FIVE POWERHOUSE ASIAN-AMERICAN EDITORS
These editors are changing the media landscape
Media is what influences us — it is especially important to hear from voices who are able to more accurately represent their diverse consumers. Although the fashion and beauty media industry still lacks diverse representation, the following are a few of the best Asian American editors who are transforming the fashion and beauty media with their unique perspectives.
Michelle Lee is the Editor-in-Chief of Allure Magazine, a publication focused on women’s beauty. Since joining as Editor-in-Chief four years ago, she has significantly increased diversity in the magazine. Making it a priority to feature underrepresented communities, Lee takes advantage of a magazine cover’s attention and visibility to feature women such as Halima Aden, the first Hijab-wearing model to cover Allure, and Gemma Chan, a British Asian actress. Even inside the magazine, Lee makes sure to target issues affecting different demographics of women, with topics such as anti-aging skincare tips. Lee’s mission of diversity in all aspects, such as physique, race, and age, has been crucial in bringing the issue of diversity to the center of conversation in the media industry. Lee’s work has been received with great success with more women able to relate to and appreciate Allure’s content.
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Connie Wang is the Senior Features Writer at women’s media company Refinery 29. However instead of focusing on celebrity news and fashion trends, Wang’s content recontextualizes fashion as an integral part of culture and identity. With headlines such as “When You Have To Begin Again, Clothing Can Help You Heal” and “Growing Up In The Forever 21 Generation”, Wang investigates the power of fashion in our everyday lives to express our emotions and shape who we are. Wang also hosts an award-winning docu-series called “Style Out There” in which she examines subcultures around the world. She focuses on groups such as Japanese Chicanas and Jewish Drag Queens and explores the intersections of identities otherwise underrepresented and shows how they are strengthened through fashion and beauty.
Eddie Eng is the North American managing editor of HYPEBEAST, a publication dedicated to men’s fashion and streetwear. Responsible for curating and managing content, Eng is a vital voice in spreading the streetwear trend. With articles documenting shoe releases and new Supreme collections, Eng keeps readers informed with the latest fashion updates. Although Eng focuses on more straight forward reporting, he features many Asian streetwear designers and collaborations, showing an understanding of and desire to promote the large Asian presence in the streetwear community.
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Michelle Li is the Fashion and Beauty Editor at Teen Vogue, a fashion and beauty magazine catered towards young women. Growing up in Indiana as one of the only Asian Americans, Li recognizes the importance of having exposure to people who look like you and can in turn represent you. Li believes that inclusion in fashion needs to be something natural—not a big deal and not in place just to meet a certain quota. Thus, Li reflects this through her fashion writing and styling, reporting on not only New York Fashion Week, but Seoul Fashion Week,and creating photoshoots that show how clothes take on different meanings on different wearers. As a public figure herself, with 18k followers on Instagram and being consistently photographed at Fashion Week, Li has become a role model for many young Asian girls who look up to her for her successful career and unique style.
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Hanya Yanagihara is a novelist, writer, and the Editor-of-Chief of T Magazine, the New York Times style magazine. With her background as a travel writer, one of her missions is to ensure that T Magazine represents international communities and fashion. Yanagihara explained that often only certain issues are focused on in foreign countries, such as how the main reporting of the Middle East is about their wars and conflicts, but never about their culture, design, and art— which T Magazine hopes to correct. However, conflicts and politics are not to be completely ignored. Yanagihara describes T Magazine as having a “harder edge and feel” to show how cultural elements like art and fashion respond and react to current events that are often politically charged. Yanagihara has transformed fashion coverage in the public eye as a globally important topic that is directly connected to other sectors of reporting.
Follow her on Instagram.