Asia Fashion Collection (AFC) invites budding designers from across Asia to compete for a chance at their very own New York Fashion Week runway debut. This season, five brands (slightly smaller than our usual seven brands) from East Asian countries, are debuting their FW21 collections at AFC’s 8th annual event, presenting the best stages to conclude an arduous journey! From Japan, we are presenting the following three designers: kaoism(e) by Kao Tomiyama, diaments colour by Daisuke Oguchi, and YONLOKSAN by Aoi Niikuni. Additionally, we have continued_studio by South Korean designer Newman Han, along with Syzygy, by Taiwan’s Yuan Lung Kao.
• Designer name: Kao Tomiyama
• School: Vantan Design Institute Tokyo School 3rd year
• IG: @ kaoism_e
• Look for at NYFW FW21 Runway show: 10 Women’s
• FW21 theme: NEIGHBORHOOD DRESS
The theme of kaoism(e) FW21 collection draws from the notion of “dressing up,” and the joy that one feels, during and after the process. Inspired by a famous actress, designer Kao Tomiyama saw on a TV show, sharing her story about a new dress purchase and the emotions attached to it. Tomiyama used this as the creative force to design her latest collection. Once reserved for special occasions, she believes that changing the context of getting dressed can bring joy to everyday life. She hopes that her new collection, entitled“NEIGHBORHOOD DRESS”, will spark the same feeling of exhilaration.
• Brand concept
The brand concept is not to choose clothing based on a place or occasion, but to coordinate and wear them wherever we like – as we like. The brand hopes that by removing the prescribed ideas on fashion, everyone can express themselves more freely through dressing. For women visionaries, kaoism(e) brings forth a collection with a unique perspective without restraints or dated logic, while changing the stereotypes of T.P.O. Without limitation, Tomiyama uses color, pattern and texture to construct many combinations that challenge the expected and bring life to her debut designs. •
Born in 1999, in Saitama Japan, Tomiyama’s passion for clothes started while in kindergarten, after seeing a costume at a ballet recital. She has dreamed of becoming a fashion designer since then. Her plans were to attend an ordinary university and work in the apparel industry, but her journey turned towards becoming a fashion designer. She took the plunge, entering the VANTAN Design Institute, majoring in Fashion Design.
• Designer name: Daisuke Oguchi
• School: Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion & Design – Advanced diploma course
(graduated in 2020)
• IG: @diamentscolour
• Look for at NYFW FW21 Runway show: 3 Women’s, 7 Men’s
• FW21 theme: NEIGHBORHOOD DRESS
Diaments Colour designer, Daisuke Oguchi, uses social issues surrounding immigration as a backdrop for his upcoming collection. Current realities of the pandemic have also transformed the conventional ideas of work and living spaces, limiting our exposure to the stresses of day-to-day, to a much more digitized experience, centered around the internet. Oguchi, proposes historical issues along with conversations around immigration, counterpointed by his modern-day take on social progress and change. These principles sit at the core of this collection. The designer explores the eﬀects of Capitalism and the disparity among classes, through his own life experiences and travels for work. He uses cultural inﬂuences and his knowledge of construction to echo political topics. Oguchi explores the idea of how immigration can alter the workings, ideas, and way of life of an entire people.
The designer explores the eﬀects of Capitalism and the disparity among classes, through his own life experiences and travels for work. He uses cultural inﬂuences and his knowledge of construction to echo political topics. Oguchi explores the idea of how immigration can alter the workings, ideas, and way of life of an entire people.
Oguchi, encourages the viewer to experience this work much like the plot of a movie. He designs clothes that paint a general idea, but upon closer inspection, the true story unfolds. At ﬁrst glance it may seem joyous, but the closer you look you begin to fall. The details, blurry from a distance, gradually come into focus the closer you look, so that the gravity of the emotion can be felt. His aim, by simplifying or over-decorating the universal silhouette, is to galvanize a deeper exploration of his designs, which he hopes will embody a sense of discomfort and melancholy. Contemporary Art, particularly, sculptor Katsura Funakoshi, and Skate culture, combined with the delicate hand of Haute Couture are all that continue to inspire the designer.
Diaments Colour presents an aesthetic for the “new normal” by making genderless and timeless pieces, unconﬁned by the rules of fashion. Because of his smaller frame, Oguchi has always embraced a more gender-ﬂuid design language. A culture clash of diﬀerent experiences is uniﬁed by functional silhouettes and chic detailing. Men’s pieces have elements of femininity that reference a medieval aesthetic. This can also be said about his designs for women. While his past experience was centered around womenswear, his own collection reﬂects a gender-neutral voice he hopes will reach broadly.
Born in 1997 in Nagano, Japan, Oguchi enrolled at Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion & Design, majoring in the Advanced Diploma Courses, in 2016. In 2018, he received the 19th Millennium Grand Prize Jury Special Award, the 92nd Soen Award’s the New Designer Fashion Encouragement Award, and others. His award-winning and activities expanded global, including the Intreccincantiere Award Semi-Ground Prix in Italy and collection presentation at Kansai Yamamoto International Project at the British Museum Gray Court in England in 2019. In 2020, he received JASSO Japan Excellent Student Incentive Award, and also designed costumes for the Gotsu Pro’s 5th Performance held in Tokyo, Osaka, and Taiwan.
• Designer name: Yuan Lung Kao
• School: Royal College of Art (graduated in 2018)
• IG: @ syzygy.online
• Website: https://www.syzygy-official.com/
• Look for FW21 NYFW Runway show: 8 Women’s
• FW21 theme: Torqued Spiral
An unexpected journey in space is now sailing towards a new direction. The Syzygy aircraft continues its journey of sailing in space and traveling through time. Alongside the Torqued Spiral in the space, Syzygy leads its audience into a brand new era of Syzygy.
For this season, Syzygy considers the twisted star track as the main inspiration for design and at the same time wants to start a brand new journey through space as an introduction of the breaking dawn for this depressing period of the fashion industry. With the “Torqued Spiral” as the main inspiration for this season, Syzygy is aiming to create garments with multiple possibilities. Using top-quality Milano wool and local polyester yarn and fabric, Syzygy combines high-quality materials engineered by specialized design methods such as digital knitting, digital print design, and laser cutting.
• Brand concept
Established in London in 2019, Syzygy is best known for the concept of “one garment, multiple possibilities” along with the specially designed architectural structure for the garments. Syzygy not only specializes in knitting all kinds of innovative silhouettes for fashion but also dedicates its aesthetic to combining sophisticated shapes with creative materials in order to create the diversity of fashion.
• Designer/Brand bio
Born in 1990, in Taipei, Taiwan. Yuan Lung Kao studied at Royal College of Art in London, graduating with a Knitwear MA degree in 2018. She won the first prize at the well-known knitwear competition – Pitti Filati in Italy in 2017 and also won numerous first prizes from Taiwan Textile Federation. She also obtained a dual degree from two prestigious schools in Taiwan – Fu Jen Cathelic University and Shih Chieh University.
• Designer name: Newman Han
• School: Hanyan University, Clothing and textile (graduated in 2011)
• IG: @continued_studio
• Website: https://www.continued-studio.com
• Look for FW21 NYFW Runway show: 3 Women’s, 7 Men’s
• FW21 theme: Ruck March
Inspired by utility and transport, through the lens of a soldier – the collection highlights the functionality and versatility of the design. Keeping in mind the nomadic lifestyle of a soldier in constant motion,
continued_studio FW21 collection was designed with the hope that we can propel ourselves forward in the new world, with the advancements and knowledge we’ve gained.
• Brand concept
Genderless and contemporary – constructed of new materials and innovative techniques, continued_studio moves the needle forward with designs that suit modern youth culture by fusing past, present, and emerging trends. Created with functional materials used by sports and outdoor brands, and in combination with sewing techniques that maximize the performance of that material, continued_studio generates a contemporary design aesthetic with a practical and comfortable ﬁt, combined with avant-garde silhouettes. The concept is “mix creation” centered on the layering of various time periods, the fusion of diﬀerent materials, and a mix of sports and outdoor construction techniques.
Born in 1984, in Seoul, South Korea, continued_studio aims to connect the trends of the past, present, and future into a uniﬁed concept. Designer, Newman Han, draws inspiration from archival costumes, bringing past ideas of function to the contemporary stage by utilizing modern techniques and materials. The designer fuzes a combination of past and future ideas to mark a new way of dressing in the future.
• Designer name: Aoi Niikuni
• School: Vantan Design Institute Osaka school 2nd year
• IG: @yonloksan
• Look for NYFW FW21 Runway show: 10 Women’s
• FW21 theme: Intersection
YONLOKAN designer Aoi Niikuni has always been intrigued by things that don’t already exist. Niikuni is attracted to the concept of ambiguity and the many possibilities that could be considered, while strictly existing in a mathematical form or virtual idea. Deﬁning the existence of the intangible, in modern academia, is the concept of their FW21 collection.
Bringing to light this notion, the word “intersection” embodies the multiplicity in its deﬁnition. A virtual object, like a mathematical graph, the location of where two objects collide, through to the exchanges between people – the word has many meanings. Much like this collection, Niikuni believes that “intersection” is a word that could be experienced in a variety of forms and contexts.
With the concept of “Plus a wit,” YONLOKSAN embraces a minimal aesthetic. Just like a baseball game’s double play “4-6-3” (Yon Lok San, pronunciation in Japanese), which looks seemingly obvious yet packed with detailed techniques, YONLOKSAN creates designs that appear straight-forward but designed with small nuances. She hopes that the depth of the concept, translated through unexpected details, will be enjoyed from a variety of angles. Dressing among the conﬁnes of gender norms is of no interest to the designer, but identiﬁes the brand as diﬀerent among other genderless and unisex concepts. Its eﬀort is not to deﬁne who wears it. Dared to put into words, YONLOKSAN is FOR HUMANS.
Born in 1999, in Hokkaido, Japan, Aoi Niikuni enjoys baseball, rock and electronic music, and unique vintage ﬁnds. Niikuni hopes the wearer will experience the inspirations for her work through her quiet, yet innovative designs. Niikuni entered University in 2019, majoring in applied chemistry, but soon changed course and enrolled in the Vantan Design Institute in Osaka, Japan. In the same year, she participated in the Cutting Edge 2019, hosted by the institute. The following year she won the prestigious Grand Prix prize, in the same competition. She continued to gain momentum after her Osaka win, participating in the Cutting Edge 2020 in Tokyo, garnering another Semi Grand Prix victory. Coincidentally, she participated and won the AFC Tokyo Stage at Fashion Week Tokyo, that same year, and was selected to participate in AFC’s show during NYFW.