent elements within the woven fabrics. As a continuation of the beauty of nature, the new collection introduces a wider collection of bubble shoes and accessories with motifs of stars, butterflies, moon, and water. For SS20, the ‘Air · Rise’ show presentation aims to create a dreamy multi-dimensional space with light, colour and bubbles. The show will begin with SUSAN FANG AW19 Campaign video, shot in the pure and dreamy lands of Yushu, directed by Charles Guo. Followed by an artistic and contemporary dance performance presented by Immersive Performance Workshop. The show will leave the audience in a surreal and interactive experience of energy exchange and a crystal bubble rainfall. In partnership with @swarovski Creative Direction & Choreography @charlesguoguo Production & Music @44kwshanghai Styling @bananafoggy Model Casting Director @yuyuyu_zz Makeup @valentina1121li Hair @epochacademy Contemporary dancers @luluf_dancer @liuzhiningqi @beijinggrubb Dancers Hair @tongtongtong.zhou Dancers makeup @ekko_qin Catwalk director @chico1717_ Visual motion by Semicolon C Photo 1 by @gleeco_shanghai Photo 2 by Swarovski team Photo 3 by @dirkweiblen #swarovskiforprofessionals #crystalheadpiece #swarovskihat #bubblehat #crystalonthecatwalk #swarovskicreativecollaboration #shanghaifashionweek

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Shop Susan Fang here and follow her on Instagram







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