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Fashion

Street Style: 28 Fashionable Asian Americans We Spotted Across the Country

ANN ARBOR

Alex Henry

Alex Henry, 19
Student
Mixed 

How would you describe your style?
Comfortable but still well-fitting.

What defines your type of fashion? What does self-expression mean to you?
Practicality defines my style; self-expression means being able to use the same piece in a ton of different outfits.

What inspired your look today?
Thinking of something light to wear for the springtime.

What are you currently wearing?
Ellen Tracy jacket
City Triangles dress
Booties–Three Port booties 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
A good pair of black leggings or tights.

Cat Knoerr

Cat Knoerr, 20
Student
Malaysian-Chinese and German

How would you describe your style?
I really enjoy big bursts of color in my wardrobe. Whether it’s my shoes or really brightly colored skirts, I like to have big color somewhere on me. I think my fashion really speaks to my personality. Most of it is normal, but then I have something bright and eye-catching to follow it with.

What inspired your look today?
Slightly gray weather. I wanted to brighten up my day with bright shoes.

What are you currently wearing?
Forever 21 jacket
My favorite bright Pumas

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Shoes for sure. I love everything from Pumas to Oxfords.

Karen Guo

Karen Guo, 22
Student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Comfortable and colorful but complemented with something simple. 

What does self-expression mean to you?
Self-expression is being true to yourself instead of trying to always go with the trends, being comfortable with what you’re wearing and showing off what you’ve got! 

What inspired your look today?
Bringing color to a gloomy day and looking forward to flowers in the spring. 

What are you currently wearing?
h.i.p cardigan
rue21 dress
DSW shoes 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Cardigans!

Kelly Gee

Kelly Gee, 19
Student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Practical yet stylish! I like neutral colors. 

What do fashion and self-expression mean to you?
Self-expression is the identity I feel most comfortable sharing with others, and style can really bring that out. 

What inspired your look today?
Calm colors but in light, breezy materials—it’s a good transition from the winter to the spring 

What are you currently wearing?
Zara top
American Apparel skirt
ShoeMint shoes
Kate Spade bracelet
Family heirloom necklace 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Bracelets.

Joyce Chen

Joyce Chen, 18
Student
Asian 

What defines your type of fashion?
My personality defines my fashion. 

What inspired your look today?
It’s almost spring—and I can’t wait for it! 

What are you currently wearing?
YesStyle top
Forever 21 tank and jeans

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Earrings!

Jessica Zheng

Jessica Zheng, 22
Nursing student
Chinese

How would you describe your style?
Cutesy and comfortable. 

What defines your type of fashion?
I buy whatever is comfy. I have a carefree and cheerful personality, and how I dress reflects that. 

What inspired your look today?
I saw a similar style at American Apparel and bought something similar and put it together. It’s a comfortable look to study in, but it’s fashionable at the same time! 

What are you currently wearing?
Akira sweater
American Apparel denim shirt
Forever 21 jeans
ShoeMint shoes 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Blazers, which are comfortable and versatile. You can wear them during the day and also at night for going out without changing!

Grace Li

Grace Li
Student, 22
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Comfy with a little bit of edginess. 

What does self-expression mean to you?
Fashion is about self-expression and not being afraid to be different. 

What inspired your look today?
Feminine pink on the inside, with an army anorak on the outside. 

What are you currently wearing?
Forever 21 shirt
Parisian pants
Anne Klein boots
Buffalo jacket 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
A good jacket or anorak.

 

BOSTON 

Kate Doan

Kate Doan, 21
Lab Coordinator
Vietnamese 

How would you describe your style?
Vintage with some hipster flair.

 What defines your type of fashion?
My philosophy on fashion is wear what affects your mood, makes you look good and confident, and what feels most comfortable. Dress [according] to your body shape and not to fads. 

What are you currently wearing?
H&M high-waisted skirt
Buffalo Exchange cropped sweater and necklace
Second Time Around jacket & fringed purse
Aldo booties 

What inspired your look today?
I follow a lot of young Asian fashion bloggers from California, like Luxe Is Life or Song of Style. I also get inspiration from American Apparel, having worked there formerly.

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Small compact purses that don’t burden me, fits my phone and wallet, and that’s it.

Jennifer Zhuang

Jennifer Zhuang, 21
College student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Feminine chic. 

What defines your type of fashion?
I don’t think of fashion as self-expression per se, at least for me. I wear clothes that complement each other and whatever fits me, not to express a certain attitude. 

What are you currently wearing?
Miu Miu wool coat
Stuart Weitzman knee-high boots
Dior bracelets 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I prefer shoes, flats, or heels depending on the weather.

Christina You

Christina You, 20
College student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Japanese street style mixed up with my own interpretation. 

What defines your type of fashion?
I dress according to my personality and body shape, but also depending on the weather and scenario. Whether it’s casual, dating, or hanging out with friends, there’s a different go-to outfit for each situation. 

What are you currently wearing?
SLY jacket with accented fur
Burberry scarf
Chanel classic flap
Stuart Weitzman military boots 

What inspired your look today?
I always look at Japanese magazines for fashion tips because that style looks perfect for petite Asian body types. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I can’t live without bags. I’ve probably got around 50 at the moment.

Wendy Xu

Wendy Xu, 17
High school senior
Chinese

How would you describe your style?
Feminine, edgy, or even the rock star look today is just one of my many styles

Fashion is a form of self-expression. What does that mean to you?
Fashion is up to what mood the person is in, what their background is, and maybe even how their parents dress. I wear what I feel like at the moment and try not to stick to one trend only.

What are you currently wearing?
344 jeans
Urban Outfitters leather jacket
ASOS bag
Steven Madden pumps 

What inspired your look today?
I don’t follow blogs or magazines, but dress to my own taste. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Winter scarfs, a Cambridge satchel, and Oxfords.

Annie Song

Annie Song, 17
High school junior
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Girly! I gravitate towards warm hues, usually pink, red, or orange, not so much black or blue shades. 

Fashion is a form of self-expression. What does that mean to you?
Dressing up is for myself, not for other people, so it shouldn’t matter what people think of my personal style. 

What are you currently wearing?
Knit sweater and shorts from China
Tote from Hong Kong
Van Cleef & Arpels earrings
Self-designed, handcrafted rings 

What inspired your look today?
I really like how Japanese girls dress and play around with colors. I own a lot of shorts in every color imaginable, so even in this weather, I can pop a pair on with leggings and top that off with a bright, bold sweater. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
High heels all the time. Wedges, pumps, high heel boots—I love them all!

Mindy Li

Mindy Li, 19
Communications Design student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
The cool girl. 

What does fashion mean to you?
People judge first impressions by what others wear, so formulate your unique style and dress to what’s important to you. I don’t follow particular brands, rather if I like this shirt, I’ll buy it. 

What are you currently wearing?
Grungy shirt
Prada tassel loafers
Cartier bracelets
Dior patent top handle bag

What inspired your look today?
[It’s] easy to walk around in, though I always wear black and occasionally colors. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Bracelets!

Aki Chen

Aki Chen, 19
Communications Design student
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Sporty, with a lot of black tones and blazers. 

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is wearing something you like, period. I freestyle my clothes and don’t follow particular brands.

What are you currently wearing?
Black jeans, shirt, and laced collars
Zara fur-lined camouflage jacket
CÉLINE nano luggage tote
Air Jordans
Alexander McQueen rings

What inspired your look today?
These hot pink statement pieces. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Jeans.

 

NEW YORK

Julia Jiang

Julia Jiang, 22
Tech designer
Chinese

How would you describe your style?
I’m always up for a masculine approach with a little bit of quirk to it. I love clean-cut solids, but I also like intricate details and prints.

What defines your type of fashion?
Expressing myself through fashion and style is definitely vital. It’s a sense of freedom I have where I can completely be myself. There are no limitations or boundaries. I wear whatever makes me feel comfortable and confident. I usually can’t limit myself to one type of fashion but pick out pieces I like to mix and match.

What inspired your look today?
I just kind of let each piece be inspired by another. I think I started off with my camel coat today.

What are you currently wearing?
Urban Outfitters angora beanie
Topshop mohair jacket and leather pants
COS dress
3.1 Phillip Lim shoes
Givenchy bag
Alibi wrap bracelet
Casio watch
Low Luv ring

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
A bag, I would say—not only is it a necessity, but it also just makes the outfit. I would feel naked without one.

Angela Mao

Angela Mao, 26
Art director and interior designer
Taiwanese

How would you describe your style?
My style is business chic with an edge of glam. And I’ll toss in a little funky with accessories. 

What does self-expression mean to you?
Self-expression is what an individual wants from the world. You attract what you project.

What inspired your look today?
I have a full day of errands, so I’ve been all over the city today, but I wore these pants because they are so comfortable and I had also just recently bought this coat. I like dressing comfortably but chic anywhere I go because you just never know what a day can bring, and there is no such thing as overdressed.

What are you currently wearing?

Vintage fur coat
Christian Dior blouse
Zara pants
Topshop
Alexander Wang
Ted Baker
Arabic Souk

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I cannot live without arm candy, arm swag—watch, bracelet, you name it.

Stacy Kuo

Stacy Kuo, 29
Retail planner for Versace
Taiwanese

How would you describe your style?
Classic with an edge.

What defines your type of fashion?
I aim to feel and look good without trying too hard. It’s always much sexier when it’s effortless-looking.

What does self-expression mean to you?
I think it’s important for every woman to create her own unique style. It’s not only about showing who you are, but it also helps you achieve a sense of confidence and comfort in how you put together an outfit. This will certainly set you apart from the rest.

What inspired your look today?
The weather inspired me to pick up my boots, coat, and hooded fur vest—which, by the way, is my favorite clothing piece this winter. I wear it with everything to get me through the brutal weather. A little fur action without going overboard is my key this season.

What are you currently wearing?
Zara coat
Current Elliott jeans
Versace handbag
Boots from a boutique

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
A nice handbag!

Alexin Tenefrancia

Alexin Tenefrancia, 26
Development assistant
Filipino

How would you describe your style?
My style is a mélange of all that is past and present; it is everything from goth to ‘90s grunge to hip hop. Sometimes it’s all of those together.

What defines your type of fashion?
I think my personal fashion is undefined, partly because I’m constantly inspired by everything and anything.

What inspired your look today?
I’m listening to a lot of hip hop and K-pop these days. So it’s a cross between A$AP Rocky and G-Dragon.

What are you currently wearing?
Noho Market beanie
Banana Republic coat
Topshop pants
Uniqlo shirt
Primark scarf
Doc Martens shoes
Louis Vuitton bag
Coach backpack
Charter Club gloves

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I wear these rings my mother gave to me every day. It’s an accessory of both fashion and sentiment.

Priscilla Kocher Sterk

Priscilla Kocher Sterk, 27
Digital media supervisor
Korean and Swiss 

How would you describe your style?
Casual and edgy.

What defines your type of fashion?
I like fashion that is edgy but also practical. I never want to look too put together.

What inspired your look today?
I wanted to be casual, comfortable but also warm, so I wore many layers to be prepared for anything. 

What are you currently wearing?
Chanel purse
Kors by Michael Kors boots
Citizen of Humanity jeans
Altuzarra for J. Crew cashmere striped sweater
Helmut Lang jacket
Barneys fur vest
LF hat

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Oversized tote bags. I like to carry around all the necessary essentials, as you never know where you will end up, as well as a backup pair of flats because you never know when you might not be able to find a cab.

Stephanie Yun

Stephanie Yun, 28
Media planner
Chinese

How would you describe your style?
My style tends to be more laid-back. I like to wear things that are a little bit edgy and with an element of surprise.

What defines your type of fashion?
I feel confident when I’m wearing an outfit that I feel represents me. On the other hand, I feel self-conscious when I’m overdressed or wearing something out of my element.

What inspired your look today?
The rainy weather called for an earthy palette and lots of layering.

What are you currently wearing?
Zara top
Olive & Oak sweater
Andrew Marc leather jacket
Zara pants
Madewell shoes
Forever 21 scarf
Ferragamo vintage purse

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Skinny jeans.

Tiffany Zhao

Tiffany Zhao, 23
Digital strategist
Chinese 

How would you describe your style?
Grungy with a touch of prep.

What inspired your look today?
My look today is inspired by the cold and gloomy weather—I needed to stay warm and also optimistic with a pop of red.  

What are you currently wearing? 
American Apparel beanie
Agnes B. long sleeve shirt
H&M jacket which I made into a vest
rag & bone jodhpur jeans
Acne plastic oxfords

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
My black cat ear iPhone case from eBay.

Anna Cho

Anna Cho, 27
Senior Communications Planner
Korean

How would you describe your style?
Cool, comfortable, and casual with a little edge.

What defines your type of fashion?
I like to have fun, show some color and keep on top of the latest trends.

What inspired your look today?
The gray and rainy weather.

What are you currently wearing? 
Zara double-breasted blazer
J. Brand jeans
Pour la Victoire Bisset leather ankle boots
Rebecca Minkoff Black cross body bag.

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
A gold ring my dad made (he works for Stone Cutters Society) and gave me when I was in high school.

Grace Ma

Grace Ma, 26
Marketing/studio assistant
Korean 

How would you describe your style?
Simple and casual mixed with dressy pieces.

What defines your type of fashion?
I aim to dress comfortably yet look professional. I mix and match tonal colors depending on how I feel and what the weather is like.

What inspired your look today?
I like to incorporate leather in my outfit on rainy days, so I threw on a khaki wool and leather coat with a comfortable hoodie and jeans to keep warm.

What are you currently wearing?
Vince coat
J Brand jeans
Uniqlo hoodie
Theory long sleeve
Zara bag

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
My black leather boots.

Solih Lim

Solih Lim, 24
Student
Korean

How would you describe your style?
Simple, comfortable but confident at the same time.

What does fashion meant o you? 
I do believe that fashion and having your own style is one of the key ways to express yourself. It helps me create a visual impression and it reflects my individuality.

What inspired your look today?
This is my favorite black cropped sweater, so I decided to style it with my khaki silk blouse.

What are you currently wearing?
Zara coat
Topshop sweater
Sportsgirl blouse
H&M skirt
Topshop shoes
David Jones scarf
Bag from a vintage shop in Korea

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
l usually don’t wear much jewelry, but I make sure I wear at least one bracelet every day. During winter, I tend to wear a variety of scarves—they add on to your style but are also quite practical.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih, 27
Game services analyst
Taiwanese

How would you describe your style?
I’d say my style is more classic and a little trendy. I like things that are both simple in cut and in color but also a little edgy.

What does fashion and self-expression mean to you?
My personality and values definitely define my fashion. Self-expression is the expression of one’s personality, feelings, ideas. 

What are you currently wearing?
Fed one-piece sweater dress
Cream-colored leather jacket
Tights with oblique lines
Dark brown booties

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I cannot live without earrings. Earrings bring the finishing touch to my outfits. A look can be more edgy or more romantic depending on the accessories!

Carol Chen

Carol Chen, 23
Web designer
Taiwanese

How would you describe your style?
Comfy! I love dude-inspired clothing for women (blazers, button-ups, combat boots) because, let’s be honest, guywear is just so much easier to move around in.

What defines your type of fashion?
A little tough, a little soft, a little something new every day. I feel like I’m always growing and changing as a person, so my style evolves all the time. Most of the time, I don’t think a lot about what I wear and just go with it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

What inspired your look today?
The winter-to-spring transition period! Winter is a lot of blacks and grays, but I wanted to add a few pops of pastel because spring is just around the corner. 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
I can’t live without scarves! Instant warmth and fashion points.

Essie Zuo

Essie Zuo, 16
Student
Chinese

How would you describe your style?
Casual.

What inspired your look today?
Just me.

 What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Stylish shoes.

Sam Noble

Sam Noble, 25
Diagnostic lab tech
Filipino and Caucasian

How would you describe your style?
Fun, sophisticated, and punky.

What inspired your look today?
I wanted to feel pretty and comfortable. 

What are you currently wearing?
A green sweater with lace at the shoulders
A leather jacket
Black skinny jeans
Tigers for comfort and style
Gray hoody for extra warmth 

What is one fashion accessory you can’t live without?
Watch, earrings, and a necklace.

Reporting by Victoria Tsay, Xiaofei Jalette, Stephanie Lee, Esther Cho, and Ubin Li.

Header credit: Mandy Yeh.

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