At the start of a new season, whether marked by cooler temperatures or a new school year,  many people look to the September issue of their favorite publication(s) — typically the biggest of the year. Readers pore over fall/winter trends and how outfits and photo shoots are styled. Usually what graces the issue’s spreads and advertisements are pieces from big fashion houses Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Celine and Calvin Klein, to name a few. 

As someone who creates content and styles spreads for magazines, I’m less inspired by these September issues because I’m too close to the process. Instead, my inspiration comes from unexpected places, circumstances and people. Lyrics from a song paint a picture in my head or the colors from a neglected garden stand out to me. Then there’s the picture of Oscar-nominated actor Timothée Chalamet wearing a cobalt blue baseball cap with the letters “Mmlg,” that popped up in my social media feed. I had never heard of the label, so I went down a rabbit hole to learn more and found that it’s from a Korean brand called 87MM.

This discovery inspired me to do something different for Mochi’s fashion feature this fall. Instead of showcasing designers who often get exposure in September issues, I’m highlighting emerging and seasoned Asian streetwear designers. 

Here are some of the designers who have caught my eye, along with the inspirations behind their brands and my favorite pieces from their recent collections. Join me for “Streetwear September” and give these designers some love this month.

1. Sundae School // @sundae.school

Designers: Dae Lim and Mia Park are both from Seoul, South Korea, and have been best friends since elementary school. They share the common experience of having immigrated to the United States at the age of 13.

Inspiration: Lim and Park find inspiration for this cannabis/”smokewear” label from their personal and “dichotomous experiences as first-generation immigrants from South Korea (where cannabis is demonized), who received their education in the U.S. (where it is on the brink of legalization).

Favorite pieces from the current collection

2. Mmlg // @official_mmlg

Designers: Kim Won Joong and Park Jiwoon are fashion models from Korea who were both born in 1987.

Inspiration: They’re inspired by urban simplicity, their birth year, and their experiences as male models, hence the brand name “87MM.” (Mmlg is a unisex label under the 87MM brand.)

Favorite pieces from the current collection

3. Soph. Co. LTD // @soph_co_ltd

Designer: Soph. Co. LTD was founded in 1998 by Japanese designer Hirofumi Kiyonaga.

Inspiration: Kiyonaga is inspired by minimalism and functional casual clothes for everyday use.

Favorite pieces from the current collection:

4. Brain Dead // @braindead

Designers: Brain Dead was founded by Kyle Ng and Ed Davis. Although Ng is from Los Angeles and Davis is from Melbourne, they connected online and realized they shared the same interests of creating and exploring. This became the foundation of their brand, which has been described as “a means of expression for a collective of creatives and designers from around the world.

Inspiration: They find their inspiration from subcultures, such as underground comic books, skateboarding and post-punk.

Favorite pieces from the current collection

5. Tsumori Chisato // @tsumori_chisato

Designer: Tsumori Chisato is from Saitama, Japan. She attended Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College and started her career working under Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. 

Inspiration: Chisato finds her design inspiration from her life in Japan, color, prints and manga. Her prints range from paintings and watercolor to pencil drawings and digital renderings.  

Favorite pieces from the current collection

6. Ground Zero // @ground_zero_clothing

Designers: Hong Kong-based designers and brothers Eri and Philip Chu started designing their own clothing by remaking vintage clothing. Eri studied graphic design and Philip studied Fashion Design Management at Middlesex University in London.

Inspiration: The brothers are inspired by the idea that everything starts from nothing — ground zero — and also gain inspiration from pop culture, particularly pop music. 

Favorite pieces from the current collection

7. Hyein Seo // @hyeinantwerp

Designer: Hyein Seo is from South Korea and graduated from Antwerp’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Inspiration: Seo draws inspiration from an imagined dystopia, a landscape informed by a lifetime of dusty arcades and prodigious amounts of anime.

Favorite pieces from the current collection

8. Ellioti  // @ellioti_official

Designers: Ellioti was founded by Korean street style photographer Ted Like, who shot street style in Seoul for 16 years.

Inspiration: This casual, unisex brand draws its inspiration from street moods.

Favorite pieces from the current collection


Author

  • Ivy Payne, Fashion Editor at Mochi, has always played dress up. Throughout her childhood living in Los Angeles (Culver City, specifically) she was known as best dressed. It wasn’t necessarily the brands she wore but how her outfits were effortlessly put together. She began her fashion career working for international mall developer, Westfield, then made her way to Marie Claire magazine. However, now she plays dress up on the big screen (or small, if you prefer the iPhone) as a Costume Designer, bringing life to characters through clothes. If she’s not storytelling with wardrobe, you’ll find her with personal clients making them feel and look their best.