Tatler Hot List: Asia’s Biggest Fashion Stars
Kane Tan and Sven Tan, Singapore
Kane and Sven's label In Good Company has expanded rapidly since winning Designer of the Year at the Singapore Design Awards in 2016 and has since grown into menswear and childrenswear. Their next store is slated to open this month in Manila.
Anais Mak, Hong Kong
The founder of fashion label Jourden and semi-finalist in the 2015 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers was the first Hong Kong designer to show at Paris Fashion Week, debuting on the official schedule in March 2018. In 2019, the Studio Berçot alumna spearheaded the design of the Rosewood Hong Kong’s staff uniforms—and Ariana Grande wore a Jourden bomber jacket in her hit 7 Rings music video.
Victoria Tang, Hong Kong
The creative director of Shanghai Tang, the heritage label founded by her late father Sir David Tang, Victoria is also a published photographer and co-founder, with her husband, of branding agency Thirty30 Creative.
(Related: Shanghai Tang’s Creative Director Victoria Tang-Owen On Family Legacy And Her First Collection For The Brand)
Jason Mui and On-Ying Lai, Hong Kong
In 2015, Mui and Lai launched their label Yat Pit—a reimagined take on contemporary Chinese fashion, complete with deep cultural references and pop symbolism. The collection debuted at Shanghai Fashion Week and was stocked at Opening Ceremony.
Robert Wun, Hong Kong
The London College of Fashion graduate’s designs have been worn by Lady Gaga and Celine Dion on red carpets and by Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Wun was nominated for the 2016 International Woolmark Prize and commissioned by the Royal Ballet for the Wayne McGregor 10th anniversary show that same year. Look for an expanded handbag and jewellery range from Wun’s eponymous label later this year.
(Related: The New Asia: The Most Powerful, Influential and Stylish People to Know in 2020)
Hankook Kim, Korea
The founder and CEO of Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster recently collaborated with Huawei to launch smart glasses—complete with Bluetooth, dual microphones and noise-reducing speakers for hands-free communication and entertainment.
Kathleen Kye, Korea
The Central Saint Martins graduate and menswear designer was nominated for the 2014 LVMH Prize and 2017 International Woolmark Prize. Her work has been worn by celebrities including G-Dragon and Kourtney Kardashian. Last year, Kye collaborated with Onitsuka Tiger on a capsule collection to celebrate the shoe brand’s 70th anniversary.
Park Seung Gun, Korea
The designer of Pushbutton is a former K-Pop star whose gender-neutral designs are inspired by ’80s and ’90s Hollywood pop culture.
Irene Kim, Korea
Model and social media influencer Kim has more than 1.7 million Instagram followers. She is an Estée Lauder ambassador and has previously collaborated with brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Chanel. Last fall, she launched unicorn-inspired fashion label Ireneisgood.
Minju Kim, Korea
Industry insiders have been following the work of the Samsung Art & Design Institute graduate since she was shortlisted for the 2014 LVMH Prize. Fans outside Korea are in luck—Kim recently won the Netflix design competition and reality show Next In Fashion, so her collection is now stocked by Net-a-Porter.
Ader Error, Korea
Founded by an anonymous collective of creative talents hailing from various industries, this unisex streetwear label has earned cult status thanks to its futuristic spin on athleisure and brand collaborations with G-Shock and Maison Kitsune, as well as its ongoing footwear partnership with Puma.
Myoungsin Lee, Korea
The founder and designer behind Low Classic has been showing at Seoul Fashion Week since 2015. Picked up by retail giant Net-a-Porter in 2019 as part of its Korean Collective, Lee’s monastic designs—which have been worn by celebrities including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley—are finally available globally.
Yoon Ahn and Verbal, Japan
Hip-hop artist Verbal and designer Yoon Ahn, who leads jewellery design for Dior Men under Kim Jones, launched street jewellery label Ambush in 2008. This January, Farfetch-owned, Milanese conglomerate New Guards Group—owner of Off-White, Heron Preston and other hyped labels—acquired a majority stake in the brand.
Shinsuke Takizawa, Japan
The founder and creative director of Neighborhood began his career as a DJ and stylist, eventually becoming the director of Major Force, a hiphop record label, before starting his fashion brand in 1994. His punk-rock-inspired collections and motorcycle pieces became some of the most sought-after streetwear items in Japan. In November, Takizawa collaborated with TV series Breaking Bad series to create a capsule in honour of its spin-off film, El Camino.
Kunihiko Morinaga, Japan
The founder of tech-forward fashion brand Anrealage has been a staple on the Paris Fashion Week calendar since 2014, and was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize in 2019. Recently, Silvia Fendi invited Morinaga to collaborate on Fendi’s fall-winter 2020 menswear collection—a partnership that yielded transformative, shapeshifting garments that can be worn in different ways.
Rei Kawakubo, Japan
The founder of Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market is one of the all-time greats—a pioneering force since her Paris runway debut in 1981. Her latest must-have creations? The Comme des Garçons x Nike Air Max 95 sneakers.
(Related: 8 Best Bespoke Fashion Designers In Asia For Your Made-To-Order Gowns)
Satoshi Kondo, Japan
The new creative director of Issey Miyake debuted a spring-summer collection of vibrant parachute dresses in Paris last September to rave reviews.
Angus Chiang, Taiwan
The first Taiwanese designer in history to show at Paris Fashion Week Men’s and make the young designers shortlist for the LVMH Prize is known for his psychedelic knitwear that infuses elements of local street culture. Look for Chiang’s signature palette on Reebok’s Zig Kinetica sneakers this fall.
Jamie Wei Huang, Taiwan
Central Saint Martins graduate Huang is the first Taiwanese designer to show on the official London Fashion Week runway, where her cut-and-paste approach to modern dressing was lauded as one of the best of the spring season.
Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Philippines
Handmade artisan accessories label Aranaz celebrated is 20th anniversary in 2019. Founded by Aranas-Alunan along with her mother and sister, the handbag, earrings and home accents line is a favourite of royals—including Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.
Mark Bumgarner, Philippines
A former competitive racing driver turned eveningwear designer, Bumgarner is the first Filipino designer sold on Moda Operandi. Off the racecourse, Bumgarner’s creations grace the backs of the country’s best-dressed, including actress-socialite Heart Evangelista.
Lu Yan, China
One of China’s first supermodels, Lu is the founder of Comme Moi, which is among China’s most commercially successful apparel brands and beloved by celebrities such as Olivia Palermo. The eco-conscious designer served on the judging panel for The 2018 Woolmark Prize alongside industry luminaries Tim Blanks and Livia Firth.
Huishan Zhang, China
One of China’s brightest talents, Zhang, who shows at London Fashion Week, was handpicked by Delphine Arnault to work at Dior haute couture before starting his own label. His debut collection was immediately picked up by Browns; Zhang celebrates its 10th anniversary next year.
(Related: How Huishan Zhang Became One Of China's Best Fashion Designers)
Chen Xuzhi, China
Occupying prime shelf space at Dover Street Market, Lane Crawford and Beams Tokyo, Xuzhi’s collections feature innovative textures—plenty of fringe and tassels—and have earned him nominations for the LVMH and Woolmark prizes. In 2019, Chen launched menswear, his first standalone show in Shanghai and a savvy new partnership with China’s largest retailer, Tmall.
Uma Wang, China
Among the first wave of Chinese designers to bask in the international spotlight, Wang has had her collections shown at London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks to critical acclaim. She was the first Chinese designer to take part in the inaugural CFDA/China Exchange Programme.
Angel Chen, China
In 2019, Angel Chen, who’s known for sporty east-meets-west collections, became the first Chinese designer to work with H&M, on a 45-piece capsule collection.
(Related: The Most Exciting Fashion Collaborations To Look Out For In 2020)
Liu Min, China
Min, who soaked up experience at Viktor & Rolf and Ports, was invited to walk the red carpet at the 2014 Met Gala at the invitation of Lane Crawford, which stocks her brand, and was nominated for the LVMH Prize two years later.
Zhang Na, China
A descendant of the Manchurian royal family, Zhang is spearheading a movement to make Chinese fashion more sustainable. Through her labels Fake Natoo, a made-to-order service which turns 10 this year, and Reclothing Bank, which uses upcycled fabrics and employs women in need, Zhang continues to be an innovator in China’s ethical-luxury industry.
Caroline Hu, China
In 2019, Shenzhen-born Caroline Hu won the inaugural Business of Fashion China Prize and received a nomination for the LVMH Prize within a year of debuting her eponymous label—featuring pieces reminiscent of Monet paintings.
Wannasiri Kongman and Jesse Dorsey, Thailand
Boyy is the Bangkok-based label created by this stylish couple, who invented the giant buckle bags on the wrists of Thai fashion’s most influential players.
Jenn Low, Malaysia
Founder of accessories label Wanderlust + Co—which has been spotted on celebs including Jessica Alba and Gigi Hadid—Low recently collaborated with Australian blogger Tara Milk Tea on a new collection; she also opened a brick-and-mortar pop-up shop with the help of interior designer Adrien Kent.
Han Chong, Malaysia
The Malaysian-born designer and founder of Self-Portrait launched swimwear last year and is a permanent fixture on the New York Fashion Week calendar. He recently developed a five-year scholarship fund for Central Saint Martins through which MA Fashion students are mentored by him and the Self-Portrait team.
Dian Pelangi, Indonesia
Credited for stretching the boundaries of hijabi style, Dian was included in the arts category of last year’s Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list for her playful spin on Muslim fashion. The Instagram celebrity has staged fashion shows and presentations around the world, from the UK to Jordan.
Rinaldy A Yunardi, Indonesia
Yunardi wears the crown—literally—for creating some of the most exquisite tiaras and headpieces in Asia, which have been worn by celebrities including Kendall Jenner and Madonna. Last December saw Yunardi venture into uncharted waters, partnering with Aqua to design limited-edition bottles wrapped in crown-shaped Art Nouveau-influenced decorations.