Sarah Nami Ahn is an LA based fashion designer and founder of her own womenswear brand called NAMI after her middle name, her Korean name. Ahn’s brand, NAMI, rapidly gained traction after just one season, her debut collection SS12 that was shown at NYFW, LAFW in September and October 2011, respectively. Ahn only launched her line June of 2011 and within a short year, her line is now sold online and in boutiques around the country. Her design aesthetics is highly influenced by her worldly travels as an Army Brat, her heritage, her unusual educational background, and finally by architecture.
On October 13th, NAMI presented its Spring/Summer 2013 collection in Los Angeles, and we were lucky enough to be at the show. Check out our collection review as well as our interview with the designer, Sarah Ahn, after the cut!
Clara C and David Choi kicked off their long awaited fall tour, presented by YesStyle, at the nearly full house Troubadour in West Hollywood on Sept. 29 during Carmageddon 2 weekend. Long lines of excited fans waited eagerly to enter the venue as Jacob Luttrell, along with backup singers and a full band complete with a cellist, opened the night. DANakaDAN gave away a YesStyle gift certificate and revved up the appreciative crowd of nearly 500 before introducing the headlining duo to thundering applause.
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On an unseasonably warm and gorgeous October 5th evening, many of New York City’s Asian American young professionals came out to support the annual Plate by Plate tasting benefit held at the historic New York Public Library. Plate by Plate NYC is the premier annual food and wine charity fundraising event thrown by the New York City chapter of the national volunteer organization, Project by Project.
In it’s 15th Year, this event still managed to surprise and delight the 500 guests that came out to support the benefit . Decked out in their cocktail best and ready to eat, drink and be charitable, these urban professionals tasted treats from 30 of the city’s finest restaurants and beverage purveyors.
The participating restaurants offered up innovative fare that included lobster katifi pumpkin bisque, smoked lamb ribs, foie gras a la shabu shabu, artisanal ice creams (honey vanilla, fresh mint or Nutella) served with homemade shortbreads, and so much more.
Second year participant, Chef Toshi Nukui of Pranna served a red chicken curry with vegetable samosa sticks because he felt it best represented Southeast Asian cuisine. Mark Lee, general manager of Spot Dessert Bar, returning for a third year, said they chose to serve kabocha brulee cake because they wanted to share some Asian flavors that were not common in desserts.
Chris Jaeckle, a Michelin star chef formerly with Ai Fiori, debuted his new restaurant, All’onda, at the event. Attendees got to sample his restaurant before it officially opens in November in Union Square.
The thoughtful menus of all the participating restaurants impressed the well-dressed crowds, as many lined up again and again for the creative delicacies. Sake and wine flowed freely as the hallways overflowed with these foodies, mingling and dining for a good cause.
A special chef’s tasting demo emceed by longtime supporter, MSNBC anchor Richard Lui was held in the main hall. Lui has hosted the Quickfire Challenge (a cooking competition) for the past two years. First up was Chef Justin Antiorio, this past season’s Hell’s Kitchen runner-up, who cooked up a charred octopus dish with white bean puree in under ten minutes. He took the dish out to the audience and even the finickiest eater was pleased. Celebrity taster, Tom Keene, Bloomberg Radio Host, declared it delicious.
Founding Plate by Plate Chef Kerry Heffernan of Top Chef Masters who has supported the benefit from the very beginning, put together a pasta dish featuring clams, bacon and kale, with the help of CNBC Reporter, Seema Mody and all under 8 minutes He stressed how easy it was to find the ingredients locally and that anyone could make this dish at home. It was another crowd pleaser.
In addition to the tastings, there was a silent auction featuring over 70 items donated by merchants, organizations and individuals. There were a great variety of items (posh vacation packages, stunning jewelry, tech gadgets, etc) with something for just about everyone’s liking. Some of the hot “priceless” treasures included an autographed Michael Jackson Thriller record, a Justin Bieber autographed poster, Asian American activist Corky Lee’s framed poster, and a signed Jeremy Lin Knicks jersey. Figures will not be out for a few weeks but are expected to bring in over $10,000, according to Project by Project’s NY Marketing Director Anne Lee.
Each year, Project by Project partners with a community-based organization and tailors a year-long campaign to help its fundraising, community outreach, and public awareness efforts. In commemoration of Project by Project’s 15th anniversary, net proceeds from this year’s benefit will go toward further developing and strengthening the organization’s overall infrastructure, so, that they can continue providing support for future partners and the community. Project by Project NY has partnered and helped 14 organizations to date. The organization and event is 100% volunteer based and 165 volunteers helped to make the evening a success.
The up and coming fashion designer Michelle Salins has recently debuted her collection for Fall/Winter 2012 in America. What stands out about the Indian-born designer from others is her modern and feminine mix of both Indian and American cultures. Beginning her career in 2009, Salins was formerly an interior designer before establishing her career as a fashion designer. We were fortunate enough to interview the designer who talks about her inspiration, her American release, and her tips for Fall.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of an addict…to shoes. Perhaps like many other women, my closet is filled with a myriad of different footwear – flats, sandals, sneakers, wedges and the list goes on and on. To be honest, it seems to be an addiction that won’t be ending any time soon.
Recently, the women of MIXXI – Nikki Tran, Ann Shimasaki and Evelyn Nguyen – have come up with a smart solution for this: shoe clips. Fashion-forward, fun and eclectic, MIXXI was even featured in this year’s Emmy gift bags. Check out our interview with the women of MIXXI as well as our own product review!
What if you were wrongfully accused for a crime you did not commit, and you have exhausted every possible means to clear your name, but to no avail? This is the story that filmmakers Marty Syjunco and Michael Collins tell in their award-winning documentary, Give Up Tomorrow, based on the story of Paco Larrañaga.
A riveting tale (no matter whose “side” you find yourself on), Give Up Tomorrow is a gloriously produced film, bringing the relatively unknown story of Paco and the Chiong sisters to light. Receiving praise from numerous film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Give Up Tomorrow is a must-see.
Get an insight into the makings behind the film in our interview with one of the film’s makers, Marty Syjuco.
In August, the 2012 London Olympic Games gave many Asians athletes an international platform to demonstrate their physical prowess. Last month, a different group of Asians were put on the spotlight. A new season of Fashion Week took over New York and I was there to soak it all in all while getting first-hand looks at the creativity of numerous Asian designers inside or outside the tents. Check out four Asian designers or brands that were at this season’s New York Fashion Week.
The South African-born designer debuted his Spring 2013 collection as one of the five designers featured at the Arise African Icons fashion collective, held in Lincoln Center. From sparkly pink shorts to the gold dresses, Gavin Rajah stayed true to his opulent designs as even his headgear were luxurious like the gold visors. [Image Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week]
With the crowd snaked around the corner at the Landmark Nuart on a Friday night, the anticipation was building for filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton and the line of people who consisted of many families with young Asian daughters that came to see the opening of the documentary, Somewhere Between. This film is a personal journey that follows the lives of four teen girls who were adopted from China and raised by Caucasian families in different parts of the U.S. Unlike many documentaries, the director took the POV directly from the girls, as no one could tell the story better than each of these remarkably strong and courageous gals.
“I am making this film for everyone. For the girls, so they can see their experiences in connection with each other, and for everyone who grapples with issues of race, culture, identity, and being ‘different’,” explains Knowlton.
Enter Jenna, Haley, Ann and Jenni – four girls who have unique yet different tales to tell about their adoption and fitting in with their family and society, their struggles with identity and their curiosity with the possible search for their biological families. You’ll see their strengths and weaknesses and how being adopted into a Caucasian family has affected their perspective on being American.
This film is currently screening across multiple cities in the U.S., from the east coast to the west coast. Check out their website for current dates and locations – www.somewherebetweenmovie.com. And take tissues, no, grab a box because there will be tears of joy and excitement.
When it comes to being a fashionista, we all know that maintaining style and fabulousness involves money. We all seek unique pieces, and most of the time we convince ourselves that it’s well worth the money. One would say, “$200 rainboots? Yeah, it’ll rain for sure. I need this.” With the economy the way it is these days, we are all rationalizing our budgets and pinching our pennies. What if there was an alternative to all of this? What if you could buy yourself a high quality, one-of-a-kind piece of clothing piece that’s affordable? You must think I’m bluffing! But look no further, I just found the site. An up and coming business called Sketch Street, this online store is where you can submit fashion sketches and have them come to real life! Based in London and recognized worldwide, Sketch Street is a new kind of style that us fashionista’s would love. With the wonderful opportunity of chatting with the founders of Sketch Street, check out this profile feature on the company and the owners, Widelia Liu and Anthony Chan!
After gaining millions of views and over 200, 000 subscribers on YouTube and fans in various countries including Australia, Canada, and the Philippines, Filipino-American acoustic singer Joseph Vincent is releasing his debut album Blue Skies on October 16th. JV has performed twice on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and was named Australia’s Star Central Magazine’s “YouTube Artist of the Year” in 2009. Fans may have already heard a few tracks featured on the album that include If You Stay and S.A.D (Single Awareness Day), but now can finally listen to JV’s first full-length debut album, all songs written by him. We recently caught up with the 22-year-old, who has been preparing for the album release as well as his 27-city US tour this Fall.