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Meet the streetwear designers of the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list

Hip Hop sensibility & sustainability step to the forefront

LiFTED | Sherrie Yip | 1 Jun 2022

The influence of Hip Hop is expanding rapidly in Asia, and not just in music. A uniquely Asian take on the culture is also influencing everything from lifestyle to fashion for the Gen-Z generation. To showcase the achievements of Asian fashion designers, Forbes recently released its 30 Under 30 Asia 2022 list which features three 20-somethings focused on contemporary streetwear. Designers Zain Ahmad, Grace Ling, Jay Perry Ang, and Kinder Eng stand out for their edgy, creative streetwear ideas.

Zain Ahmad, the 26-year-old co-founder of Pakistani streetwear brand Rastah, first launched his brand in 2018 to promote fashion and sustainability in Pakistan’s fashion culture. The Lahore-based label balances Pakistani culture and modern Hip Hop elements, with all items designed, sourced, and produced by local artists. Featured in Vogue, Ahmad’s designs have been worn by celebrities including Oscar-winning actor Riz Ahmed and US rapper French Montana.

Grace Ling, a New York-based Singaporean fashion designer has shown a flair for contemporary urban styling with her self-titled fashion brand GRACE LING, founded in 2020. Combining her own East-West fashion sense with 3D technology, CAD software, and CGI, Ling aims to produce high-quality and chic items that minimize production waste and promote fashion sustainability. Consistently featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, Ling’s designs have been spotted on celebrities Jennifer Lopez, model Karlie Kloss, YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, and actress Paige Desorbo.

Finally, Malaysian designers Jay Perry Ang and Kinder Eng co-founded contemporary streetwear brand Moto Guo in 2015, making waves with their signature genderless designs that have been featured in Milan, Tokyo, and Shanghai Fashion Weeks. Breaking through gender conventions, Moto Guo also became the first fashion label shortlisted for young fashion designers for the renowned LVMH Prize in 2016. Now one of the most successful Asian brands, Moto Guo designs are regularly spotted at global events - such as their Mirage Knit recently featured in HBO's Euphoria Season 2, and the Marblelous Mac & Cheese Shirt worn by Youn Mille Desirs for Vogue France.