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If you are unfamiliar and someone has asked you what you know about the influence of Asian culture on the fashion industry, check the label on the back of your shirt that says “Made in China / India / Thailand”. But the truth is that the influence of Asian heritage and designers in the fashion world goes beyond a label on the back of a T-shirt. Some of the most prolific designers in the business are of Asian descent. If you go back even further, some of the greatest technological advances, like the discovery of silk, came from Asia. However, it is not surprising that Asian as a descriptor does not represent the multitude of nationalities, races, cultures, and even styles. Of course, race descriptors aren't the only thing historically neglected – the fashion industry has long failed to represent or recognize most of the marginalized communities. Sure, we've seen progress, and there are talented people (like black stylists) leading the change. But it is more important than ever to continue to be allies, including for the Asian-American and Pacific islander communities. Fashion brands were quick to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis, but there are still no massive movements to tackle the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes. And while some brands donate revenue to AAPI organizations, that's not enough. We have to be actively anti-racist and the easiest way to do this as a fashion lover is to learn about this community and buy it. First of all, we introduce some of the designers from the USA and abroad who show the full spectrum not only of fashion design, but also of humanity. Keep scrolling to find out more about them. Nobody wears as much evening wear as Bibhu Mohapatra. The Indian-born designer specializes in the kind of exquisitely detailed and colorful evening dresses that will make your jaw drop. Therefore, he sits on the CDFA board and continues to be one of India's most popular designers. But he is not only admired abroad. even Michelle Obama carried his work. While his designs are only available online, his ability to showcase some of India's emerging talent is felt everywhere. Let's make it clear that nobody likes it like beloved Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. He is a master of tailoring, and in many ways, his avant-garde designs have expanded the way we dress with deconstructed androgynous pieces since the 1970s. What other designer has the ability to take a traditional piece and get it camping without having to wear it to the Met Gala? In truth, Yamamoto's work (albeit often in black) is the most provocative, as his tenure has constantly led us to wonder what makes a quality piece and what our clothes really say about us. Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima, Japan and in many ways was one of the original designers who paved the way for Asian designers to be at the center of the international fashion world. Miyake started his career at Givenchy and founded his own brand, Miyake Design Studio, in the 1980s. Through experimentation, he became known for his iconic, thinly folded pieces. While he's now retired (Satoshi Kondo is currently the brand's art director), his pleated pieces and legacy of being an outsider remain. It's hard to imagine what the industry would be like today if Kenzō Takada had listened to what the company said and decided not to design. Growing up in Tokyo, it was taboo for a man to work in the fashion industry. Takada wasn't even allowed to go to design school. However, that didn't stop him from moving to Paris and starting his own brand. From then on, cultural norms weren't the only thing that bothered Takada. He created ready-to-wear collections 45 years before they became widespread in the industry. He was also the first designer to splash his groundbreaking, exaggerated floral designs on the European-dominated couture space. As he passed away in October 2020, his legacy will be one of the first "outsiders" to bring Asian design to the fore. If there was such a thing as a fashion power duo, it would be Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. While not the traditional power couple, their friendship and work have changed the industry. In the 2000s, it was rare to find a brand dedicated to researching fashion and creating space for emerging artists through the opening ceremony. And as Leon and Lim's careers have moved on – they stepped down as creative directors for LVMH's Kenzo brand and shuddered their retail stores to focus only on their own label – the impact they have had on the fashion industry can be seen , cannot be denied. Nobody has perfected feminine yet bespoke pieces like Joseph Altuzarra. Raised in Paris, with experience with various well-known names – such as Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler – the work of the multicultural designer embodies the French aesthetic with a pinch of pragmatism of American girls. Basically, he's an Asian designer who creates the type of clothing that everyone with any background wants to wear and that in and of itself makes him so special. When we think of designers who not only use their cultural roots to inspire their work, but also use their work to uplift communities, we think of Prabal Gurung. While the Nepalese-American designer is based in New York, he continually uses his work to raise awareness of what is happening around the world. Prabal has not only created beautiful, consciously stimulating clothing, but has also set up a foundation to help educated children in Nepal and is committed to creating sustainable jobs and incomes. Basically, this designer changes the world for one item of clothing at a time. Unlike some other designers, Anna Sui is not afraid of doing things differently. In fact, her move into starting her own line was spurred by the layoffs and $ 300 savings. But with friends like Pat McGrath and Steven Meisel encouraging her and models like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell walking her catwalk, Sui was on the road to success. However, her success didn't come from stars like Madonna wearing her looks (that helped, however). In truth, Sui wasn't afraid to dip her toes in grunge or trends that people would consider "ugly". She created a niche for herself that allowed her to break through the noise to make the world more colorful. Anyone who dreams of having a wedding at some point in their life has likely heard of Vera Wang. What many don't know, however, is that unlike other designers, their first career wasn't in design. In fact, she wanted to be a figure skater. After failing to reach the Olympic team, she continued to work in Vogue. Shortly thereafter, she designed her own wedding dress, and the rest was history. While Vera's path to becoming a legendary designer was turbulent, her path has since been showered with awards and has developed beyond wedding dresses into an independent cultural icon. Look up the word in the dictionary and you should see a piece from Derek Lam's collection. But before the American-born designer became known for his work or before he founded his spin-off brand 10 Crosby Street and even before he won the CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award; Lam started his career with Michael Kors in the 1990s. It could be said that his growing up at a time of uncertainty in the fashion world has led him to create pieces that will stand the test of time. If you can remember the stunning white dress Michelle Obama wore on the night of the 2009 Opening Ball, it was none other than Jason Wu. Since that moment, Wu has become a force in its own right, including his work in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's First Ladies Collection. But don't be fooled. that's not all he's up to. He's worked with Target, Bergdorf Goodman, and even Eloquii. Basically, Wu is one for the history books. It should be noted that Phillip Lim didn't even think that being a designer was an option. In fact, he began his journey by studying economics. The call to design eventually led him to start 3.1 Phillip Lim in the fall of 2005, and while some designers are working under the direction of other houses, Lim jumped in and designed just for himself throughout his career, which is his job sincerely does his. After all, nobody can nail the balance of duality as well as Lim. Sandy Liang may be a newcomer to the game, but don't twist it. You need to keep an eye on this young designer. She started off with an internship with Jason Wu, Phillip Lim and the opening ceremony, but eventually made the leap and started her own brand. Since then, her grandma-chic aesthetic (inspired by her grandmother) has found a unique following. While her work pays tribute to her roots, she ultimately creates the kind of clothes every New York girl wears on the subway: a little practical, a little quirky, and totally chic. Some of the industry's greatest talent right now is from China, and Huishan Zhang is one of them. The London-based designer may be new to the industry but is known for his ability to blend Eastern and Western styles to create feminine, classic pieces inspired by history. While he could pay tribute to the past through silhouettes and themes, Huishan Zhang is definitely the future of fashion. Self-Portrait has become a popular brand for many in recent years, including Beyoncé and the Duchess of Sussex. The brand was launched in 2013 by Malaysian-born designer Han Chong and has seen a rapid rise to success. This is because his work fills a void in the industry. His designer pieces are achievable in both a tax and a physical sense. Who doesn't like a brand to wear to a royal wedding or your best friend's wedding? While Guo Pei was known among the Glimmerati of China, she wasn't a player on the international stage until Rihanna stunted her stunning yellow dress at the 2015 Met Gala. In all honesty, we're so grateful to Rihanna for that because Guo Pei is the couture designer of our dreams. Guo Pei's work is inspired by embroidery, fairy tales and painting traditions that go back thousands of years. It is always bigger than life and embodies what couture is. The question is, will she create a ready-to-wear collection in the future? And if not, how can we manage to wear one of their pieces to Trader Joe? Early in her career, Korean designer Laura Kim was someone everyone knew should keep an eye on. Not only did she win scholarships from the CDFA, but she was also asked by Oscar de la Renta himself to join the team after the internship. Her ten-year tenure as studio director enabled her to meet Dominican-born designer Fernando Garcia, who became a close friend and eventually a partner. Together they launched their first brand, Monse, and were brought back to the top of de la Renta after two years. While Kim co-designs for both brands and defines her partnership with Garcia what it means to be a power couple, it should be known that Laura Kim is a bad guy herself. This woman continuously shows her ability to move from brand to brand and that her talent cannot be limited. Chitose Abe has been in the design game for a minute, but she hasn't quite walked the same path as her popular Japanese predecessors. She first worked as a model maker at Comme des Garçons until she gave birth to her child. From then on, she only slowly expanded her Sacai brand. While most would assume this is a terrible strategy for keeping their brand under control by not opening stores immediately or showing up in Paris, it has paid off. Not only does Abe handle the growth of her business differently, but he also designs pieces that combine the discipline of structured Japanese pieces with the practicality of everyday life. If there's one designer on this list who's made a splash with her career, it's Anaïs Jourden Mak. While the designer is from Hong Kong, she has become a global sensation for good reason. Her work has been featured on Ariana Grande in the video "7 Rings" as well as on Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. Of course, it's not just celebrities who stand up for a brand that make them special. Jourden's work takes on femininity fresh, glossed over with a touch of pizza. It's their approach to design that makes them look for years. It would be a farce to define Rei Kawakubo only as a Japanese designer. While she grew up in Tokyo and rose to the international stage at about the same time as some of her colleagues, this woman detests such an unoriginal definition of her, and she has no control over her influence. Her work can be viewed on the same level as Coco Chanel – it forever changes the way women dress, and gives us permission to explore the boundaries of gender, body, and femininity through avant-garde, deconstructed pieces. No other designer has ever really done the extensive changes and exploration that Kawakubo has from season to season. After all, it doesn't get any more exploratory than Rihanna's Met Gala look. Kawakubo has become known for her ability not only to rebel against the norm, but also to make us question it. And isn't that the hallmark of a designer who really changed the fashion industry? One who can design pieces that are not only burned into the cultural zeitgeist, but are also deeply moving? There's no denying that they work, it's in every stitch. Next: 12 Contemporary Asian Fashion Designers You Should Get To Know Now This post was originally published earlier and has been updated since then.