In Asia, New Fashion Talent Rises

Photos were exclusively taken by Mike Cruz of for A Collective Edit
Frederick Lee for Fide Fashion Week. Photos were exclusively taken by Mike Cruz of for A Collective Edit

“But unlike many Americans, I also kept an eye on Asia.

When I was first invited to fashion weeks in Seoul and Singapore in the late 2000s, I have to admit, I scoffed at the idea that I might find truly original design talent there. Indeed, it was accepted wisdom at the time that the only Asian designers worth paying attention to — brands like Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, for example — chose to show as far outside of their home continent as their budgets allowed.

Nonetheless, attending Seoul Fashion Week was a no-brainer for me, because I had already discovered and fallen in love with the work of Korean designer Juun J and clung to the slim hope there might be more where that came from.

In the end, Seoul did not disappoint. I’ve been particularly impressed by the menswear from established brands like Song Zio (Juun’s mentor) as well as new labels like Groundwave. Both of these companies took tailoring to fresh, new levels. Both also took advantage of the little known fact that Korea has both incredible textiles and an apparel manufacturing base that produces designer-level quality at low prices.”

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I find it really refreshing to see that Asian fashion designers are slowly getting acknowledged. I dislike its origin of interest (another pot of gold) but regardless, it keeps the world’s attention moving to the East. It is not so much about recognition but it is more about the voice. I have grown tired of western designers’ takes on asian cultures that most of the time the depictions are not appropriate or culturally sensitive. Finally, we have got to see Asian designers takes on their own cultures.