In Style: Stephen Yen

8:00 AM

Why do you enjoy fashion and what does it say about society?
I enjoy fashion because to me, fashion is not only following trends, but it is also a form of art. The freedom of self expression, as cliche as it sounds, is what really draws me into fashion.

What do you see in Asian fashion and how does it differ from Western fashion, if at all?
Asian fashion, in my opinion, is really centered around the sense of self-differentiation and brand recognition. From public figures such as Keith Ape, Okasian, and the Asian rap community. It is really evident that brand recognition such as BAPE and Supreme at play. With that being said, the difference between Asian fashion and Western fashion is that Asian fashion is not really limited by the societal norms and the idea of "what is the right way to dress." A lot of the times Asian fashion is deemed  outrageous by western standards, but to me, that is the thrill of it all.

Describe your style and tell us how you came about it.

I don't necessarily have a style. My style is, like many others, mirrored around figures on social media. If I have to categorize my style, I would say it is the closest to a upscale style of 90s fashion, as I do rock vintage runners (such as Diadora, Asians, Air Force 1s, Timberlands) but with a modern twist.  I found my style through my constant presence on social media, as well as my own personal style.

Does the Asian fashion industry change according to Western fashion or vice versa?
I do believe the Asian fashion industry changes according to Western fashion and vice versa. The general trend of fashion revolves in a cyclical fashion. Like today we are rocking 90s grunge style with ripped denim and Chelsea boots, something that was trendy in the 80s. I guess that really depends on what style you are talking about thoug, with suits the trend is that it just slims down to be a more slim fit versus the generous fit back in the days.

The Asian fashion industry changes according to Western fashion because of the brand recognition of things. Asians are overtly obsessed with designer brands, and with that, it's not uncommon to see people rocking all Givenchy, Hermes, or Balenciaga (as hideous as it might be), With that being said, the rising wealth of Asians have made Asia a place of tremendous profits for the western designer brands, and the have begun to put out works that are more synonymous with Asian culture. One example would be the overly oriental prints and satin embroidered jackets by houses such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, etc. You can also see Asian influences in American fashion with (overused) Kanji letters and he incorporation of fine tailoring and a heavy focus on Japanese denim. All in all, this relationship is mutual, and Asian/Western fashion are more common than different.

What have you seen that you like from the Asian fashion sphere?
I really like the dynamic and free-flowing nature of the Asian fashion sphere. The fact that they are not afraid to step out of the status quo and be something different. After all, that is the point. Right?

Photos found on: @stephenyenn

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