Hey, do you all know that it is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? I want to do my little part in showing support for Asian and Pacific Islanders who have and continue to enrich America’s history and are instrumental to our future success. Here is a little shout out to some Asian and Pacific Islanders designers who inspire me:

Maya Lin

We’ve written about Maya Lin before in a 2019 post, Boss-Ladies : Celebrating Women in Design, but she continues to be an inspiration to me. Maya is a Chinese American artist, sculptor and architect born in Athens, Ohio. Recently, she completed a renovation on Neilson Library at Smith College. It’s a beautiful renovation with an even more beautiful story behind it—her mother, Julia Lin, attended this college after she was smuggled out of China in a fishing boat in 1949.

Hideo Sasaki

I just learned that SASAKI opened an office Denver, so it got me doing a little research and this is what I learned. Hideo Sasaki was a Japanese American landscape architect who founded the firm in 1953 and passed in 2000. In 1960 Sasaki was retained to provide Planning and Urban Design at University of Colorado in Boulder, my and Joseph’s alma mater. I didn’t realize when I was attending school there in the early 1990, that I was walking around a campus designed in-part by a Japanese American. I’ve always been proud of my Japanese heritage, and I now add Hideo to my list of inspirational designers.

Syrette Lew

Sydney turned me on to Syrette Lew, the owner of Brooklyn based interior design and furniture design studio, Moving Mountains. Lew was born and raised in Hawaii. She started as a furniture designer for West Elm and after opening her own firm, was awarded Best Craftsmanship at the New York International Contemporary Furniture Fair in 2014.

Francis Roces

Those of you who know me well, know that one of my hobbies is print and runway modeling. One of my very favorite Denver-based fashion designers is Filipino-American, Francis Roces whose fashion studio is called KimonoDragons. His locally-constructed, creative clothing line incorporates vintage textiles with modern fabrics into retro Asian style clothing.

Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in learning more about my Japanese heritage, please check out Yokohama Yankee (available on Amazon) written by my second cousin, Leslie Helm.

I was incensed when former President Trump started referring to Covid-19 as the “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” and saddened by stories of Asian Hate that ensued. Please play your part to STOP AAPI HATE.

Brandy LeMae | CEO & Creative Director

28 MAY 2021