Sunday, September 5, 2010

Asian-Americans Climb Fashion Industry Ladder

he mood was set early at the American fashion awards ceremony at Lincoln Center in June, an event often likened to the Oscars of the fashion world, with a guest list that included celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow and almost every top designer.

In quick succession, three men were called to the stage to accept their awards as the best new designers of the year: Richard Chai for men’s wear, Jason Wu for women’s wear and Alexander Wang for accessories.

It was the first time that all three prizes given by the Council of Fashion Designers of America were awarded to designers who are Asian-American. That same night, the fashion council announced three scholarships, each for $25,000, won by student designers of Asian heritage.

“It’s so exciting,” said Mr. Wu, who became a household name not only in this country, but also in his native Taiwan, when his dress was selected by Michelle Obama for her husband’s inauguration. “Not too long ago, Donna Karan and Michael Kors were the young designers of America. Now there are a lot of firsts for all of us as Asian-American designers.”

Their ascent to the top tier of New York fashion represents an important demographic shift on Seventh Avenue. At the Fashion Week that begins here on Thursday, many of the most promising new designers are of Asian descent, a group that includes Mr. Wang and Mr. Wu; Thakoon Panichgul, one of the stars of the documentary “The September Issue,” about Vogue magazine; Prabal Gurung; Phillip Lim; and Derek Lam — names that are increasingly likely to represent the future of fashion.

To read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/fashion/05asians.html?_r=1


Source photo: Brendan McDermid/Reuters / http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/fashion/05asians.html?_r=1

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