Examine The Growth Of The Asian Influence In New York Fashion At New Exhibit

on April 22, 2013

Phillip Lim

A new Big Apple exhibit traces and celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers who moved to New York and made a lasting mark in the industry.

Front Row: Chinese-American Designers takes place at the Museum of Chinese America (215 Centre St., New York NY) and offers a fascinating look at the new faces of fashion.

In the 1980s, designers including Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Vera Wang and Vivienne Tam burst through the seams of New York’s notoriously boorish fashion world just as the city was making its mark as the fashion capital of the world. What many people don’t know is that the growth of NYC’s Chinatown was complemented by the increased outsourcing of garment manufacturing to China and that this happened at the same time as creativity drove production in the city.

Since the 80’s, a new era of designers has been ushered in. These new-age outlaws include Derek Lam and Phillip Lim among others who have built global enterprises alongside established figures in an international fashion world. The way in which their work differs from previous Asian-American designers in terms of the diversity of their aesthetic eyes and unique approaches to branding is what we now recognize as not only New York fashion, but American style.

The Front Row exhibition, curated by designer Mary Ping, features 16 Chinese-American designers and their signature looks while also examining the stories that shaped each one’s designs.

The exhibit opens on Friday April 26 and runs until September. For more information, visit mocanyc.org