30 Under 30 Asia 2023: Meet The Up-And-Coming Designers Championing Slow Fashion

Forbes Asia has released its 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2023, featuring up-and-coming designers who are championing slow fashion. The designers on the list are creating beautifully-crafted and ethically-produced garments that transcend fads and seasonal trends.

Indian designers, in particular, are rising to the occasion. Harsh Agarwal, for example, launched menswear brand Harago in 2019, which incorporates traditional Indian craftsmanship, such as embroidery and block printing, in its casual wear designs. The Jaipur-based label supplies its designs on a wholesale basis to retailers worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and South Korea’s Hanstyle.

Kartik Kumra founded clothes-seller Karu Research, which features bohemian paisley, hand-dyed cotton, and mother-of-pearl buttons. Kumra’s designs have been worn by Kendrick Lamar, Lewis Hamilton, and Joe Jonas and stocked in global retailers including Mr Porter, Selfridges, and SSENSE.

Dhruv Khurana founded streetwear label Almost Gods in 2018. The label’s bold imagery and gender-neutral, oversized sweatshirts and tees have attracted attention from celebrities such as Machine Gun Kelly and featured in fashion magazines like Vogue India.

Ka Lam Po cofounded Hong Kong-based brand Ponder.er in 2019. The gender-fluid designs challenge traditional stereotypes with sheer knit fabrics and form-fitting silhouettes. Their designs include mohair sweaters, crochet tops, and jackets with trompe l’oeil imagery.

Terrence Zhou is the designer behind avant-garde fashion label Bad Binch TONGTONG. Zhou, who studied engineering and math before entering the Parsons School of Design in New York, made his debut at New York Fashion Week last year.

Rieul Kim brings Korean traditional art and designs to fashion with a modern twist. He rose to prominence in 2020 when he designed suits inspired by hanbok—traditional Korean formal attire—for Jimin, J-Hope, and Suga of the K-pop sensation BTS.

Isabel Sicat cofounded Toqa, which turns deadstock fabrics into sustainable high fashion, including sheer slip dresses, high-cut metallic swimwear, and vibrant island prints.

These young designers are already creating their signature style, and celebrities are taking notice of their distinct designs.


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