Behind every successful fashion show and glossy magazine shoot is a savvy stylist - the invisible and indispensable force that helps execute the vision of the designer, brand and magazine. Fashion stylists have been known to make a designer's career. All it takes is for one stylist to spot a unique look and bring it to the runway, fashion shoot or movie, and before you know it, the formerly struggling designer is propelled to the limelight and is soughtafter by trend-setters and celebrities alike. Asia is an emerging and lucrative market in the fashion industry, contributing 45% to the revenues of luxury brands. The rise of Asian fashion mavens is a natural consequence of this phenomenon. In this issue, Top 10 of Asia takes picked some of Asia's most influential fashion gurus (presented in random order) whose creativity and unparalleled visual sense have made an indelible mark in the industry.
Andrea Wong - Malaysia
Dynamic, bold and innovative, Andrea Wong has dominated the local fashion styling industry since bursting into the scene nine years ago. Her edgy editorial has splashed the pages of numerous local and international magazines includingHarper's Bazaar (Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand), Malaysian Women's Weekly, Cleo, Jessica, Esquire and the like. Formerly the Fashion Editor of Harper's Bazaar and a freelance fashion stylist, Andrea currently holds the position of Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Malaysia. She also collaborates with luxury brands on advertising and commercial ad campaigns, such as Sembonia, Lee Cooper, Dude & Duchess and Ms. Read, making her one of Malaysia's most sought-after stylists.
Yoshi Miyamasu - Japan
Yoshi Miyamasu made the bold move to New York in 2001 where he gained experience as a stylist assistant before branching out on his own to work for magazines and advertising campaigns. Through this journey, he acquired his very own unique styling flair: the edgy "high end" street look. After a year, he returned to Tokyo as a freelance fashion stylist where he actively contributes to various magazines, namely, toL'Uomo Vogue, Vogue Nippon, Vogue Taiwan, Intersection (UK) and Dazed & Confused Japan. Yoshi is also involved in local and international advertising campaigns; his most recent work is the highly-acclaimed worldwide campaign for Samsung.
Chitra Subiyakto - Indonesia
Like most stylists, Chitra Subiyakto began her career by working for magazines, advertising campaigns, concerts, music videos and personal styling services. Her notable portfolio includes styling Kris Dayanti in "Jatuh Cinta Lagi", and movies, such as Ungu-Violet, Heart, and Pesan dari Surga. However, Chitra's main passion lies in textile design, where her textural approach of combining traditional methods with modern influences on fabric has won her widespread recognition. Currently, she spends her time in film and plays, mostly designing traditional costumes that had to look believable and beautiful for that era. Recently, Chitra started Sejauh Mata Memandang, an online and brick-and-mortar retail business selling her beloved hand-made batik products.
Myrrh Lao To - Philippines
Myrrh Lao To, a Commerce and Business Administration graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, is best-known for styling celebrities and magazine fashion shoots. His easy-glamour and effortless-chic aesthetic style has made him the go-to stylist for Philippines' hottest stars such as Julia Montes, Shaina Magdayao, Vina Morales and Gretchen Barretto among others. Myrrh supports the burgeoning Filipino fashion industry by making it a point to feature a variety of local designers in his work with artists and photographers. He is also involved in fashion campaigns with a range of famous local brands and aspires to break into the international scene in the near future.
Tina Leung - Hong Kong
After graduating from University of Bristol with a degree in Drama, Film and Television, Tina Leung decided to trade it for fashion styling. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York before heading back to Hong Kong to be a freelance stylist and writer. Since then, she has produced work for prestigious magazine such as Prestige, and Tatler as well as styled international personalities such as Yun Jin Kim, Karen Mok and James Ferragamo. When she is not busy styling, she would be writing fashion articles for various publications, interviewing prominent designers such as Collette Dinnigan, Kenneth Jay Lane and Giuseppe Zanotti.
Keith Png - Singapore
Keith Png wears many hats, from fashion designer extraordinaire to retailer and philanthropist. Keith has worked with high-profile celebrities and fashion icons including Fann Wong, Zoe Tay, Joi Chua, and Taiwanese top model Lin Chi Ling. The intrepid entrepreneur has three labels to his name: Keith Png Bespoke, Koops and KOOPSUNIFORM. In 2008, Keith established Hide & Seek, a cult concept store which proffers interesting finds sourced globally. The talented multi-tasker with a heart also co-hosts Channel U's fashion travelogue "Fashion Asia", and regularly contributes fashion pieces for charitable causes such as Singapore Heart Foundation and Singapore Breast Cancer Foundation.
Thai Nguyen - Vietnam
Raised by parents who operated a sewing school, Thai learned how to sew and fell in love with fashion by the age of nine. It was inevitable that he became the Vietnamese-American designer of choice for famed Vietnamese production houses such as Thuy Nga, Asia Entertainment and Vay Son Entertainment. He went on to showcase his fashion designing skills in reality TV hit shows such as Rupauls Drag Race, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Shahs of Sunset. In 2008, he established Thai Nguyen Couture in California, offering couture bridal gowns, ao dai (traditional Vietnamese gowns) and other luxury ready-to-wear lines made from the finest textiles.
Chalisa Viravan - Thailand
Chalisa Viravan started out as a stylist for Elle Thailand in 2005. She went on to become a full-fledged head designer to fashion label Muung Doo, and offered her expertise to premier shopping malls such as Emporium and Siam Paragon as a personal stylist. Currently, the fashion features editor for Vogue Thailand owns and maintains the nation's best-loved fashion blog "Taste of Nowhere".The blog is the culmination of Chalisa's fashion know-how, passion in streets wear and polished style; featuring an insider's observations on the hottest and most happening fashion and street style trends.
Calvin Cheung - Malaysia
Calvin Cheong is one of the highest-profile stylists in Malaysia. Winner of the 2013 Malaysia Top Fashion Stylist of the Year award, the freelance stylist and entrepreneur has worked on editorials, such as Oxygen and Clive magazines, and garnered the plum appointment as Crocs' official stylist. The aesthetics in his work is an extension of his own edgy, bold and eclectic style. He is the proud owner of Seethrough Concept Store and the fashion boutique Never Follow Suit, featuring unique pieces sourced from his travels, friends' designs, high fashion labels and even DIY accessories.
Randolph Tan - Singapore
Randolph Tan's career as a professional fashion stylist has spanned the globe with clients and celebrities hailing from Southeast Asia (SEA), New York, London, Australia and even Serbia. His celebrity portfolio for covers and red carpet events include Boys Like Girls (USA), Nadya Hutagalung, Utt Panichkul, Sofia Wakabayashi, Joanna Peh and George Young (SEA), while his global commercial advertisement campaigns comprise Samsung TVC, LUX and Zardoze. Randolph is represented by global powerhouse Wilhelmina, Thailand and is based in Bangkok.