With Sandra Oh as the first Asian American female Golden Globes host, a star-studded All-Asian cast in the film Crazy Rich Asians, and the slew of successful bloggers and influencers on YouTube and Instagram—there has never been a better time to be an Asian American female. After being underrepresented in media for so long, Asian Americans are slowly becoming hard to ignore. We are here for our AsAm queens!
In terms of lifestyle, beauty, and fashion, Asian American females have been leading these spheres for quite some time now. Back in 2005, Michelle Phan was one of the first YouTubers to post creative makeup tutorials inspiring many other vloggers to follow in her footsteps and monetize their content. Years later, she has amassed a million-dollar empire as a YouTube personality and founder of her own beauty subscription service, Ipsy.
Jenn Im, the creator of Clothes Encounters and founder of the online clothing shop Eggie, gathered her global following by filming relatable content on college and relationships in addition to videos on fashion and beauty.
So, what made these women so special, what sets them apart? They were founders. They added something new to the table. Something that didn’t already exist.
Other influencers with perfect makeup, outfits, and rainbow hair might have thousands of followers on Instagram, but they aren’t innovating. Whether it’s through creating a business, magazine, clothing line, or digital movement, here are 5 Asian American females who are pioneering new paths in lifestyle and fashion.
1. Sola CHUN and Soyoung SEO, Co-Founders of the Selected
The Korean sister duo created this online curated shop that focuses on classic vintage and new designer goods. All the items are hand-selected globally to Los Angeles and are buyer approved.
2. Aileen Xu, Founder of The Lavendaire Lifestyle and Artist of Life Workbook
Aileen Xu, also known as “Lavendaire,” created a community for creatives through her YouTube channel, online blog, and Facebook group. Her topics are mainly on lifestyle design and personal growth, including goal setting sheets, journaling templates, and podcast on self-improvement.
Xu created the Artist of Life Workbook, a 198-page workbook and journal to help others create their most inspiring & successful year.
3. Cassandra Lam and Karen Mok, Founders of The Cosmos
Karen Mok and Cassandra Lam founded The Cosmos, a publication to craft new and authentic narratives for Asian Women.
“The Cosmos was born out of need to create space to express, illuminate, and unpack the things left unsaid in our lives, families, and bodies. We imagined a community where naming our fears, uncertainties, and doubts was not only supported, but normalized. In doing so, we realized we needed a new vocabulary – one that empowers us to celebrate our complex identities and supports our right to flourish and thrive on our own terms.”
4. Aja Dang, Founder of A Woman’s Worth
TV host turned Popular Lifestyle Youtuber founded this clothing brand to empower women and donate proceeds to Planned Parenthood at a time where many are trying to defund it. They have sold out due to limited stock, but is set to re-stock soon.
5. Michelle Hanabusa, Founder of Uprisers
Uprising brand is a performance driven fashion brand made for creators, doers, and believers who seek to lift one another.
Founder Michelle Hanabusa started a social media campaign called, “American Made,” which promoted the idea that while U.S. citizens are born in America, it is also a place for foreigners to come and make and build a life here.”