The month of May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time dedicated to celebrating the AAPI community and its countless contributions to society. Among the many are fashion brands that every style girlie needs to know, stat.
Sandy Liang, for example, built a cult following in New York for her whimsical and ’90s-inspired collections. Meanwhile, YanYan and Ph5 continue to impress with their mastery of knitwear. When it comes to accouterments, fans of playful Y2K-era styles are also well-represented with brands like BONBONWHIMS and NOTTE, beloved by celebs like Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo, respectively.
Accessory brand from Singapore Charles & Keith has been an institution since 1996, and shows no signs of slowing down — especially after K-pop stars have been spotted rocking the on-trend items. Meanwhile, JW Pei’s Gigi handbag was
catapulted to it-bag status after being spotted on the arms of Emily Ratajkowski and Gigi Hadid.
Especially with the Asian community having been
severely impacted by racism and anti-Asian sentiments in the last few years, supporting Asian American-owned brands not only shows solidarity, but many brands are donating proceeds to organizations like the W.O.W. Project and Heart of Dinner. So your hard-earned dollars also go to charities and underserved communities — a total win in my book.
Ahead, you’ll find 20 AAPI-owned fashion brands that you should support today and every day.
1 Find Me Now
Su Paek and daughter Stephanie Callahan launched Find Me Now in 2020 after their family-owned label began to feel unsustainable. With sheer knits, cut-out dresses, and unique, groovy prints, they stock all the hot trends you’re shopping for.
3 TAI Jewelry
Founder Tai Rittichai was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand and started the self-named jewelry brand in 2002. After nearly 20 years as a jewelry designer, Rittichai works with Thai artisans to crate dainty pieces that will level up any jewelry box.
Ph5 was founded by Wei Lin in 2014 and is designed by Zoe Champion. Their approach to knitwear has a whimsical aesthetic, boasting tie-dye, patchwork, and wavy, asymmetrical hemlines as their specialty.
5 JW PEI
Loved by Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and more, JW Pei designs every bag style you can think of. Crafted with vegan leather, this eye-catching purse is a signature item of the brand.
Designed in Hong Kong and knitted in China, what’s not to love about this vibrant knitwear brand? Don’t forget to snag the
matching top. 8 Abacaxi
If unexpected uses of color are what you’re after, this is it. Abacaxi — the Portuguese word for pineapple — merges a vibrant tropical spirit with the frenetic energy of NYC, where the brand’s designer, Sheena Sood, lives.
Founded in 2018, the Brooklyn-based brand makes jewelry with reused, up-cycled, and natural materials. On the apparel front, SVNR’s elegant silk pieces are hand-dyed and made to order.
10 L'Oeuf Poché
Founder Ami Hongo started the company in Los Angeles in 2010. Her goal: to create high-quality women’s tennis activewear that can take you from the court to the street in style.
Designer and founder Jessica Tse created NOTTE as an homage to her two homes: NYC and Florence, Italy. With fans like Bella Hadid, Olivia Rodrigo, and Madison Beer, the former accessories trend director clearly
knows jewelry. 12 LEZÉ
This sustainable fashion brand uses recycled fishing nets to create its super soft workwear staples. The founders, who prefer PJs to stiff pantsuits, design professional staples that look and feel like a happy medium between the two.
Make your beachside hangs infinitely chicer with swimsuits from OOKIOH, founded by Vivek Agarwal. Playful suits in retro floral prints, vivid hues, and
overall-inspired buckle straps are just some of the brand’s offerings — and all guarantee a sun-kissed slay. 15 Almina Concept
The category is elevated essentials, and Almina Concept is here to deliver. From cozy basics to dressier date night options, like this
silk slip skirt, consider the fashion brand a one-stop shop for an impeccably classic wardrobe. 16 Heymaeve
Looking for everyday jewelry that’s classic, water-resistant, hypoallergenic, and nickel-free? Heymaeve has dainty hoops and playful necklaces that you’ll reach for time and again.
Brevitē was founded in 2015 by Elliot, Dylan, and Brandon Kim after searching for a bag that could support their everyday needs, function as a bag for travel, and still look good. Every bag is made out of recycled water bottles and comes with a lifetime warranty.
This luxury DTC accessories brand is beloved by celebrity fans like Gabrielle Union, Lady Gaga, and Angelina Jolie. Its signature styles come in an array of summertime hues, like lavender, tangerine, and mint.
You’ve probably already seen Rellery’s designs sparkling on the fists of fashion influencers or at the neck of Selena Gomez. The brand has every dainty jewelry design you need, and should your jewelry ever tarnish, you can send it back for a repair or a free replacement.
Handbag label Aranáz is all about that tropical ethos. Raffia totes with flamingo embroideries?
Crochet bucket bags? I’m already transported to an island getaway. Plus, all of Aranáz’s bags are hand-made in the Philippines from natural items like rattan, abaca, and other locally-sourced materials.
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This article was originally published on
March 22, 2021