In previous years, Asian models and designers have been been taking large strides. For example, more than ever – we are beginning to see more Asian faces gracing the pages of the world’s top fashion magazines, walking the runways of renowned fashion designers (40% of the models walking were women of Asian descent during New York Fashion Week in February 2012), and featured in international ad campaigns for popular brands. Fashion designers of Asian descent have also been making a name for themselves, such as designer collaborations with national retail chains such as Target, H&M, and Macy’s. Follow our monthly series as we name the best of the best featuring Asians in Fashion.
Rise of South Asian Models: Vogue India‘s highlight on Alyssah Ali, Ashika Pratt, and Jessica Clarke
Photo credit: Asian Models Blog
When Karl Lagerfield made a stunning move to feature nine (yes, NINE) models of South Asian descent in Chanel’s Pre-Fall India-themed collection last year – it was nothing short of amazing. It’s well known that Lagerfield hasn’t featured a racially diverse group of models in his previous shows. Prior to the show, Lakshmi Menon was arguably the most popular model of South Asian descent (from India). But with this move, more South Asian models are fast becoming more popular in the fashion industry. Vogue India takes a strong note of this of course, featuring three fresh faces: Alyssa Ali (Indian-Trinidian-Candian, IMG), Ashika Pratt (Indian descent from New Zealand, Anima Creatives), and Jessica Clarke (Indian-Nigerian, Marilyn) – in this lovely spread (click on the image to see more pictures from the editorial!).
Uniqlo + Jun Takahashi = Uniqlo Undercover (UU)
When Uniqlo and designer Jil Sander parted ways after their three-year collaboration, the Japanese retailer followed up with a surprising announcement: their next designer collaboration would be with Jun Takahashi of Undercover. This was definitely one of the more unique pairings to date – as Takahashi’s designs have a avant garde likeness to them, while Uniqlo style is well, quite simple and far from innovative. However, as the Uniqlo Undercover hit stores on March 16th, the clothing line was met with much popularity, most especially a hit amongst the children’s’ wear.
We’ll Never Get Tired of Seeing Her Everywhere: New York Times Style Magazine features Liu Wen in their Spring 2012 Issue
Photo credit: Asian Models Blog
If you didn’t love her already – you’ll grow to love her a lot more in The Liu Wen Express, the NYTSM cover story/editorial on Wen’s homecoming back to her hometown, Yongzhou, China. Wen, who is known to the world as China’s first supermodel, has definitely made huge accomplishments over the past couple of years – and at the age of 24 – she’s definitely not at her prime quite yet. In the story, you’ll learn a bit more the young model: her childhood, humble beginnings, and what her life would have been like if she hasn’t been discovered as a model. What do I find most charming about this feature? Her radiant smile on the cover – what a natural beauty!
Tokyo Fashion Week 2012: “Ginza Runway”: Japanese denim and Yukio Edano
While we could talk about the trends coming out of the runway shows during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo (which ran from March 19-24), such as the futuristic twists on kimonos, one of the more interesting events was the first-ever “Ginza Runway”. Situated in Tokyo’s most luxurious shopping neighborhood, “Ginza Runway” was held on Ginza’s main street and had models walking down the outdoor runway in head-to-toe denim created by local designers and design students – as a means to promote Japan-made denim. Some of the world’s top brands use Japanese denim – but it’s a fact not known domestically in Japan, according to Nobayuki Ota, Matsuya merchandising officer. Also a wonderful highlight? Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano (who was also known as the government spokesperson for the March 2011 disaster) also made his way down the catwalk in a denim suit (above).