7 Queer AAPI Fashion Brands We're Currently Obsessed With

queer asian designers
credit: Cottonbro

There are so many incredibly talented queer AAPI designers that to whittle it down to just seven was a challenge, to say the least!

Below you’ll find a wonderful collection of creative, inspiring, and powerful brands founded by designers around the world.

1. PONDER.ER

 

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PONDER.ER is a gender-fluid brand determined to reconstruct and reimagine what menswear could look like. Each collection is intended to challenge gender norms by mixing what’s traditionally been considered “feminine” elements with menswear. The result is a beautiful, statement-making fashion brand perfect for anyone who wants to embrace a gender-bending view of fashion.

The label is the brainchild of creative duo Alex Po and Derek Cheng who met while studying at Central Saint Martins.

2. KAWAkEY

 

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Based in London, KAWAkEY is a gender-fluid line that finds inspiration from a combination of Hong Kong and Helsinki aesthetics. The line is stunningly unique with its use of colors, silhouettes, and fabrics.

Founded by creatives Ka Wa Key Chow and Jarno Leppanen, KAWAkEY is committed to sustainability and ethically-sourced materials in order to bring their vision to life.

3. FANG

 

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FANG is a gender-expansive menswear brand intended to celebrate and bring together every aspect of what it means to be a modern-day man — masculinity, feminity, and everything in between. The casual clothing line focuses on style, comfort, and support that includes a variety of “basics” that are anything but.

The queer fashion label was founded in 2021 by Beijing-born Fang Guo. Guo found inspiration after moving to NYC and meeting a variety of fellow queer-minded folks like himself.

4. Shawna Wu

 

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Shawna Wu is a powerful brand that uses a variety of textiles to create sensual, intimate pieces. Her work has even caught the eye of celebrities like Charli XCX, who wore one of Shawna Wu’s garments on the 2021 VMAs red carpet.

Designer Shawna Wu is Taiwanese, born in Singapore, and currently based in New York. Her eponymous line is thoughtfully created using hand-crafted and locally-sourced materials.

5. SYRO

 

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SYRO is a badass femme footwear brand full of heels intended for anyone and everyone. The brand’s current collection features a variety of block-heeled booties that come in patent leather, silver metallic, and even snake-embossed — and go up to size US M 14! Fans of the brand include Drag Race alum Shea Couleé and actor Bowen Yang.

The founder of SYRO, Henry Bae has a passion for fighting Asian stereotypes and fetishization in white culture that deem Asians to be “exotic”. His motto can be best described as D.R.E.S.S: Dismantling Rejecting Eradicating Subverting Systems.

6. Private Policy

 

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Founded by Hoaroan Li and Siying Qu, PRIVATE POLICY is an inclusive, socio-political fashion brand that uses each collection to shed light on an important issue. Past collections have tackled enslaved fishermen, human’s relationship with money, and the dark side of American big pharma. They view the brand as a way to bring attention to social issues in the form of fashion.

The designers have already received quite a lot of acclaim with the duo winning the GQ China Present Award, the Lane Crawford Global Creative Callout 2020, and becoming finalists for the CFDA/VOGUE Fashion Fund in 2019.

7. Rebirth Garments


Rebirth Garments aims to create gender non-conforming clothes and accessories for queer and disabled folks. In particular, the brand focuses on the needs of the trans and disabled communities who often have limited clothing options.  As a result, designer Sky Cubacub created a vibrant collection of gender-affirming pieces for people of all abilities. Every piece fulling customizable and made-to-fit.

Rebirth Garments often gives away free masks and garments, so supporting them is a must! You can do that either via donation or by purchasing from their Teespring merch shop, which does help them turn a profit.

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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.