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List of Asian American Designers

Updated on February 11, 2014

As we may or may not know, Asian American fashion designers have recently started to make a name for themselves. Amongst the decades old revered European names of Chanel, Dior and Dolce and Gabbana, Asian American designers have emerged as contemporary, modern and let's just say it: Talented!

The old-fashioned notion that Asian parents discourage the arts and push for the sciences and law is being put to the test. After all, who doesn't know who Vera Wang is nowadays? And what about that momentous moment when Michelle Obama wore an inauguration dress that was designed by an Asian American designer? Was that not the day that changed the fashion landscape of the globe?

At last year's New York Fashion week, twenty five Asian American fashion designers held shows, almost double the number from 5 years before that. The only explanation that I see, is that Asian Americans have experienced a cultural shift within the Asian-American communities that has liberated them from traditional career expectations.

At the 2010 American Fashion Awards Ceremony at Lincoln Center (Fashion equivalent of the Academy Awards), the three designers who won the "best new designer of the year" awards were all Asian-American. (Richard Chai, Jason Wu and Alexander Wang) Source: NYT

Asian-American designers are climbing the fashion ladder, and have no plans of stopping any time soon. How will this change the landscape of the fashion world?

This is just one person's opinion of the LIST of the BEST Asian-American Fashion Designers!


10. Peter Som

Ethnicity: Chinese

Education: Parsons School of Design

Most Famous Client: Natalie Portman

Why I love Peter Som: Peter is amazing with fabrics; when looking at his designs, I always feels transported into a romantic fairy world. I like how he uses refined sexiness to appeal to women in their twenties. (Moi)


9. Rafe

Ethnicity: Filipino

Education: Fashion Institute of Technology

Why I love Rafe: Although Rafe started off on a very high-brow note, (he debuted his handbags at the legendary Bergdorf Goodman), he has made gorgeous totes and clutches affordable for everyone. He was the very FIRST fashion designer asked by Target to create a capsule collection.


8. Monique Lhuillier

Ethnicity: Filipino & French

Education: FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising)

Most Famous Client: Sarah Jessica Parker & Britney Spears

Why I love Monique: Her details are amazing. If you're a recently engaged woman, you must know the name Monique Lhuillier.


7. Thakoon Panichgul

Ethnicity: Thai

Education: Boston University, Parsons School of Design

Most Famous Client: Michelle Obama

Why I love Thakoon: His women's wear is whimsical and frilly. His pieces are powerful with little details here and there that give a little nod to his Asian heritage.


6. Prabal Gurung

Ethnicity: Born in Singapore, Raised in Nepal

Education: New Delhiā€™s National Institute of Fashion Technology, Parsons School of Design

Most Famous Client: Oprah Winfrey

Why I love Prabal Gurung: He has worked for Donna Karen, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Blass; He has amazing prints and lines. I love how outspoken he is about his culture and heritage and how it reflects in his work.


5. Phillip Lim

Ethnicity: Born in Thailand, but Chinese

Education: California State University at Long Beach

Most Famous Client: Kate Hudson

Why I love Phillip Lim: His tailoring and design ideas are brilliant. There's a reason all the it-girls are wearing 3.1 Phillip Lim. He knows what looks amazing on young girls. He likes fresh fashions with a twist!


4. Derek Lam

Ethnicity: Chinese

Education: Parsons School of Design

Most Famous Client: Rhianna

Why I love Derek Lam: Derek has an amazing eye for effortless style and his specialty is resort-wear, (which I LOVE!) His designs are so girly and vintage-y. I'm dying for a Derek Lam Sundress!


3. Jason Wu

Ethnicity: Taiwanese

Education: Parsons New School of Design (He's only 28!)

Most Famous Client: Michelle Obama & Leighton Meester

Why I love Jason Wu: His designs have crisp lines and uses classic shapes. I adore all the chiffon he uses and his candy-colored dresses. I love his lady-like looks, and so does the first lady!


2. Anna Sui

Ethnicity: Detroit-born Chinese

Education: Parsons New School of Design

Most Famous Client: Marilyn Manson & Nicole Kidman

Why I love Anna Sui: Her designs are uber-cute and unique. Who doesn't love dolly girl? It's difficult to describe her style in just a few words but, her pieces are anything from warhol-esque, London bridge, harajuku, 80's to Boudoir! I love her eccentric style pieces and accessories. Her make-up and fragrances are amazing as well! Anna Sui is one of my favorite Asian American style icons.


1. Vera Wang

Ethnicity: NYC-born Chinese

Education: University of Paris, Sarah Lawrence

Most Famous Client: Who isn't a famous client? Oprah, Kiera Knightly, Michelle Williams, Sienna Miller and the rest of the NYC & Hollywood elite.

Why I love Vera: Vera is amazing (despite the fact that she didn't get into Harvard), and her career tells it all. She loves the long silhouette, which makes sense now that she is almost an exclusive wedding gown designer. Yes, she designs other things but Weddings are her *thing*. It's amazing that just 50 years ago, there were no Asian-American designers, and today, Vera Wang is the most famous Wedding dress designer in the world.

Honorable Mentions

* Kimora Lee Simmons

* Doo-ri Chung

* Alexander Wang

* Vivienne Tam


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