8 Minnesota Designers Selected for Inaugural Asian New York Fashion Week

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New York Fashion Week is just a little over a month away, and this year some Minnesota creatives will be taking center stage. 

Eight Minnesota designers will make their debut in the inaugural Asian New York Fashion Week on Sept. 9.

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and BIPOC-centered Coalesce Collective is fundraising to compensate the designers and the dozens of other creatives who will join them in New York City.

Divya Divakaran, one of the designers going, plans to highlight her Indian heritage through her sustainable luxury wear collection.

“I feel very proud about that, being an Indian, going to New York and representing Minnesota and Asian communities, so I’m really glad,” Divakaran said.

Designer Kennedy Lor will show his upcycled pieces.

“A lot of the pieces here are using second-hand materials, so I go to thrift stores, and source all the yarns and make them into new things,” Lor said.

Mai See Vue will bring her custom couture designs.

“I’ll be showcasing a 12-piece collection, completely new, inspired by my lived experiences, my culture,” Vue said.  

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Meng Fei Lin will showcase her Chinese-inspired looks.

“I’m doing a new modern Chinese style to showcase my heritage to a bigger audience,” Lin said.

The opportunity is a dream come true for the collective, which was founded a year and a half ago.

“During the pandemic, we saw that there was a lot of AAPI hate crimes, and we really wanted to bring in some positivity for our community,” said founder Mao Xiong.

The collective has produced several shows in Minnesota, but the New York trip will be the biggest platform yet for the local creatives.

“I feel like a lot of AAPI designers and creatives have always longed to be in this capacity, this platform,” Vue said.

Just 23 designers from across the world were selected for Asian New York Fashion Week, with eight of them from in Minnesota.

Click here to learn more about Coalesce Collective’s fundraising efforts.

Source: CBS News