Vivienne Tam kicked off her Fall/Winter 2013 show on Sunday, February 10 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a homage to President Barack Obama. Inspired by Pop Art and the punk movement, Tam sent down her first model on the runway in black wool pleated skirt and a black leather long-sleeved jacket with an image of Obama looking cool in shades – an outfit that perfectly combined Tam’s inspirations.
The punk movement was well-represented throughout the show – from the models’ sleek up-dos and bold dark lip color to the inclusion of plaid patterns on jackets and dresses that recall the British punk movement that brought the subculture to the forefront in the 70s. Tam made sure her heritage was also a highlight on the show as several pieces were emblazoned with Mao Zedong’s writings but of course, in graffiti prints – keeping up with the punk and pop art inspirations. Leave it to Tam to bring together Eastern and Western influences served in an edgy, cool collection.
While for us here at Audrey, every day is an Asian American/Pacific Islander heritage celebration, for the rest of the U.S., it’s May and that means it’s officially Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Congratulations on being us!
Just out: the White House announced that Chinese American Tina Tchen has been promoted to Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
The First Lady released this statement:
“I am thrilled to welcome Tina to my team. I have admired her work with the White House Council on Women and Girls and her leadership with the Office of Public Engagement. Tina’s tenure at the White House has focused on ensuring that communities across the country have a voice and a presence at the White House, and her office has worked closely with mine to develop many of our outreach efforts, so she was the natural choice for this role. We particularly share a commitment to nurturing young women and utilizing the White House as a platform for education and inclusion, and I look forward to continuing that work together.
“When selecting a replacement, I looked for someone who had the right experience to lead my team and am grateful to bring on Tina, whom I’ve known and respected for 20 years. Tina’s success leading the Office of Public Engagement, reaching out to people across the country and encouraging Americans from all walks of life to feel connected to this White House, makes her uniquely qualified to step up to this position. I look forward to working with her in the years ahead to develop effective strategies for the Let’s Move! campaign, to broaden our work on behalf of military families, to continue the arts and cultural events in the White House, and to advance our international agenda.”
Tchen began her work for the President and First Lady during the 2008 campaign. Prior to that, Tchen was a partner at the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she worked for 23 years in corporate litigation, representing public agencies including the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), the Illinois Department of Public Aid and the Chicago Housing Authority.
It’s been a big year for Asian Americans in politics. Here, some of the highlights and names you need to know.
If you didn’t know already, now you do — Pete Rouse is the first Asian American Chief of Staff in U.S. history. Rouse, who replaced Rahm Emanuel as the Chief of Staff in the Obama Administration in October, is of Japanese descent. Rouse is known as the 101st senator for his extensive knowledge about Congress. He had the role of chief of staff even when Obama was Senator. When Obama came into the White House, Rouse had the role of Senior Advisor. Rouse said in an interview that he “basically does the inside, organizational stuff and strategic stuff internally.”
Bobby Jindal was formally a member of the House of Representatives and is currently the 55th governor of Louisiana. On October 20, 2007, Jindal became the youngest current governor in the United States. Jindal is the first elected non-white governor of Louisiana, and the first Indian American governor in the country. In November 2010, Jindal published a book titled Leadership and Crisis that discusses leadership and how it influences events like in the occurrence of the Gulf Oil Spill.
If there is one woman not to underestimate, it’s Kamala Harris. Harris is the Attorney General of California, and not only is she the first African American and first Asian American attorney general in California, but also the first Indian American attorney general in the United States. Harris served as a Deputy District Attorney, then became a Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Finally in 2003, she was elected as the District Attorney of San Francisco and then again in 2007. It only made sense that from there she run for California Attorney General in 2010. The Los Angeles Daily Journal names Harris one of the top 100 lawyers in California.
Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public School System of Washington D.C. announced her resignation on October 13, 2010. She was the one who founded The New Teacher Project, which works with urban school districts to train new teachers to help narrow the achievement gap for high-need students. The New Teacher Project was founded in 1997 and is a non-profit organization. In the 10 years that it has been established, they have recruited more than 10,000 teachers and reached 20 states. Rhee had originally started out as a teacher in Baltimore, Md., as a recruit for Teach For America. As a teacher, Rhee was able to help her students, who were ranging in the 13th percentile, raise their scores into the 90th over the span of two years. Recently, while on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she announced her new movement called Students First where she hopes to have 1 million members raise $1 billion to catalyze education reform in the U.S.
Ever hear of the name Sukhee Kang? No? Well, he is the current mayor of Irvine, Calif. In 2004, he was elected to the Irvine City Council and then re-elected in 2006. In 2008, Kang became the first Korean American to serve as mayor of a U.S. city. Then in November 2010, he was re-elected as Mayor. Both he and his wife, Joanne, were born and raised in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. in 1977. Kang was recently recognized “for his community leadership and citizenship by the Carnegie Corporation of New York which salutes immigrants who have made significant contributions to the country.”
As you know, our President has significant Asian ties. Not only did he grow up in Indonesia and was raised as child by his Indonesian stepfather, but he grew up in Hawaii and has an Indonesian American half sister (who is married to a Chinese American). So we wanted to share a little note from President Barack Obama, sent by the Office of the Press Secretary of the White House, about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
For Immediate Release
April 30, 2010
ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH, 2010
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
For centuries, America’s story has been tied to the Pacific. Generations of brave men and women have crossed this vast ocean, seeking better lives and opportunities, and weaving their rich heritage into our cultural tapestry. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we celebrate the immeasurable contributions these diverse peoples have made to our Nation.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have shared common struggles throughout their histories in America — including efforts to overcome racial, social, and religious discrimination. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay, a milestone that reminds us of an unjust time in our history. For three decades, immigrants from across the Pacific arrived at Angel Island, where they were subject to harsh interrogations and exams, and confined in crowded, unsanitary barracks. Many who were not turned back by racially prejudiced immigration laws endured hardship, injustice, and deplorable conditions as miners, railroad builders, and farm workers.
Despite these obstacles, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have persevered and flourished, achieving success in every sector of American life. They stood shoulder to shoulder with their fellow citizens during the civil rights movement; they have served proudly in our Armed Forces; and they have prospered as leaders in business, academia, and public service.
This month, as we honor all Americans who trace their ancestry to Asia and the Pacific Islands, we must acknowledge the challenges they still face. Today, many Asian American and Pacific Islander families experience unemployment and poverty, as well as significant education and health disparities. They are at high risk for diabetes and hepatitis, and the number of diagnoses for HIV/AIDS has increased in recent years.
We must recognize and properly address these critical concerns so all Americans can reach their full potential. That is why my Administration reestablished both the White House Initiative and the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). These partnerships include leaders from across our Government and the AAPI community, dedicated to improving the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a vast and diverse community, some native to the United States, hailing from Hawaii and our Pacific Island territories. Others trace their heritage to dozens of countries. All are treasured citizens who enrich our Nation in countless ways, and help fulfill the promise of the American dream which has drawn so many to our shores.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2010, as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to learn more about the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.