Asia Fashion Collection, 5 Finalists Debut The FW23 Collection at NYFW

Asia Fashion Collection 5 Finalists Debut The FW23 Collection at NYFW, 5 TOKYO PRELIMINARY FINALISTS TO MAKE AFC’S 10TH ANNUAL NYFW RUNWAY SHOW

New York, NY, Feb 01, 2023 – Asia Fashion Collection (AFC) invites budding designers from across Asia to compete for a chance at their very own New York Fashion Week runway debut.

This season, five brands that are the finalists from the AFC Tokyo show are debuting their FW23 collections at AFC’s 10th annual NYFW event, presenting their best stages to conclude an arduous journey!

From Japan, we are presenting Vantan Design Institute’s own fresh talents: Saika Sekita’s SAIKA and Jun Nakamura’s désir. Additionally, we have FromWhere by emerging South Korean minimalist designer Lee Young Eun, along with gender-fluid Taiwanese brand CHIAHUNG SU by LCF graduate, Chia Hung Su. We are also pleased to present ASATO by NY-based, Parsons School of Design graduate Asato Kitamura (born in Japan) .

Five brands revealed their collections during the runway show. All of the brands and designers are from Asian countries.

1) désir by Jun Nakamura – Japan @junjun_spritz

2) ASATO by Asato Kitamura – US/Japan @asato_kitamura /

3) FromWhere by Lee Young Eun – South Korea @fromwhere_seoul /

4) CHIAHUNG SU by Chia Hung Su – Taiwan @chiahungsu /

5) SAIKA by Saika Sekita – Japan @saikasekita

About Asia Fashion Collection (AFC)

Asia Fashion Collection is an incubation project produced and sponsored by Vantan and PARCO CO., LTD, in partnership with other Asian affiliates. AFC provides a platform for emerging talents throughout East Asia to compete for a chance of global debut. Each Fall/Winter season six brands who won Tokuo preliminary, debut their collections as annual AFC’s final stage at NY Fashion Week. AFC is passionate about discovering and nurturing new talents, while widening the reach in the fashion industry by fostering the growth of the continent’s most promising up-and-coming designers.

AFC’s Judges include: Kaname Murakami (Editor in Chief of WWD Japan), Keishu Abe (Tokyo Base Co., Ltd. Studious Men’s Buyer), Fumiya Yoshinouchi (Reco Orlando Co., Ltd. FASHIONSNAP.COM Editor/Director), Shota Kamiya (Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd. Isetan Shinjuku Restyle Buyer), Yumi Nagao (Representative of Sister), Yoshiro Kawasaki (CEO of Aout Co., Ltd.), Honoka Ayabe (LITMUS Buyer Team), and Nakamu (Fashion Creator and Lieu Buyer)

About Vantan

Founded in 1965 with the vision of “creating the world’s closest school to society,” VANTAN fosters human resources which can be immediately applicable through “practical education”, such as classes taught by active instructors, long-term internships, and industry-academia cooperative projects in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. The institution has developed educational programs in the fields of Fashion, Hair Styling, Makeup, Beauty, Graphic Design, Film, Photography, Game Design, Animation, Patisserie, Cafe management, Programming, Creating in the Entertainment field, Influencing, and Producing. VANTAN has produced approximately 200,000 graduates to date.

Notable alumni includes: Kunihiko Morinaga (Designer/Owner, 2019 LVMH finalist ANREALAGE), Kanako Takase (Makeup Artist), Daiki Suzuki (Owner/Designer, Engineered Garments)


Since the establishment of Ikebukuro PARCO in 1969, their mission has been to cultivate and showcase culture in all forms. While the company’s core DNA is Fashion, they have extended across numerous categories to include, Music, Visual Art, and Theater, while bringing a splash of color to consumer culture as a whole. These initiatives have established PARCO as a leader in creative work spaces, attracting an abundance of talent, that amplifies a creative circle that continues to drive forward and pave the way for the next cultural movement.

Brand: désir

•    Designer: Jun Nakamura

•    Origin: Japan

•    School: Vantan Design Institute X-SEED 4th year, Tokyo

•    IG: @junjun_spritz

•    Look for NYFW FW23 Runway:  8 Men’s

•    Brand Concept

‘1.5 Place’ – Based on the idea that he wants to be a little closer to who he aspires to be, Jun Nakamura proposes a new male image that negates masculinity.   With respect to such diversity, désir is characterized by a balance between minimalist everydayness and unusual textures and patterns.

●    FW23 Theme/ Inspiration

’Fluttering Color’

Lace curtains fluttering in the wind, his mother transforming with makeup.  A house painter who always loved beautiful things. It’s not that he wants to be a woman, but he kept hiding himself, worrying about the eyes of others upon him.  One day, he looks in the. mirror to get dressed as usual – what he sees isn’t himself in his usual earthy work clothes, but what he really wants to become.

● Designer/Brand Profile

1999: Born in Kenya, Africa, to an entomologist father and a beekeeper mother. Often exposed to foreign cultures and nature from an early age.

2018: Entered Shinshu University, Department of Architecture.

2020: Dropped out of Shinshu University, Entered Vantan Design Institute.

Brand: ASATO

•    Designer: Asato Kitamura

•    Origin: Japan

•    School: Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society (Graduated 2022), New York

•    IG/Website: @asato_kitamura /

•    Looks for NYFW FW23 Runway: 9 Women’s

•    Brand Concept

Trying to affirm life by finding new value and beauty to overcome negative experiences. For ASATO, ‘to wear’ is ‘to embrace’ and fashion is a celebration of life through art.

•    FW23 Theme/Inspiration

Robert Plutchik: Psycho Evolutionary Theory of Basic Emotions

•    Designer/Brand Profile

1996: Born in Ishikawa, Japan

Grew up under the influence of grandmother, aunt and mother who were deeply involved in Japanese art

2014: Entered Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion and Design. Received 12 awards/prizes including Lineapelle 2017 Grand Prize (Italy) and Tokyo New Designer Fashion Grand Prix 2016

2017: Interned at Michiko Koshino in London Granted two scholarships, he worked in Paris as a costume designer.

2018: Graduated from Tokyo Mode Gakuen College of Fashion and Design with BFA, Fashion/Apparel Design. Moved to USA

2020: Entered Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society Studying philosophies, he explored the value of human imperfection and Imperfection in general

2022: Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society Runway Show. Graduated from Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society. First collection in Tokyo. First solo exhibition at Mizuma & Kip Gallery in New York. Based in NY, Kitamura creates costumes for celebrities such as Beyoncé and Ezra Miller.

Notable Publicity: Vogue, WWD

Brand: FromWhere

•    Designer: Lee Young Eun

•    Origin: South Korea

•    School: 

•    IG / Website: @fromwhere_seoul /

•    Look for NYFW FW23 Runway: 8 Women’s

• Brand Concept

FromWhere, led by a South Korean designer Lee Young Eun, strives to be the intersection between people with different nationalities and cultures, with the brand’s values blending into one’s everyday life. By valuing basics and realizing flexible silhouettes, this borderless brand focuses on creating long-lasting clothing to present details on minimal patterns in its own style.

•   FW23  Theme/ Inspiration

‘to be comfortable while not losing one’s own style’

FromWhere boldly disposes of complicated, unnecessary layers. Starting with what is faithful to basics, FromWhere prepared the FW23 collection so that everyone can sympathize with the brand’s mood and move forward together.

• Designer/Brand Profile

2020 Feb: Launched the brand FromWhere

2022 Feb: Runway show at Global Fashion Collective (NYC)

2022 July: FromWhere x Hyundai Seoul Pop-up, Trend Fair exhibition, Qoo10 Entry. Currently working on new yarn development, discussions with global major retailers, collaborations with overseas influencers, along with the brand’s new showroom and office opening.


•    Designer: Cia Hung Su

•    Origin: Taiwan

•    School: LCF (Graduated 2020), London

•    IG/ Website: @chiahungsu_ /

•    Look for NYFW FW23 Runway: 3 Men’s 5 Women’s

•    Brand Concept

Built from the foundational concepts of Japanese aestheticism, ‘Wabi-Sabi’ and ‘Mono No Aware,’ CHIAHUNG SU’s unisex garments are inspired by the poignant beauty of impermanence and imperfection.

Seeking to honor the unique coalescence of Japanese and Taiwanese indigenous culture, the brand works with ancestral textiles and techniques from both traditions to propose clothes as future heirlooms — all of which are crafted from reclaimed materials via 100% sustainable practices.

•    FW23 Theme/Inspiration

This season, CIAHUNG SU has collaborated with the Atayal, a Taiwanese indigenous people, in the development of fabrics and textiles, using traditional patterns from East Asia and the South Seas with ancient hand-weaving and dyeing techniques to create a modern collection of silhouettes expressed inside. From the initial planting, harvesting, pressing, twisting and hand-weaving of Ramie, to the cultivation of silkworms, coloring by roasting silkworms and tea, and finally, the development of mud-dyeing and burial methods, the masters and elders of Atayal protect the area. It uses a traditional loose weave pattern.

Alternately weaving wool from New Zealand, banana silk from Japan, ramie from Taiwan, and wild silkworm from India, and using antique fabrics from Japan and Taiwan in the early 1900s as lining fabrics to create fabrics distributed along the cultural axis from East Asia to South Seas, the brand completes the fabrics and textiles.

In order to promote the cultural enlightenment of Taiwan's aboriginal people, create a sensation, and revive and sublimate these rare historical materials and techniques into modern fashion silhouettes, from planting raw materials to thread production, weaving, and hand-dyeing, CIAHUNG SU is actively forming a 100% eco-friendly internal cycle. It will also preserve many of the dying crafts of East Asia.

•    Designer/Brand Profile

2020: Graduated from London College of Fashion with MA Fashion Design Technology

2021/2022: Continuous collection exhibitions at the showrooms in London and Paris. Having own hand dyed and hand weaving atelier in Taipei city, CHIAHUNG SU is currently in 5th season.

Stockists: Selfridges (London), Elixir Gallery (Greece), Faye project (Japan), Labelhood (China), More

Publicity: Harper’s Bazaar, Hypebeast

Brand: SAIKA

•    Designer: Saika Sekita

•    Origin: Japan

•    School: Vantan Design Institute X-SEED 4th year, Tokyo

•    IG: @saikasekita

•    Look for NYFW FW23 Runway: 9 Women’s

•     Brand Concept

Based on the idea of being faithful to her admiration and herself, the designer hopes to create a collection where they coexist.

•    FW23 Theme/ Inspiration

‘Eternal Room’ Sekita one day entered her late grandfather’s room and saw his paintings. At that moment, she felt closer to him. His paintings are her inspiration, and she sees herself as a room that shelters his paintings and life. Sekita created the FW23 collection hoping to wear her grandfather’s “paintings and room” whenever and wherever.


‘Never Ending Home’ Sekita one day entered her late grandfather’s room and saw his paintings. At that moment, she felt closer to him. Drawing = Admiration. Room = Herself. She wants to wear the Room forever.

•     Designer/Brand Profile

2000: Born in Hokkaido, Japan

2019: Entered Vantan Design Institute

Credits of Asia Fashion Collection

PR/Beauty Acquisition & Creative: New York Tokyo

Show Production: Kuroko Inc.

Casting: Eric Cano

Hair: Kien Hoang for Oribe

Makeup: Monique Rinard For AOFM Pro Using Dermlogica

Photography: Fernando Colon

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