Feature photo courtesy of @cfda

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists of Asian Heritage


The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was established in 2003 to recognize and support emerging design talent in America. Although the competition has been criticized for not being inclusive, in recent years it has improved the diversity of the judges and designers. The topic of diversity in fashion often treads only the surface of an otherwise rich and complex dialogue, aka the diversity of the models, but beyond this are other areas in need of closer attention: the scope of the judges, and especially that of the designers. As this decade - and the 2019 competition - comes to a close, we’re reviewing CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists of Asian heritage. 


2019 - Private Policy, Siying Qu and Haoran Li 

Though a newbie in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund family, Private Policy is not to be underestimated. Designers Siying Qu and Haoran Li redefine “comm-nity” to call for a fashion revolution while standing up against any and all oppressive forces in our society. The New York rebellious style and defiant free spirit is reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood’s punk and new-wave fashion in the mid-1970s’ England. Private Policy’s latest SS20 collection uses check patterns, military-inspired 3D pockets, and an athletic fit to empower its wearer to fight for justice. Latching onto the current genderless fashion trend, the clothes are for everyone who wants to be part of the “comm-nity”. We look forward to seeing them on the big stage this fall and wish the best of luck to them both!

LEARN MORE AT: http://www.privatepolicyny.com/


2017 - Sandy Liang

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sandy Liang (@sandyliang) on

This year during New York Fashion Week, Sandy Liang executed her very first runway show. One of the most sought-after designers in New York, her lineup brought back fleece jackets, a nod to 90s nostalgia and aesthetics. There are two major themes in her work: cuteness and comfort. Liang uses a lot of big ruffles, cotton-candy colors, Peter Pan collars, and “childish” patterns like flowers and fruits. At the same time, her collection feels sophisticated via very clean cuts and straight lines. In other words, Liang is able to make a baby doll dress look badass as hell. In an interview, she explains how these seemingly disparate elements make sense together: having been brought up by a Chinese grandma and immigrant family, Liang is partial to evocations of nostalgia, childish naivety, and carefreeness. 

LEARN MORE AT: https://www.sandyliang.info/


2016 - Ji Oh

View this post on Instagram

Fingers too pretty to show

A post shared by JI OH (@jiohny) on

Born and raised in South Korea, Ji Oh is a unisex luxury fashion designer. Continuing her legacy at CFDA, she is now a CFDA incubator 4.0 awardee. She designs for sophisticated men and women (and everyone in between) who believe in comfort and simplicity. Ji Oh adopts a mostly black & white color palette, and reimagines the classic shirt and dress silhouette by playing with asymmetry, oversized fit, and overlays. Vogue has described her tailoring techniques as “origami-esque,” and I couldn’t agree on a more perfect description. The way Ji Oh cuts off half of a shirt and puts on a different colored sleeve, for example, demonstrates the individualism and personality in her work. Check out the reconstructed dresses in her Spring 2019 collection. 

LEARN MORE AT: jiohny.com


2013 - Public School, Dao-Yi Chow

Winners of the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne created Public School in 2008. As two designers of color from urban NYC, they push the boundaries of what streetwear can be, and make a compelling case for how fashion can also be a form of liberation. Since 2003, they have continued to win awards and recently collaborated with City Tattoos and Nike. Public School is now focused on sustainable fashion and leads the green new wave in the fashion industry with @greenhouse. Sustainability is a concern among young consumers, so Chow and Osborne utilize surplus, vintage, or recycled materials to creatively reconstruct garments. These garments are not just great for reducing landfill, they are also creative and one-of-a-kind: their newly released shorts, for example, are collages of vintage sportswear pieces. Having a deeper meaning and purpose has always been a key part of Public School, cultivated by Chow and Osborne’s experiences living in the multicultural and ever-changing New York City.