To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re shining a spotlight on AAPI-owned brands and their founders. Below is a selection of vanity lounge favorite AAPI creators of publishers, Alice Kim—which designs body-positive tops for women with DD cups and up—for Jennie Yoon from Kinn Studio, which makes heritage-inspired jewelry. Whether you’re looking for a great gift, want to pick up some cool summer essentials, or are looking to scout out an up-and-coming designer, our selection of AAPI-owned brands has you covered.
Before launching PerfectDD (pronounced “perfected”), founder Alice Kim spent nearly two decades in the fashion industry, running brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Prada and Victoria’s Secret. Her experience led her to design a line of durable tops for women who wear a DD cup and up, creating everything from crisp button-down shirts to fashionable square-neck bodysuits that fit and flatter without sacrificing style. The body positive brand also matters Jenna Fisher and Lindsay Award as supporters.
Kinn Studio specializes in carefully crafted jewelry designed to last a lifetime. Jennie Yoon founded the brand to replace old jewelry her parents had lost when their home was burglarized. In honor of these priceless heirlooms, she offers classic pieces that stand the test of time. Subtle pieces like the delicate VI line ringcomprised of a 1.5mm thick gold band with six stunning white diamonds, a vintage-inspired statement Solis Ribbed Ring IIthere’s something for every style.
Sene Studio specializes in sizeless apparel, offering custom jeans, joggers, blazers and more for men and women. The brand first hit the headlines for its capsule collection with the Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell, who collaborated with Sene last fall to bring their ’90s-inspired designs to the masses. Using their SmartFit quiz, all pieces are handcrafted to fit your body measurements and type. single body. They focus on getting it right, so if the fit doesn’t work out at first, they’ll redo your order, free of charge.
Noura Sakkijha started Mejuri to modernize the jewelry industry, allowing women to afford fine jewelry and wear it how and when they want. From everyday hugs to cobblestone climbers, statement rings, stackable pendants and wedding bands. Mejuri has a piece for every style and every occasion.
Sandy Liang began her eponymous line after graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2014. Since then, her cool, feminine, “gorpcore” pieces have become a staple for celebrities like Lena Dunham and Brie Larson. From dusty pink fleece jackets to puff-sleeve babydoll dresses and a floral-embroidered sweatshirt (made in partnership with Vans), it’s easy to spot a Sandy Liang piece from afar. She even makes a Polar jacket for puppies, so we’re in.
Socks shouldn’t be an afterthought – and they won’t be with by Jenni Lee Styles Comme Si. Whether you’re wearing boxy cropped pants or a mini skirt, its super soft and carefully designed socks allow you to dress intentionally from head to toe. And if you love socks, you can now shop 100% Italian cotton poplin boxers, sweatpants and an oversized button-down shirt to dress effortlessly on and off the job.
Commission was founded by Huy Luong, Dylan Cao, and Jin Kay in 2018. These three designers are first-generation immigrants dedicated to creating clothes that blend their East Asian heritage with Western dress codes. Think a figure-hugging knit cardigan with pom pom detailing, asymmetric flare jeans and a wild nylon tee with bright orange and fuchsia flowers.
3.1 Philip Lim
Philip Lim is the co-founder and creative director of his eponymous brand which has expanded into womenswear, menswear and accessories since its inception 17 years ago. Besides being a famous designer, Lim has also established himself as a philanthropist, co-founding a GoFundMe that has raised over seven million dollars for #StopAsianHate. He was also selected to be a global ambassador for the United Nations Fight Racism 2022 campaign. More recently, he launched a partnership with Panda Express: 100% of the proceeds from its tops, sweatshirts and hats will benefit six organizations focused on food insecurity.
Pierre Do emigrated from Biên Hòa to Vietnam at the age of 14. After studying at FIT, he worked at Celine and Derek Lam before founding his own label with a group of friends. As her shop continues to expand, you can find stylish tailored ready-to-wear and accessories, like these eye-catching metal toe combat boots. Stay tuned for outerwear, more footwear and accessories to come.
Born in China, daisy wang launched Dawang in 2018 to bring contemporary and refined Asian streetwear to New York. From high-necked brocade rompers to patchwork sweatpants, these styles seamlessly blend traditional chinoiserie clothing and Chinese fabrics with Western trends.
In 2019, Kim Shui was nominated by Forbes as a fashion designer under 30 to watch. For good reason: Her runway-ready pieces are bold, colorful and sexy, and have been worn by celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadidand Cardi B. Her latest collection includes many barely there pieces, tweed bra tops and flared pants, lace-up bustiers and cut-out dresses you won’t find anywhere else.
Han Chong was born in Panang, Malaysia and moved to London in 2003. He created Self-Portrait to celebrate women and empower them with feminine and functional clothing. Her pieces, from peplum tops to flattering midi dresses, have a sense of romance, with ruffles, tiers and puffs. It also has a stunning bridal collection with lace tops, dresses and even veils for the modern bride.
Kate Han established Mukzin in 2014 to bring “traditional yet rebellious” styles to the masses. His pieces are inspired by Chinese culture and modern costume design, featuring asymmetrical shapes, oversized silhouettes, cheongsam (or mandarin) collars, and more.
Satomi Kawakita was a professional diamond cutter before founding her own brand in 2008. Visit her showroom in New York or shop online to find timeless pieces that celebrate the natural shapes of gemstones, minerals and metals. There are unique double-ended quartz studs you can mix and match, stacking rings and eye-catching engagement rings, not to mention a trendy yellow gold anklet and emerald pieces to celebrate May’s birthstone. .
You will find minimalist accessories in leather, rubber and wood at sisters Kimberly and by Nancy Wu LA Shop, Building Block. Founded in 2011, her brand focuses on function and form, and of course, style. Their latest collection features ultra-soft pebbled purses and bags with wooden bead straps for a textured take on the everyday bag.