Asia, once known as a hub of spice and textile, seems to have found its way back to its old ways. In the last decade many Asian brands have received their due on the international stage. Designers from the continent are now counted amongst the most prolific and path-breaking artists of modern times.
While Italian giants and English brands do continue to remain at the top, their place is now challenged and openly threatened by some up and coming designers from Asia. In the present article, we will be going over a few of them and talking about what sets them apart from the rest.
- Anais Jourdan Mak
Being a student of fashion in the city of Paris, she has had a substantial background in the craft. Mak burst on to the world stage in a big way when she launched her fashion label, Jourdan, in 2014. Immediately she captured the attention of critics and magazine editors alike. Everyone wanted a piece of her and then in 2015 she REALLY made it when the multi-store brand Colette took up her designs.
Her muse is femineity and she likes to experiment around with the very idea and conceptions about it. Her designs play on volumes and patterns to express different aspects of a woman’s emotions. She has managed to explore some uncommon and unconventional ideas, like romanticism and lustful desire, through her designs.
- Rei Kawakubo
You know that a designer is on the cusp of greatness when fairly early in her career she draws comparisons to the likes of Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Kawakubo is hailed as an iconic and daring designer who is not afraid to pursue her artistic vision, be it in her commercial projects or her more personal creative undertakings. Her unique expression of design elevates her from her peers and competitors.
Kawakubo has already established her presence across the world with the help of her stores in Asia (Tokyo, Singapore, and Beijing), Europe (London), and North America (New York and Los Angeles). Her brand, Dover Street Market was founded back in 2004 and has been a prominent presence in the world of fashion.
- Uma Wang
The true mark of any great fashion designer lies in their ability to distinguish themselves by the medium of their work, to establish a truly unique style of work that can be identified as only theirs. And such is the work of Uma Wang! Focusing exquisitely on the detailing, texturing, and patterns of her design, Uma has been able to work wonders with draping. Almost her entire collection, her complete work can be regarded and recognized as one extensive series with constant innovation.
Her first show debut was at the prestigious Paris Fashion Week, and she has gone on to showcase her talents at Milan, Shanghai, and London Fashion Week. Wang continues to raise the bar not only for fashion designers of Asia but also for people all around the world.
- Yohji Yamamoto
Yamamoto is perhaps the greatest name to feature on this list, and this statement comes not just in respect and recognition of his work but in awe of the quality to which he has managed to transcend. His work level is something that other designers aspire to. He works on his designs keeping in mind not only the aesthetics but also the synergy between the material and the people who will adorn it.
The root color in all his designs is black, while designing he lets his imagination flow as freely as possible allowing the patterns to work their way around the color. His unorthodox way of working and his free-flowing concept of fashion have earned him the nickname as the ‘vagabond of the fashion world’.
- Huishan Zhang
All his work, his inspiration, and his end goal can be summed up in a statement that he once made, “Someone needs to tie China’s reputation to luxury again.” Zhang’s entire line-up has been an ode to the opulence and richness of China, he is the most prolific and well-known designer out of the country. From the start of his career in fashion, Zhang has been setting benchmarks for his fellow artists to follow. In 2013, the Victoria and Albert Museum chose his Dragon Dress to be part of their permanent collection.
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