“When we say ‘Asian American’ we are talking about so much more than can be fit in a single stereotype.”― Ijeoma Oluo.
We have such an amazing and diverse community of women designers and we wanted to highlight a group of women who share AAPI heritage but are unique in their own ways.
South Korean-born Yeon Park launched her namesake brand with the ethos of "quiet luxury". Her pieces are beautifully crafted with luxurious fabrics, many of which were exclusively developed for the brand. With a sophistication and femininity that is hard to find nowadays, Yeon's pieces are must-haves for women who appreciate craftsmanship and quality.
Minika Ko has had a heck of a career. Trained as a classical pianist, she became a corporate power woman before switching over to the creative world of fashion design. Her brand, Kovasky, is beloved by professional women who love bold, edgy, always feminine designs crafted with ultra high-tech materials that are wrinkle and water resistant.
Divya Daswani, one of the two co-founders of Seventy One Swim, is a woman of the world. Of Indian heritage, she lived on three different continents by the time she was a teenager. With a career in swimwear, she launched Seventy One Swim with friend and co-founder, Lindsay Delin, where they pioneered a new kind of stitch to create beautifully embroidered one-of-a-kind swimsuits.
LEYT (pronounced "light") is a values-based brand for consumers with a conscience. LEYT was founded by Cathy Lee, a fashion industry veteran who was fed up with unethical production that exploited low-wage workers in overseas factories and generated insane amounts of waste and toxic byproduct. She wanted to show that a better way wasn't just necessary but was something that was women craved.
Amanda Schechter (formerly Yan) is shaking up the world of maternity wear with her "transitional" garments that can be worn pre-, during, and post-pregnancy. Every pregnant woman knows the struggle: cheap, disposable maternity wear that don't look great (plus are terrible for the environment) or high priced, chic pieces that only get 3-4 months of use. Amanda came up with the amazing idea of creating garments that look great on changing bodies and are worth investing in.
Silja Kim is obsessed with technology. Specifically, technology related to improving eyewear. As a kid with terrible eyesight, she wore enormous frames that constantly gave her headaches. As a result, she founded a line of premium eyewear that uses incredibly lightweight materials for a feather-light and flexible frames. Plus, she recently launched a line of blue-light blockers so that you can sleep better at night after a full day of starting at a screen.
Catherine's collection of beautifully printed, breezy silk pieces are fast becoming a fan favorite. Her background in fine arts and prior career working in an art gallery have given her an incredible eye for color and unusual prints. With a very "California-cool" vibe, her pieces are loved by women who crave feminine sophistication.
Sam Dong has created the unicorn of heels - beautifully stylish, well-crafted pieces that are comfortable. After suffering a toe injury and wearing fugly orthotics, she realized that there was a huge gap in the market that wasn't being met. She teamed up with a podiatrist to make doctor-approved heels that professional women clamor for.
Eugena Delman launched Ava James NYC when she realized how skewed the fashion industry was when it came to plus-size clothing. Unimpressed with existing offerings that featured garish prints and baggy silhouettes, she created a limited collection of tailored pieces that show hints of skin while always keeping it classy.