Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
If you’ve been turning exclusively to Japan and Korea for style inspiration the past couple of years, we suggest it’s time you look a little South. More than just home to exotic foods, crystal-clear waters, and Instagram-worthy beach vacations, Southeast Asia is a burgeoning hotpot of fashion designers eager to make their mark in the world.
There are internationally recognized names hailing from the Far East, like Thailand-born Thakoon Panichgul and Prabal Gurung who was born in Singapore. And, so many more are quickly climbing the ranks. What separates this new batch of Southeast Asian designers today is that they're embracing their roots instead of eschewing them for a global approach, which — ironically — makes them much more interesting as international brands. These labels have managed to fuse together influences as diverse as Western and Asian pop culture as well as a wealth of history, culture, and tradition to create clothes that are anything but one-note.