5 Emerging Asian Labels to Watch

Though we tend to hear more about Western labels extending into Asia, the continent has its own burgeoning pool of homegrown talent -- a pool primed for global expansion.
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Dhani Mau
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Though we tend to hear more about Western labels extending into Asia, the continent has its own burgeoning pool of homegrown talent -- a pool primed for global expansion.
Fabitoria. Photo: Courtesy

Fabitoria. Photo: Courtesy

While in Singapore for its annual Blueprint tradeshow, part of Asia Fashion Exchange -- an expansive fashion week-like trade and consumer event -- I was pretty focused on finding and learning about local designers from Singapore. And while I found some pretty promising ones, I couldn't help but notice a few standouts from neighboring countries.

Blueprint, arguably Asia's biggest fashion tradeshow, invites labels from outside of Singapore to expand the selection for buyers and media, thereby making their trips more worthwhile. And worthwhile it was. From one of Lady Gaga's favorite labels, to a more affordable A.P.C., to a brand called Depression, read on to learn about some of Asia's most promising up-and-coming talents.

Depression. Photo: Courtesy

Depression. Photo: Courtesy

Depression -- Singapore 

Depression is one of Singapore's bigger success stories. Designers Andrew Loh and Kenny Lim launched the line eight years ago after hitting low points in their lives and growing increasingly dissatisfied with their corporate jobs. The name is meant to be a reminder that when you feel unhappy, you have the power to change that. While its aesthetic (deconstructed, mostly black) is very niche, the men's and women's lines have been getting significant international attention over the past few years.

Fabitoria. Photo: Courtesy

Fabitoria. Photo: Courtesy

Fabitoria -- Taiwan 

Throughout my time at Blueprint, I kept coming back to Fabitoria's booth -- the optimistic, digitally printed skirts, dresses and crop tops kept drawing me in. Designers Fabiana Chang and Victoria Kao take inspiration from animals, nature, art and ordinary objects for their graphic prints, which they put on simple, versatile shapes. Anna Dello Russo is said to be fan, and it's easy to see why.

Roggykei. Photo: Courtesy

Roggykei. Photo: Courtesy

Roggykei -- Japan 

Roggykei's booth at Blueprint was getting so much attention, it was almost difficult to get in and see designers Hitoshi Korogi and Keiko Miyakoshi's daring clothes and accessories. This was likely due in part to the fact that they were showing things unlike anything else at the event, and also because of their most famous client: Lady Gaga. Needless to say, their wares are…unconventional, but also skillful.

Revasseur. Photo: Courtsey

Revasseur. Photo: Courtsey

Revasseur -- Singapore 

Revasseur's Gilda Su is Singapore's local designer-with-a-sense-of-humor -- an Asian Jeremy Scott, if you will. Revasseur's fall 2014 collection, which features an Ursula (from "The Little Mermaid") hat and a men's shirt that says "I admit I've been a little nasty" was showcased in a runway show at Blueprint and put a smile on everyone's face. But Su also has cred: She studied at Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo and Parsons in New York and had her graduate work shown at NYFW and Saks Fifth Avenue. These days, she frequently shows during Seoul Fashion Week and also helped launch buzzy Singapore concept store Superspace.

Honoré. Photo: Courtesy

Honoré. Photo: Courtesy

Honoré -- Singapore/Paris 

Honoré was a rather extreme departure from the other brands at Blueprint and, for that reason I think, didn't get as much attention. While most of the tradeshow's young labels are experimental, unconventional and bold, Honoré is pared back, casual, wearable and, comparatively, rather commercial. It has a strong brand identity, an expanding range of categories and is quite affordable. The designers are French, and while the business is based in Singapore, the aesthetic is decidedly Parisian-inspired. It's like a more affordable A.P.C. or a girlier Compotoir des Cottoniers.

Other Notables:

Dzojchen - Singapore 

One Choi - South Korea 

Gnome & Bow - Singapore 

Ong Shunmugam (whom we covered last year)- Singapore 

Morphe - India