Fashion Clothing 23 Asian American Fashion Brands to Support Now and Always From Altuzarra to BonBonWhims. By Avery Matera Avery Matera Twitter Avery Matera is a New York-based writer who covers all things fashion, style, beauty, and interior design. In addition to writing, she is also a travel and portrait photographer. InStyle's editorial guidelines and Linne Halpern Linne Halpern Linne Halpern is a Denver-based freelance writer. She is a regular contributor to Architectural Digest and publishing work in other outlets including Domino, Coveteur, and Teen Vogue. As a Commerce Writer for InStyle, she shares her favorite fashion brands and must-have beauty products. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on January 24, 2023 @ 04:11PM Pin Share Tweet Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images America is known for being a melting pot, but as increased attacks on Asian Americans over the past few years have proven, there are still many in this country who refuse to embrace the multicultural society that we live in, and can be downright violent toward those who look different than them. It's scary and upsetting, and while there are multiple ways to show support — like checking in on your AAPI friends, and supporting organizations that are working to combat hate and discrimination — it's also critical to celebrate Asian American creatives, now and always. That also means showing support for brands we love and wear often, and highlighting the Asian American designers who have truly shaped what the sartorial lexicon looks like today. Ahead, you'll find a list of Asian American fashion designers who have done, will do, and continue to define the industry and our personal style. Plus, we consulted famed celebrity stylist and producer Jeanne Yang (her clients include Robert Downey Jr., Jason Mamoa, Jamie Dornan, Regé-Jean Page, and many more) to hear about her favorite designers and what makes their work so special. From long standing beacons in the American fashion industry to upstart independent brands, this is a list you’ll definitely want to bookmark. Asian American Women Have Always Existed at the Intersection of Misogyny and Racism in the U.S. Altuzarra Designers: Joseph Altuzarra Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$$ Online Retailers: altuzarra.com, net-a-porter.com, matchesfashion.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Born in Paris, Joseph Altuzarra is the product of a Chinese-American mother and a French-Basque father, so it's safe to say that his designs have been influenced by styles from all around the globe. His silhouettes are elegant yet youthful, with collections chock full of everything from silk shirt dresses to asymmetrical skirts, complete with classic cardigan sweaters and suede tote bags alike. Sandy Liang Designers: Sandy Liang Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear, Outerwear Price: $$$ Online Retailers: sandyliang.com, shopbop.com, farfetch.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Sandy Liang launched her namesake label in 2013 after graduating from Parsons School of Design. She hit Forbes' 30 Under 30 in 2018 and has been rising through the ranks ever since. Inspired by the grandmothers she sees in Chinatown, (where her father's restaurant is nestled), her line is full of oversized coats, chunky fleeces, and midi dresses in crisp cotton poplin. Jason Wu Designer: Jason Wu Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$$ Online Retailers: jasonwustudio.com, net-a-porter.com, bergdorfgoodman.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Worn by celebrities and models all around the world, one of Wu's most notable customers is, of course, former First Lady Michelle Obama. “Jason Wu’s designs are elegant, classy, and a must for the soigne set. His luxurious fabrics and elegant pieces are timeless treasures you can keep forever and know that you will be the best dressed for any occasion,” says celebrity stylist and producer Jeanne Yang. Prabal Gurung Designers: Prabal Gurung Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$ Online Retailers: prabalgurung.com, bergdorfgoodman.com, saksfifthavenue.com What makes the brand stand out? Gurung first launched his line in 2009 at New York Fashion Week. His colorful pieces range from tulle gowns to sheath dresses, pantsuits, and more. “Gurung creates playful and youthful designs with such a fun twist,” shares Yang. “I’m a huge fan of his line and am equally blown away with the use of his platform to inform others of the discrimination and violence against Asian Americans,” she says. The designer has also used his brand to advocate for women's rights and body positivity and has also established the Shikshya Foundation in Nepal, a non-profit program that benefits underprivileged children. 3.1 Phillip Lim Designers: Phillip Lim Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$ Online Retailers: 31philliplim.com, net-a-porter.com, shopbop.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Lim makes classics just a little bit unexpected with modern touches, like mixed-media knit tops, asymmetrical skirts, layered dresses, and more. With a contemporary price point, his apparel is both sweet as well as edgy, aiding in its longtime appeal to girls of every personal style. Yan Yan Knits Designers: Phyllis Chan and Suzzie Chung Location: New York and Hong Kong Best For: Knitwear Price: $$-$$$ Online Retailers: yanyanknits.com, nordstrom.com What makes the brand stand out? The best thing about fashion is the ability to express yourself, and if you're ever in search of whimsical, eclectic knits that bring joy at first sight, Yan Yan should be your go-to. Created by former Rag & Bone director of knitwear Phyllis Chan and Hong Kong designer Suzzie Chung, these pieces — which are in the closets of nearly every major influencer and fashion editor — were inspired by their lives in New York and Hong Kong, but also include plenty of nods to their heritage, too. Adeam Designers: Hanako Maeda Location: Tokyo and New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$-$$$$ Online Retailers: adeam.com, bergdorfgoodman.com, neimanmarcus.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? If you enjoy easy fashion but also appreciate eye-catching details, you'll definitely fall in love with Adeam — and you'll be in good company, too. Huge names like Oprah Winfrey, Anne Hathaway, and the Queen Rania of Jordan have all been spotted in these beyond-basic designs, which often include expertly-placed ruffles, ruching, and pleats. Plus, who could forget that fun collaboration with tennis pro, Naomi Osaka? BonBonWhims Designers: Clare Ngai Location: New York City Best For: Jewelry Price: $-$$ Online Retailers: bonbonwhims.com, revolve.com What makes the brand stand out? Bubble rings are taking over as one of the top jewelry trends, and BonBonWhims is partially responsible. The brand's sparkly, jewel-embellished, '00s-inspired, enamel designs are just too fun not to wear, which is probably why they've caught the eye of celebrities like Kylie Jenner. Notte Designers: Jessica Tse Location: New York City Best For: Jewelry Price: $-$$ Online Retailers: nottejewelry.com, shop-aro.com, julychild.co.uk What makes the brand stand out? Really, who knows jewelry better than a former accessories trend director? You'll definitely get that modern, playful, and fashion-forward feel looking at these beaded, pearl, and pendant designs, which were inspired by Tse's time in both New York and Florence, Italy. They're the cool earrings and necklaces you wish you had as a kid, but at the same time, boast an elevated, wear-anywhere twist. Derek Lam and 10 Crosby Designers: Derek Lam Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$ Online Retailers: dereklam.com, neimanmarcus.com, saksfifthavenue.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Lam was born into the fashion business, growing up in San Francisco to Asian-American parents who imported clothing from Asia. They, too, had followed in his grandparents' footsteps, who had run a garment factory in SF before that. Lam launched his own collection in 2003, winning a CFDA award in 2005. In 2020, he closed his luxury collection to focus more on his contemporary label 10 Crosby, which has seen new success over the past few years. His clothes are tailored and ethereal, always with a silhouette that comes across as classic with a twist. Mikoh Designers: Oleema and Kalani Miller Location: Southern California Best For: Swimwear Price: $$ Online Retailers: shop.mikoh.com, shopbop.com, revolve.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Born and raised in Southern California, sisters Oleema and Kalani Miller launched Mikoh in 2010, when they were just 19 and 20 years old, respectively. Though now common practice, they highlight that they were one of the first brands to offer their very wide range of bikinis in separates — because we all know that very few are the same size on top as they are on the bottom. These days, the brand has grown to see phenomenal success in the contemporary swim space with wholesale partnerships like Shopbop and Revolve. Peter Do Designers: Peter Do Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$$ Online Retailers: peterdo.net, netaporter.com, bergdorfgoodman.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Peter Do is part of fashion’s new guard, one of the industry’s rising stars who has captured the imaginations of top editors and stylish customers alike. Born in Biên Hòa, Vietnam, Do immigrated to the United States at age 14 and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, before holding senior-level design positions at Céline and Derek Lam, and eventually founding his own line. In 2014, Do was awarded the inaugural LVMH Graduate Prize and has seen his star continue to skyrocket. “Do has done with suits what I thought was impossible, he has been able to reinvent them,” says Yang. “His use of proportions and silhouette are just so innovative and chic. I want all of his coats and suits in my closet,” she adds. And with fans like Zendaya, Eva Chen, and Karlie Kloss and key placements at top luxury retailers, Do is definitely one to watch. Monse Designers: Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$$-$$$$ Online Retailers: monse.com, netaporter.com, saksfifthavenue.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Founded in 2015 by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia (Kim immigrated to New York City from Seoul, South Korea, to attend the Pratt Institute), Monse mixes menswear-inspired tailoring with unexpectedly eclectic silhouettes and deconstructed details for the modern woman. “The word ‘modern’ can be overused so much in fashion, but Monse really embodies the true spirit of the term,” says Yang. “The sexy and sporty pieces from Monse are the perfect staples for the up-and-coming crowd.” Kim and Garcia are also the Creative Director duo currently at the helm of Oscar de la Renta, where they’ve grown to fame for their high level of taste and obsession with quality craftsmanship. At Monse, their personal visions are on full display, unafraid to take risks and speak to a younger clientele informed by streetwear trends but from a luxury perspective. “Laura and Fernando make clothing that makes you want to go out, knowing that you’ll be the star at any event,” adds Yang. Their pieces elevate the cool girl aesthetic to true sophistication. Anna Sui Designers: Anna Sui Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear, Accessories Price: $$-$$$ Online Retailers: annasui.com, anthropologie.com, ssense.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Anna Sui moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design in the 1970s before launching her eponymous label in 1981. With the help of pals Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, she launched her first runway show with immediate success. Her style has long featured a bohemian spirit and a rock & roll sense of femininity, with printed maxi dresses, ruffled tops, and lace details that spoke to the cultural scene of NYC’s artistic underground. To this day, Sui remains one of the most successful and long-standing names in American fashion. R13 Designers: Chris Leba Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear, Shoes Price: $$$ Online Retailers: r13.com, shopbop.com, nordstrom.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? R13 was founded in 2009 by Chris Leba after the American designer worked closely under Ralph Lauren for over 20 years. Known for its premium non-stretch denim and luxurious basics in fashion-forward silhouettes with distressed details, the brand is informed by rebellious cultural and artistic movements within America’s spirited history. R13 epitomizes every downtown-minded creative’s dream wardrobe. Abacaxi Designers: Sheena Sood Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear Price: $$-$$$ Online Retailers: abacaxi-nyc.com, shopbop.com What makes the brand stand out? Abacaxi founder and designer Sheena Sood finds inspiration in her childhood trips to India to visit family. Since then, her adventuresome and worldly mindset has led her to a deep appreciation for Indigenous textiles from Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, Peru, and more. Her collections take vintage embroideries from India and merge them with hand-dyed silks and modern silhouettes, all produced in the brand’s Brooklyn studio. Dauphinette Designers: Olivia Cheng Location: New York City Best For: Womenswear, Jewelry, Accessories Price: $-$$$ Online Retailers: dauphinette.com, nordstrom.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Dauphinette founder and designer Olivia Cheng strives to bring optimism and whimsy to your wardrobe through bright colors, artisanal details, and funky accessories. Though the brand got its start in 2018 with outerwear made from recycled and vintage materials, Cheng has since expanded into numerous categories such as ready-to-wear, jewelry, handbags, and home accessories. Her resin-coated nature-inspired accessories are instantly recognizable in certain fashion-minded circles of the internet. Wwake Designers: Wing Yau Location: New York City Best For: Jewelry Price: $$$ Online Retailers: wwake.com, catbird.com, brokenenglish.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? With an extensive background in the fine art world (and a ceramics degree from the Rhode Island School of Design), Wing Yau fell into jewelry making and founded Wwake in 2012. Frequently accredited with heralding the trend of constellation-inspired, delicate opal jewels for millennial consumers, Wwake mixes organic gems with strong metals and directional designs. The brand has an in-house jewelry studio in Brooklyn where they utilize low-toxic production processes, responsibly mined stones, and recycled materials. SVNR Designers: Christina Tung Location: New York City Best For: Jewelry Price: $$ Online Retailers: svnrshop.com, garmentory.com What makes the brand stand out? Pronounced “souvenir,” this jewelry and accessories brand founded by Christina Tung in 2018 is meant to evoke the connections between travel, journeying, and human memory. Each piece is named after a unique time or place, a physical reminder capable of transporting you. Tung prioritizes sustainable manufacturing practices, only making small batch collections from found and recycled materials, honoring the tenets of conscious consumption, and ensuring each handcrafted design is one-of-a-kind. Boyy Designers: Wannasiri Kongman and Jesse Dorsey Location: Founded in New York City, now based in Bangkok, Thailand Best For: Handbags Price: $$$ Online Retailers: boyy.com, netaporter.com, saksfifthavenue.com What makes the brand stand out? Founded in 2006 in New York City by husband and wife duo Jesse Dorsey and Wannasiri Kongman, the brand seeks to create modern, structured, and masculine-inspired handbags with a minimalist edge. Boyy is known for its signature oversized buckle design that has taken the fashion world by storm and managed to penetrate the stacked category of luxury handbags. Since their start, the designers have moved their headquarters to Bangkok, Thailand, and expanded into Milan, Italy. Chan Luu Designers: Founded by Chan Luu, now helmed by Tessa Tran Location: Los Angeles Best For: Jewelry Price: $$ Online Retailers: chanluu.com, saksfifthavenue.com, shopbop.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? Vietnamese-born Chan Luu founded the jewelry and lifestyle brand in 1996, creating a signature style of artisan-made accessories inspired by the organic yet refined elements of California’s coastline and lifestyle. The brand grew to prominence with the popularity of its beaded bracelets, heralding the trend from the very beginning. In 2021, Luu’s niece Tessa Tran took on the brand’s CEO and Creative Director position, bringing a youthful eye and enduring spirit to their enduring aesthetic. Nana Jacqueline Designers: Nana Li and Jacqueline Zhang Location: Los Angeles Best For: Womenswear Price: $$-$$$ Online Retailers: nanajacqueline.com, revolve.com, etc. What makes the brand stand out? A rhinestone-inspired sensibility and boldly confident femininity inform Nana Jacqueline’s party-ready collections. Founded in 2013 by BFF duo Nana Li and Jacqueline Zhang, the brand is based in Los Angeles and finds its fanciful energy from the city’s streets. Known for their embellished mini dresses and bedazzled accessories, Li and Zhang have developed a line for modern women unafraid of feeling sexy. Comme Si Designers: Jenni Lee Location: New York City Best For: Socks Price: $$ Online Retailers: commesi.com What makes the brand stand out? Since its launch in 2019, Comme Si has quickly become every fashion stylist and editor’s favorite sock. Inspired by the daily ritual of getting dressed, founder Jenni Lee aims to elevate the small moments through simple luxuries. Considerate details, expertly refined shapes, and sustainable fabrics set the brand apart in a market entirely on its own. We’re particularly obsessed with their cashmere socks, but their Egyptian cotton and merino wool offerings are equally as sumptuous.