From the classic and sophisticated look of Vera Wang to the futuristic and avant-garde look of Guo Pei. The Asian fashion market is filled with various designers with a style all on their own terms. In honor of Asian Week we here at World Bride Magazine compiled a list of the top 10 Asian designers you should be looking out for.
1. Vera Wang-As one of the biggest names in bridal wear, Ms. Wang has made a huge impact in not only the wedding garment industry but due to her Chinese background in the Asian fashion market as well. Wang started her career in fashion working as the senior fashion editor for Vogue and later on as design director for Ralph Lauren. Her real claim to fame however came when she designed her own wedding dress and opened up a bridal boutique featuring couture and sophisticated bridal wear, worn by big name celebrities and socialites. From wedding dresses Ms. Wang was able to parlay that into her very own fashion line featuring everything from perfume to lingerie.
2.Monique Lhuillier– Born in Cebu, Philippines to a mixed Vietnamese father and a Filipino mother, Lhuillier first entered the world of fashion when she moved to Los Angeles to study at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. While in LA she met her soon to be husband Tom Bugbee and whilst looking for her wedding dress she was disappointed to see the deficiency of modern- fashion like options which led to her decision to start her own fashion line in 1996, showcasing minimalist but luxurious designs. Ever since Lhuillier’s line has flourished and expanded into producing tableware, handbags and home-furnishings.
3. Zang Toi– Born and raised in the small village of Kuala Krai located in Malaysia, Toi followed his passion for fashion design at the age of 20 when he moved to New York City and attended Parsons School of Design.
In 1989 he opened his own atelier (studio) featuring his collection of bright and bold sarongs, imperial style dresses and strong suits. His work was featured by Vogue Editor- in- Chief Anna Wintour in the March 1990 issue making him one of the first Asian designers acknowledged by the legendary editor. Toi’s work since then has been featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Newsweek as well as worn by celebrities such as Patti LaBelle, Ivana Trump and Fergie.
4.Yumi Katsura – Brought up in Tokyo, Japan, Katsura delved into design when she moved to Paris and studied the techniques of haute couture in Les Ecoles de la Chambre Syndicale de La Couture Parisienne. By 1964 Katsura opened her first bridal salon and also became the first designer to hold a bridal collection show in Japan. By 1988 she established her own bridal museum housing traditional bridal gowns from all around the world and currently she is charge of various organizations including “The Japan Bridal Association” and the “Federation of Asia & Pacific Bridal Associations”.
5.Alexander Wang– As a California native, Wang was raised by Taiwanese- American parents. At the age of 20 he moved to New York City where he studied for a year at Parsons School of Design and interned at Teen Vogue. By 2007 he had opened his full length woman’s collection and by 2011 he opened his first store in SoHo, New York. In 2012 Wang was appointed as the new creative director of designer line Balenciaga where he oversaw the women’s and men’s ready-to-wear accessories lines. Currently it was announced in 2014 that Wang will also be the next designer to create a collection for fashion retailer H&M.
6. Guo Pei– A huge name in the world of Chinese Fashion, Guo Pei has been designing Couture originals in Beijing for years, showcasing them in her atelier “Mei Gui Fang”. All her work is entirely sewn by hand and reveals a strong oriental influence mixed with futuristic and fantasy like elements. A good example of this would be the dress Rihanna wore to the Met Gala featuring a yellow fur-trimmed cape that took 2 years to design and 3 men to carry down the red carpet. She has also been in “China’s Top 10 Designers” as well as “China’s Top 5 Designers” consecutively as well as being awarded the “Award of Famous Chinese female who leads to New Lifestyle” by the China Women Organization
7. Tae Ashida- Daughter of well-known Japanese designer Jun Ashida, Tae is currently an independent designer working in her father’s company. She is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in the Apparel Design department and had assisted Christian Lacroix for Jean Patou S.A. for the 1985 spring-summer haute couture collection. As an independent designer her work has been annually featured at Tokyo Fashion week.
8.Andre Kim- A once prominent wedding gown designer from Seoul, South Korea. He is known as being the first male fashion designer in Korea as well as the first South Korean designer to hold a fashion show in Paris. He started designing since the 1960’s and had completed feats such as being the chief designer for the Miss Universe pageant in 1981 and designing the uniforms for the Korean athletes for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He has since now passed, but his legacy still lives on as his son Kim Jung-do has taken over the brand.
9.Max Tan– An up and coming designer from Singapore who’s Spring/ Summer 2015 line features androgynous and minimalistic elements partnered with clean, tailored silhouettes and over the top shaping. According to him his garments play around more with volume and deconstruction instead of detailing which makes him a stand-out and one to look out for in the future.
10.Selphie Bong- Known as the Indonesian Christian Dior, Bong is the youngest successful Indonesian designer. Her list of achievements include being the only Indonesian designer to be selected for the haute couture designer through the Eco Chic organization as well as being able to open her own custom-made studio and short lived boutique in Ubud, Bali. Her boutique has since closed down for being “too glamorous” for where it was located but she still owns a few stores privately in the area.
Whether it’s a well established brand like Lhuillier or Wang or a fresh faced designer like Tan and Ashida, we here at World Bride are excited to see the expansion Asian designers in the fashion world.