Style

22 Influential Asians Rocking The Fashion Industry

Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in style!

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3. Alexander Wang, the refined designer with clean silhouettes.

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Born in San Francisco, Alexander Wang moved to New York to begin his fashion career. After dropping out of Parsons, he decided to start his own line with the support of his family. He also became the creative director of Balenciaga in 2012.

Fun Fact: During an interview with Diane Von Furstenberg for Interview Magazine, he revealed his favorite movie is Clueless.

4. Vera Wang, queen of the bridal market.

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Vera Wang is best known for her stunning wedding dresses. Her parents were wealthy immigrants from Shanghai and she attributes a lot of her success to them. More recently, this powerful woman expanded her business and started a lifestyle brand, selling everything from rings to home decor.

Fun Fact: She used to be a figure skater!

5. Phillip Lim, the contemporary genius.

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His signature style has been the constant element in his collections throughout the years; 3.1 Phillip Lim is one of the fastest growing designer companies in the last decade.

Fun Fact: He dressed Michelle Obama for an event to meet the first lady of China in 2014.

6. Derek Lam, the leader of luxe sportswear.

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Derek Lam studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and then launched his first collection in 2003 with his partner, Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann.

Fun Fact: He says the “Derek Lam girl” would listen to Yo-Yo Ma on her iPod.

7. Anna Sui, the quirky rebel.

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In a world of neutral simplicity, Anna Sui stands out with her colorful details and eccentric patterns. At age 4, she decided that being a fashion designer was for her and vowed to never wear the same outfit twice in one year.

Fun Fact: She partnered with Mattel to launch a limited edition Anna Sui Boho Barbie.

8. Jimmy Choo, the shoe designer hailing from Malaysia.

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In the shoe world, Jimmy Choo is the epitome of sophistication. His parents (who were shoemakers) started teaching him the the trade at the tender age of 11.

Fun Fact: Jimmy Choo left the company in 2001 but his niece Sandra Choi is the current creative director.

9. Kimora Lee Simmons, the super fab model turned desiger.

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She went to Paris to model for Chanel at the age of 14, and after her modeling career wound down she dove into the fashion industry by taking over the Baby Phat brand. In 2011, she became the president and creative director of JustFab.com. Now she has her own luxury clothing line with her own initials, KLS.

Fun Fact: Her children all have Asian-inspired names (Aoki, Ming, and Kenzo). “I like things all Asian-inspired because I like to celebrate that side of myself and not forget it,” she told The Frisky in a 2011 interview.

10. Vivienne Tam, the spirited designer with cultural influences.

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Growing up in China and Hong Kong, Vivienne Tam brings her unique experiences to her designs. When Vivienne Tam started her brand, many people didn’t believe she would succeed using her Chinese name.

Fun Fact: She is known to incorporate political and pop culture elements into her collections.

11. Michael Cinco, the mastermind behind the dresses of your dreams.

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The Filipino designer is known for his magical gowns with intricate details. He moved to Dubai in 1997 to work in the Middle East haute couture industry.

Fun Fact: You’ve seen some of his designs on America’s Next Top Model.

12. Jason Wu, the craftsman with a penchant for intricate details.

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He’s the man behind Michelle Obama’s inauguration dresses, along with countless other celebs including Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore. Ninety percent of his collection is produced in New York City’s Garment District.

Fun Fact: His father gifted him a 1930s German sewing machine that he keeps in his NYC studio conference room.

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14. Devon Aoki, the petite runway model.

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Devon is one of the shortest models to walk the runway. She has done shows for Chanel, Versace, and many more. You might also recognize her from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Sin City.

Fun Fact: DJ Steve Aoki is also her half brother. She is also the daughter of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki and Pamela Hilburger.

15. Liu Wen, the high-fashion angel.

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Liu was the first Chinese model to walk down the Victoria’s Secret runway. She is also the first Asian face to represent Estée Lauder! Her past work includes Balenciaga, Chanel, and Givenchy.

Fun Fact: Her career was jump-started when she won a modeling contest (that she only entered because she wanted to win a computer for school).

16. Godfrey Gao, the dreamy Taiwanese model and actor.

You might recognize this handsome face from the movie, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. He was also in the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2011 campaign.

Fun Fact: Godfrey Gao has an adorable white Pomeranian named Theodore.

17. Soo Joo Park, the blonde beauty.

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Soo Joo stands out in a sea of models with her striking blonde locks. Even though her runway career started late, she’s already done shows for Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, and Oscar de la Renta.

Fun Fact: She’s also L’Oreal’s first Asian-American global spokesmodel.

18. Bhumika Arora, the rising star.

Bhumika Arora grew up in a small town in the state of Haryana, India. She was teased for her height and masculine features when she was younger, but now she’s working for brands like Vera Wang and Fendi.

Fun Fact: Before her modeling career took off, she studied business at DAV College in Chandigarh.

19. Sung Jin Park, the inked art student with guts.

Sung Jin Park was originally an art student but a series of events led him to a photo shoot that launched his career. He flew to New York after modeling for only a year because he realized opportunities in Korea were too scarce. His risk paid off; he has Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and DKNY shows under his belt.

Fun Fact: He loves skateboarding and surfing.

20. Ji Hye Park, the charming, down-to-earth model.

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Ji Hye Park left her hometown to head for Seoul and walked into a modeling academy. After attending for several years, she began modeling professionally. She tells Inoubliable Model Army her street style is “easy-chic and mix-matched with modern and vintage.”

Fun Fact: One of her dream jobs as a kid was to be a professor.

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22. Eva Chen, the fashionable New Yorker.

Former editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, Eva Chen has made strides in the publishing industry. She was the youngest editor-in-chief ever at Conde Nast. She attributes her strong work ethic to her parents who immigrated to the U.S. in the ’70s.

Fun Fact: Search #EvaChenPose and you’ll find hundreds of images in her signature stance.

23. Michelle Lee, the publishing maven.

She was promoted to editor-in-chief of Nylon, Nylon Guys, and nylon.com in 2014. Her 15 years of experience in the publishing world includes working for publications such as Us Weekly and The Daily Front Row.

Fun Fact: She used to be an editorial intern at Glamour magazine.

24. Anna M. Park, the trailblazer who gave it all up.

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Anna was working as an attorney but realized how unfulfilled she felt. Her life changed when she got a phone call from magazine publisher James Ryu. She’s now the editor-in-chief of Audrey Magazine, a publication focusing on the experiences and perspectives of Asian-American women.

Fun Fact: After she quit her attorney job, she traveled to the Philippines, Vietnam and China.

25. Chriselle Lim, the stylist and blogger.

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Chriselle is the fashion and style director of Genlux Magazine. She started off as a stylist and started her own fashion blog, The Chriselle Factor, in 2011.

Fun Fact: She has an adorable baby girl named Chloe.

26. Joyce Chang, the digital pioneer.

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Joyce Chang was made editor-in-chief at Self in 2014 and, before that, she worked as an executive editor at Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. Since her time at Self, the digital and social elements of the publication have grown immensely. The magazine’s Instagram account has more than 200,000 followers and their Facebook page has over 1 million likes.

Fun Fact: She’s a self-proclaimed dance cardio addict.

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