NYC Street Style: The Golden Generation

December 5, 2011

As you know, more and more young Asian American professionals are making footprints in the fashion industry. They're the kids afforded opportunities to pursue careers in fashion by their parents' more "stable" paths as working-class immigrants. They're also experiencing the country's troublesome economy and Occupying its major cities. Still, they find themselves just optimistic and hungry enough to approach their dreams head on. We present them to you as the savvy street stylers they are, playing all manner of roles in the fashion game.  


Meet the Vision: Morgan Cruz

Age: 26
From: Bay Area, CA
School: University of Southern California
Stylist, Creative Director of Shareen Vintage Showroom

Morgan Cruz figured that a college degree would pacify the parentals over starting a dead-end career in fashion. But during her time at USC, she kept her styling talent in good practice by working in boutiques and freelancing as a stylist. She then worked in sales at the renowned retailer Opening Ceremony in L.A. There, her personal shopping clientele ranged from design teams, to Rihanna, to Erin Fetherston, to Drake. Impressed by her experience, Shareen Vintage showroom nabbed Cruz and she relocated to NYC this year. But a young New Yorker can't be without her side hustle, now. Her next project in the works is an imaging consulting firm that focuses on branding and styling. To Cruz, fashion is expressing the personal self, outwardly: "It allows freedom -- it shows that I'm OK with who I am and what I do." Whose closet is she dying to raid? "The Olsen twins'. That's by sheer size, too."

On Morgan...

Poncho: Rose Bowl L.A. Flea
Top: Painted Bird
Denim: American Apparel
Shoes: Steve Madden
Bag: Bag NYC


Meet the Words: Jian DeLeon

Age: 26
From: Fairfax, Virginia
School: George Mason University
Staff Writer, fashion/arts/media, Complex Magazine

From Complex's "Hangover Style Guide" to "The 10 Types of Men's Style Bloggers," Jian's satire is a pop-swag twenty-something's delight. A street-style and menswear connoisseur, he's among the first to post the newest launches and the most underground apparel gold mines. What's even better, his signature facetiousness makes these news-flashes sound more like they're coming from your go-to shopping buddy and less like a pretentious hipster. When asked about the Asian American landscape in fashion, Jian says, "It's a good thing to see and it's an interesting time. I've had my Brown Panther days! We're more well-received now and the stereotypes aren't negative. You could say we're no longer the 'model minority,' but the 'supermodel minority.'" When I asked him to Tweet his style: "Buffy the Vampire Weekend. Nerdy, preppy, all me."

On Jian...

Jacket: The Hundreds
Shirt: BDG
Denim: APC
Socks: Solemate
Glasses: Warby Parker
Watch: Timex


Meet the Network: Kyle Ancheta

Age: 26
From: Bay Area, CA
School: University of California San Diego
Developer and Store Manager, Maharlika Sari Sari (Opening December 2011)

After studying Urban Development and working for the government in Washington, Kyle made the decision to move to New York City with no job. He started off earning money bussing tables and backing bars at swanky "who's who" spots, building a nice rapport with head honchos. A long Cinderella-and-networking story short, Kyle is in now in charge of Maharlika Sari Sari, a Filipino Gift, Apparel, and Vintage Shop in Williamsburg that complements a young, trendy restaurant called Kinfolk. "I'm the only Flip I know in Brooklyn," he says. "I want to make a contribution to the community by ushering in a more pronounced presence." The shop will sell and promote Filipino-inspired and produced goods, art, and apparel.  His personal style? "Skater sensibility, hoodrat affordability."

On Kyle...

Shirt: Bed Shirt (French Vintage)
Jacket: Ralph Lauren
Denim: Levi Strauss
Hat: Mitchell and Ness
Belt: Tanner Goods


Meet the Business: Rodrick Bo

Age: 28
From: Sanford, Maine
School: Stonehill College
Shop Manager, Mens Account, Bloomingdale's at 59th Street, Ralph Lauren Corporation

In charge of one of the most lucrative and high profile accounts in the company, Rodrick is responsible for the store where Ralph Lauren himself sold his very first necktie. The youngest child of six and the only one born on US soil, Rodrick owes his disciplined ethics to his Cambodian roots. "It's my personal creed to work hard. My job is very gratifying; wholesale is the bread and butter of the company and I'm responsible for a very high-profile account." Now a part of the Ralph Lauren family, Rodrick is obsessed with fashion. "I love it because people can identify with it, and form opinions about it -- everyone's a participant."  

On Rodrick: all Ralph Lauren and calculator watch




Thao Ngo


Thao Ngo lives in Harlem, NY. She graduated from FIT, has interned for Maguire Steele, Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week, and works for Ralph Lauren. She believes that Alexander Wang is brilliant and that Denise Huxtable is a style icon. 



That 3 of the 4 influential young APA's are male seems astonishingly inaccurate to me. Susie Lau of Style Bubble is one of the first style bloggers to launch a fashion career as a writer and collaborator, for one. The designers of Triskaidephobia are women at the forefront of the avant garde design scene. Eva Chen, Teen Vogue beauty editor, is ever accessible and inspiring to young people trying to break into fashion. I can name dozens of influential female bloggers, designers, writers and stylists that belong on this list. This is the second time this month I've been sorely disappointed with Hyphen, the first being when I received my subscription Survival issue. I expected so much more.