NYU’s ACE (Asian Cultural Expressions) Fashion Show concluded last night. Sadly, I had to miss it due to family obligations but from what I hear from our model Danielle Yu,
(yeah, you remember her! She modeled for us at Style360 at the TC Charton booth) who was in the show, it went off without a hitch. Our TC Charton eyewear rocked the runway. Super exciting! Pictures to follow once we get them!
Not to date myself, but I remember attending the ACE Fashion Show as a young NYU student back in the day. That was like centuries ago and it took place in the decrepit Loeb Student Center which has since been demolished and turned into the sleek Kimmel Center. See? Totally dating myself.
ACE is in its 29th year, and it looks like they are continuing the tradition of empowering young Asians, by highlighting our cultures, our achievements and yes, our unique beauty. I remember watching my first ACE show back in the day.
At the time, Asians in mainstream media were a rarity (still are, imho, but a bit better now). In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Asian roles in movies/TV shows were relegated to the “mystical Asian man,” i.e. Mr. Miyagi of Karate Kid fame, or “my Kung Fu is better than yours” roles or bit pieces with over-sexualized Asian females.
(Don’t get me started on the “Asians are weird/nerdy” roles like “Long Duck Dong” from “Sixteen Candles.”
Or “Asian families are weird,” a la Margaret Cho’s show “All-American Girl.”) Please don’t get me wrong; I respect all these actors and actresses who have paved a difficult path. I just wonder why it’s taking so long for Asians to find a firm foothold in mainstream media.
But I digress.
At my first ACE show as an NYU freshman, I was struck by how gorgeous these student models were, as they walked down the runway with supreme confidence in beautiful clothing. It helped that I actually knew some of the models from classes and clubs, and I knew they had brains to back up the looks. In many ways, it was eye opening.
As a shy Asian who grew up in a primarily white suburb, finding my place was a bit difficult. I was always labeled as the “smart one” or “the one who gets it done.” While those are definitely great labels to have, I always wondered if it also meant, “unattractive.”
I now know that it was just my insecurity talking, reinforced by meaningless bits of pop culture at a time when standards of beauty were different.
Today, I see:
-Danielle Yu (our TC Charton model) taping The A-Style, an all Asian reality show which highlights aspiring Asians trying to get ahead in the entertainment industry (whoa, what?!). http://www.facebook.com/theastyletv
-Supermodel Liu Wen as Victoria’s Secret’s first Asian Angel
-Queens Assemblywoman Grace Meng well on her way to becoming New York’s first Asian American member of Congress
-Fashion Designers Jason Wu, Richard Chai, Alexander Wang, Derek Lam and Eugenia Kim, just to name a few
– The proliferation of authoris like Amy Tan, Marjorie Liu (one of the few female writers for Marvel Comics, with several successful series under her belt) and Charles Yu, acclaimed author of “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe,” who now has a movie deal. And can’t forget “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua.
The list of successes goes on and on, certainly a lot longer than when I was growing up. I am heartened to think that Asian youth have such a wide range of role models to look up to and mold themselves after. Creativity, passion, drive, hard work, responsibility, beauty and brains.
Asians are in an exciting time and place. I truly feel it. My only question: when will everyone else figure it out.
And… we still have a long way to go.
How will you contribute?
Ah yes, the lovely Orquidea takes center stage in this post.
I must say, with all the new Spring 2012 eyewear in my face, I am seriously neglecting parts of the collection. Ok, wearing the orquidea all day long. Can’t stop me!
Wow, my aching feet!
A great start to Vision Expo East. We had a number of people and buyers seek us out meaning they’d heard or read about us beforehand and wanted to see in person what our brand was about. Vision Expo East may seem daunting, I mean, going up side by side with the eyewear lines that have been around for decades and there’s little ol’ us. But we are the only ones who gear the entire line toward Asians and that makes us a standout. As I explained to several inquiries, I stopped buying eyewear after my last pair of $450 sunglasses refused to stay on my face once I broke a sweat. I had given up. Until I came across TC Charton. I think some people are realizing that for some, fit is the ultimate luxury, not a label.
Another interesting thing to note, we are getting interest from buyers looking for glasses for different ethnicities. Turns out Asians aren’t the only ones with fit problems due to lower nose bridges and higher cheekbones. Also, lots of Canadians! Angel met about 10 Canadians interested in carrying our eyewear in an hour!
We saw some familiar faces including the lovely ladies from 20/20 Optometry of Silicon Valley. They tried on the Spring 2012 lines which they loved!
Since we don’t have product shots of the new line, it’s that new! I decided to take our lovely model, Shi, outside to take a few shots. I am sad to say that right outside the Javits is not the most ideal unless you are looking for a Mad Max, industrial feel complete with graffiti and public urination. Shi was very sweet and game to try it out and did not notice the man with his fly unzipped. Ah youthful innocence. Anyways, I think we got some good shots.
Also, Alexandra was interviewed by Image for the College Life Magazine, one of the best college mags out there.
As some of you know, designer Alexandra Peng is the kind of lady who is going to push herself to get the best product out there, that means cutting deadlines super close to get the latest acetates, hinges and hardware into the TC Charton collection. The styles I’ve been tweeting, blogging and facebooking about over the past few days have literally come out of the manufacturing plant this week and put on a plane, just in time for Vision Expo East.
I wanted to make sure we had some shots of the new collection to show off to you guys so I made this impromptu “white box” that I made for under 20 bucks. It’s a big cardboard box, some window film and 3 lights and a piece of white posterboard. I normally hate DIY type things because usually I invest more than I want to try to mimic what I see on youtube, only to find that it doesn’t quite come out the way I want. But this works! Check out this cool video tutorial:
I’m going to call this my magical ghetto product shot white box. Yeah. You heard me.
The end result: the ability to shoot tight shots of products and have it look pretty darn good! Needs a bit of tweaking in photoshop but very minor. Yes, that is a David Sedaris book propping up the lamp on the left. Make sure you turn the lights off after you are done, it looks like a fire hazard.
Look out! Team TC Charton is back in New York City! And there’s a trunk full of beautiful new styles that we will be unveiling. I am in love love love love love with this new super light style Patricia.
Perfect for the summer, slightly oversized so it keeps the dangerous rays off your face and out of your eyes. Super light so when you get all sweaty, it’s not slipping at all. I apologize for the bad photo, I don’t have the ability to take product shots but trust me, this style is absolutely gorgeous. Love it love it!
WABC-TV Anchor Liz Cho Wears the Catherine
Kim Weling of Fashionablypetite.com is covering fashion for all of us vertically challenged. Kim is a lovely girl we met at Style360 and she is TINY! She was super impressed with TC Charton and how they fit and don’t overpower her features. Check out her review here!
Thanks to the lovely ladies over at AsianinNY.com for their kind review. AsianinNY is a terrific source of information for those looking to re-locate to NYC. Check them out for just about anything.
It is always thrilling when you see a high profile person you respect wearing your brand. WABC’s Liz Cho wore TC Charton style, “Catherine” one night as she anchored the news. She looked so great! And it appears co-anchor Bill Ritter agrees, wait for the end. Its so cute!
It turns out Liz hates wearing her glasses but has to give her eyes a break due to contact lens fatigue.
I am going to give credit where credit is due. Team TC Charton worked their butts off at Style360. While there was little downtime to actually run around the city, we did manage to get to Laduree (mmmm!) It’s those kinds of little luxuries that can make you forget the pinched toes, leg cramps and dry mouth that comes with wo-manning a busy booth at NY Fashion Week.
Our last night, Alexandra took us to her favorite Brazilian Steak House, Plataforma in the Theater District. Initally, the thought of eating at an all-you-can-eat meat place called up images of the unfortunate sequence of events in the movie “Bridesmaids.”
However, once we arrived at the restaurant, I searched for the “A” grade in the window, found it and happily went in to tie one on. The West Coasters weren’t familiar with the NYC grading system so I had to explain it to them. It’s like this. “A” means, no problem! Eat here and be well. But a B, C or Grade Pending is a bit more ambiguous. It can mean a minor offense like the wrong ceiling tile in the kitchen or it can mean “eat at your own risk.” Aaaaanyways, the food was delicious and I highly recommend this crazy steakhouse where men bring you large skewered slabs of meat. I am convinced Alexandra should get checked for tapeworm. She ate so much steak, where did it go?