May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and as such, it is an especially important opportunity to support brands that are crafted, designed, and founded by people of AAPI descent. Here we’ve rounded up of some of the most stylish and fabulous AAPI beauty, fashion, jewelry, and accessory brands to shop and support now and forever.
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A native of Bayside, Queens, Sandy Liang’s collections touch on her Chinese heritage while also fusing playful tomboyish separates.
Beloved by the red carpet set, this Nepalese fashion designer is known for his innovative designs which are produced primarily local to NYC.
The Taiwanese-born designs are known for their sophistication and intricate crafting.
The ultra-wearable and fashion forward designs from Adeam are the work of Tokyo-born designer Hanako.
Former winner of the 2014 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, Altuzarra’s collections are best known for their fresh feminine spin on classic tailoring.
The ’90s babydoll dress was practically invented by the perennially relevant Anna Sui.
Ultra-wearable knits and suiting are the name of the Nells Nelson game, for those who lean toward comfortable separates and sets.
Youthful and fresh, Peter Do made a name for himself working for the likes of both Derek Lam and Phoebe Philo.
Design trio Huy Luong, Dylan Cao, and Jin Kay sought to re-envision their Asian heritage through western dressing sculptures, modifying cuts from the 80s that their mothers used to wear.
Opening Ceremony emerged on the scene in 2002, with their own fresh contemporary designs and also retail for other designers.
Born into a family that specialized in design, Lam launched his own brand known for sophisticated feminine silhouettes fused with a relaxed sensibility.
Thai-American designed Thakoon specializes in modern capsule wardrobe staples with a touch of elevated luxury.
NYC-based designer Jennifer Lyu’s collection of accessories are grounded in sustainability by using only excess materials.
Originally a menswear collection, Deveaux’s streetwear (designed by Matthew Breen and Andrea Tsao) seeks to recontextualize classic items through fit, fabrication, and silhouette.
If there is anything Tokyo-born designer Issey Miyaki is known for, it’s her technologically forward designs and signature pleating.
Vegan and plant-based formulations are how Superegg made their name—they’re even made to match an egg’s nutritional value. Egg has played a role in many Asian beauty practices throughout history, which founder Erica Choi sought to reflect.
JinSoon Choi’s eponymous nail collection (and salons in NYC) take high-tech polish fused with fashion-forward colors, to render her one of the most successful nail artists in the game.
Mohapatra grew up on the east Indian coast, and his designs reflect those sumptuous and colorful textures—particularly in evening wear and cocktail dresses.
Founded by a women-led team in NYC, the jade, agate, quartzite, and unique jewels made by Seree are ethically sourced across Asia and given a modern twist.
Indian American fashion designer Naeem Khan is known for his intricate evening wear and gowns.
Crochet clothes and accessories worn by the likes of Ella Emhoff is made by FIT student Delsy Gouw.
Snow Xue Gao
Parsons graduate Snow Xue Gao focuses on East-meets-West and mixed media with her up-and-coming collection.
Paper Project’s speciality is clothing that is both comfortable and functional—and made from Japanese paper yarn, a practice that has been used in Japan for centuries.
Air Pop’s masks were designed to protect from not only airborne pathogens but also anthropogenic and ecological airborn threats too.
Chunks’ quirky and colorful accessories are responsibly made through a partnership with a Chinese manufacturer started by Seattle-based brand founder Tiffany Ju.
Pattaraphan’s brand mission is to work with Thai artisans and ethically sourced materials to create unpretentious jewelry that is reflective of Thai craftmanship.
LA-based contemporary collection, founded by two Chinese women, Nana and Jacqueline, aims to create a dual sense of lightness and bold sexiness with women’s clothing.
Leena Van Merkey founded V Coterie as a means of creating thoughtfully designed jewels that are made to be easily worn by healthcare professionals—artfully made jewels for those who care.
Founded by Clare Ngai, Bonbon Whims helps underserved communities that are supported by organizations such as GirlTrek, Send Chinatown Love, and Stop AAPI Hate, with whimsical and and nostalgic jewels.
The Wobbles crochet kits for beginners give users everything they need to make handmade gifts for loved ones.
Hand illustrated accessories and loungewear are founder Christina’s playful manifesto, at a friendly price point.
JW Pei specializes in ethical and sustainable vegan accessories with a modern and minimal aesthetic.
Founder Jessica Tse designs jewelry that is a quirky blend of New York taste and dolce vita wanderlust.
Made out of regenerated materials, Ookioh’s swimwear is inspired by the pleasure-seeking lifestyle of Edo-era Japan.
Rastah was founded to support underserved artisans, designers, and technical workers in the subcontinent.
Ethics meets aesthetics with Christina Tung’s SVNR, whose brand focuses on re-used, upcycled, and natural materials.
Abacaxi specializes in mindfully-made and boldly colored clothing that is inspired by travel, designed by South Asian American Sheena Sood.
Founded by Lin Chen, Pink Moon is a sustainable beauty and wellcare brand that specializes in providing products for women at all phases of life.
ROAM has carved out a space in the footwear with their cool and sporty designs that are casual and elevated.
A truly global transplant, with parents from Beijing and Sichuan and having grown up between the US and Rome, Kim Shui’s design is a reflection of the ability to assimilate diverse techniques into a clothing collage.
Genderless silhouettes and high quality fabrics combined with classic shapes for clothes that are both tactile and visually fun are the Private Policy signature.
Designer Kasuni Rathnasuriya embraces the heritage and style of old Ceylon to incorporate artisanal handmade lace to contemporary design with two main collections each year.
Designed in NYC and crafted in Italy, Senreve is known for accessories made for a modern and professional woman.
Wishbone’s relaxed contemporary line was created to help aid the drug epidemic by supporting drug prevention non-profits and organizations.
Based in NYC, Sundae School is a brand of boutique smokewear.
3.1 Phillip Lim
Street elegance is the name of the game for Philip Lim’s eponymous line, which first hit the scene in 2005.
Prim Botanicals (founded by a Filipino-born New York native) makes delicious smelling skincare that is just as yummy as it is good for your complexion. And they’re members of 1% for the Planet, too.
New York based designer Vera Wang is a fashion institution, known for exquisite red carpet gowns and bridal dresses.
NY-based Social-Work was founded around creating functional and androgynous designs, subverting classical styles, and workwear basics.
Chop Suey Club
Chop Suey is a downtown New York boutique which focuses on contemporary Chinese designs, arts, and culture, with the aim of making Chinese culture available to more audiences.
Grace Lee designs everyday fine jewelry with ethical and conflict free diamonds made to be stacked and layered.
Naja Dani is known for her jewels’ spectacular and sculptural movement in design.
A storied heritage of jewelry design is reflected in the spectacular gemstones in this designer’s repertoire.
Kamal’s keepsake pieces are minimal and simply adorned—and meant to pass on.
Consciously crafted meaningful jewelry that is as reflective of the craftsman as it is the wearer.
Mizuki’s delicate pearl designs stand in a fresh and modern class of their own.
Anita Ko’s design ethos is feminine sophistication with a fresh twist—and an aim to be worn from day to day.
Nam Cho favors bright and fresh jewels and gemstones, for a presentation and design signature that is unlike anything on the market.
Kavant & Sharart
Designed and founded by a couple, Kavant & Sharart makes baubles that are made to not only reflect exquisite craftsmanship, but also the personality of the wearer, meant to be passed down through generations.
Katherine Kim is known for her simple design, clean designs, and unexpected silhouettes.
Mejuri fine jewelry is famously without a markup, and made with selective materials that everyone can feel good about.
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