May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and while it’s always worth supporting AAPI- and Asian-owned brands, now is an especially great time to support them—and the community at large.
Support can look like many things. According to Amy Liu, founder of beauty brand Tower 28, that can be anything from “standing up for your Asian employees and coworkers—even when people brush things off as ‘just a joke’” to “letting your personal network know where you stand on the issue and making a conscious effort to dispel hurtful stereotypes.”
Of course, you can educate yourself on the AAPI experience, donate to nonprofit organizations, and bookmark resources to help #StopAsianHate. Another way to show your support is by shopping from Asian-owned brands—because the pandemic didn’t just result in physical violence; it also saw significant losses for Asian-owned businesses across the country, and those effects are still being felt.
Supporting Asian-owned brands not only benefits business owners, but also lends itself to increased equity, develops generational wealth, helps dismantle the harmful “model minority” myth, and builds solidarity with AAPI people. “Many assume that AAPI don’t need the help, mainly because most people think we’re fine or they’re just learning about the many years of hurt that have gone unsaid,” Jennie Yoon, founder of jewelry brand Kinn, tells Glamour. “However, a large percentage of AAPI individuals are living below the poverty line and suffer in silence.”
Brands in the past have done their part by releasing products that give back to the AAPI community, but there are plenty of Asian-owned brands making staples for your everyday life. Liu says, “In the same vein as ‘voting with your wallet,’ shopping from Asian-owned companies is an impactful way to make a difference in this community.” Ahead, 51 AAPI- and Asian-owned brands to shop today and every day.
AAPI- and Asian-Owned Beauty Brands
After going through the cycles of eczema rashes, Tower 28 founder Amy Liu worked to create a line of makeup that wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin. Since then, Liu and her clean beauty brand, which takes a playful approach to everyday makeup, have become known for lip glosses, tinted balms, and a Glamour Beauty Award-winning bronzer that will leave you with a healthy, natural-looking glow.
Founded by Charlotte Chen Pienaar, Everyday Humans creates cruelty-free, plastic-neutral, and climate-neutral SPF meant to be used by everyone, regardless of skin type or gender.
Cocokind founder Priscilla Tsai struggled with acne before launching her budget-friendly skincare brand—in fact, her own products helped calm down her most intense breakouts. If you’re dealing with acne, Cocokind is probably a great place to start.
Hero Cosmetics cofounder Ju Rhyu launched her brand with its now-ubiquitous Mighty Patch, a hydrocolloid pimple protector inspired by K-beauty. It has since expanded into an entire skin-saving empire, offering all the patches, creams, and cleansers you need to take control of your skin.
Cofounded by Lillian Tung, Fur makes body-care products geared toward your most sensitive and intimate areas. The brand’s head-to-toe products have been formulated to prevent ingrowns and soften the coarser hairs on your body.
Named after a type of Indian dessert that’s similar to ice cream, Kulfi creates makeup to celebrate the South Asian community through self-expression and beauty. Founded by Priyanka Ganjoo, Kulfi offers a colorful range of eyeliners to encourage beauty lovers everywhere to play and experiment with their makeup.
Rooshy Roy launched Aavrani to share the Indian beauty rituals she learned from her grandmother during visits to Kolkata, India. The brand’s skin-care products, which use natural ingredients, are Roy’s way of embracing the duality she feels as a Detroit native who grew up with Indian immigrant parents.
When Yu-Chen Shih didn’t see herself reflected in the makeup industry, the beauty entrepreneur set out to fill the void with Orcé. The beauty brand creates foundations for Asians as a way to diversify the cosmetics industry (while also combating colorism within Asian culture by providing shades for every Asian skin tone).
If you’ve kept a finger on the pulse of the beauty world, odds are you’ve heard of Tatcha. The skin-care brand counts everyone from Selena Gomez to Meghan Markle as fans—and for good reason. Under the helm of Vicky Tsai, who brings Japanese beauty practices to her brand, Tatcha offers a range of products, including the 2022 Glamour Beauty Award-winning Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair Cream to keep your skin calm and dewy all day long.
Before launching her cult-favorite skincare line, Alicia Yoon trained as an esthetician in South Korea. Now, Peach & Lily is synonymous with glass skin—its cleansers, creams, and serums might just be your key to a flawless, supermodel-level complexion.
Makeup guru Patrick Ta, a longtime favorite of Gigi Hadid and Elsa Hosk, launched his own line in 2019. It’s all dreamy, romantic, and luxe—perfect for rounding out your collection.
Inspired by the Korean concept of jeong—an affection and empathy that drives people to put others before themselves—Charlotte Cho (the founder of K-beauty retailer Soko Glam) launched Then I Met You to make beauty products that encourage people to pause and reflect. From its best-selling cleansing balm to its nourishing lip mask, the brand seeks to deepen people’s skin-care routines with the most efficacious products.
Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, founders of the K-beauty-inspired brand Glow Recipe, know that your beauty routine should take your skin seriously, but it should still be fun. We’re huge fans of virtually everything from the brand (think Watermelon Body Lotion, Plum Serum, Niacinamide Dew Drops, and Avocado Retinol Eye Mask)—and we promise it’s not just because of the dreamy packaging. This stuff delivers; the Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask took home the Best Face Mask award in our Glamour 2022 Beauty Award Reader’s Choice category.)
Lin Chen’s self-care company Pink Moon is working to revolutionize the way you approach beauty, skin care, and wellness. Part community, part retailer (with its own in-house label), Pink Moon carries female-founded brands that focus on sustainability, holistic wellness, and philanthropy.
Founder Lisa Mattam grounded her brand in the age-old science of Ayurveda, employing pure, science-backed ingredients to create gentle yet effective skin-care products. Its lip balms are the MVP.
AAPI- and Asian-Owned Fashion Brands
Seen all over celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Megan Thee Stallion, and Michelle Zauner, BonBonWhims’ chunky, Y2K-inspired jewelry is like wearing a sugar rush. The brand was founded by Clare Ngai, a fashion industry veteran who immigrated from Hong Kong to the United States when she was 18—and since launching in 2020, it’s become inescapable on Instagram and TikTok.
Those of you looking to add a playful, fashion girl-approved touch to your wardrobe will want to keep Sandy Liang on your radar. The Chinese American designer draws inspiration from her upbringing in New York by Chinese grandmothers. But don’t let that fool you: Liang’s designs are brimming with a sense of rebellious youth.
Mother-daughter duo Su Paek and Stephanie Callahan created Find Me Now during the COVID-19 pandemic, distilling a playful, internet-influenced aesthetic into each of their pieces. Designed in Long Island City and ethically produced in Ningbo and Shanghai, the label focuses on comfortable clothes and doesn’t retouch any of its images.
For one-of-a-kind pieces that are bound to turn heads (or function as wearable art), look no further than Olivia Cheng’s Dauphinette. The designer first entered the fashion world in 2018 with recycled fur, leather, and vintage. Since then, Cheng’s expanded to ready-to-wear clothes and accessories that’ll make any fashion lover’s heart sing.
JW Pei, founded by husband and wife Yang Pei and Steph Li, is accessible luxury at its finest. Despite being readily available for under $100 on Amazon, its vegan bags are regularly spotted on celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski to Megan Fox.
Founder and CEO Josie Cruz Natori left Manila for New York at 17, founding her eponymous brand in 1977. In the decades since, the label’s lingerie has become the stuff of legend; the Feathers bra, for example, has built a cult following that includes Lady Gaga (and several Glamour editors).
Can’t get enough statement hair clips in your life? Neither can we—or Tiffany Ju, the founder of Chunks. Whether you’re looking for a ’90s-inspired claw clip to twirl your hair into a high bun or you want a pair of barrettes to add some extra pizzazz to your middle part, Chunks will have it all, complete with an air of nostalgia.
A jewelry box overflowing with classic pieces is never a bad thing. But when it comes to the styles you’ll never take off, Kinn has the ones you want. The brand’s founder, Jennie Yoon, designs each piece to become an heirloom that’ll stand the test of time.
If you’re looking for statement jewelry to complement your everyday staples, I’mmany’s whimsical baubles might be the latest pieces to add to your collection. The brand’s founder and designer, Tina Xu, creates pieces that feature natural and organic materials, like real flowers, leaves, semiprecious stones, and freshwater pearls. Need we say more?
When creating her own label, Indian-American designer Sheena Sood took inspiration from both travel and nature. The result is Abacaxi, a brand that remixes traditional techniques with a playful, ‘gram-worthy aesthetic.
Founded by Phyllis Chan and Suzzie Chung, YanYan makes comfort look cooler than ever. The knitwear label takes inspiration from its founders’ lives in New York and Hong Kong, which means you’ll find Chinese-inspired pieces with NYC streetwear edge. Plus, the brand also takes a sustainable approach to fashion by using leftover yarns for its designs.
Jaclyn Fu founded Pepper, a lingerie brand with styles for anyone with an AA, A, or B cup bra size, in an effort to reclaim power over being small-chested. But nailing the fit isn’t the only part of Pepper’s bras that are appealing; they make being on the smaller side outright sexy.
Founded by actor Ally Maki, Asian American Girl Club is a community for AAPI people that happens to also sell really great clothing. The company works to redefine what it means to be an Asian American woman in the modern world with content and merchandise to uplift and empower the next generation of leaders.
AAPI- and Asian-Owned Home & Lifestyle Brands
Founded by Eunice Byun and David Nguyen, the direct-to-consumer brand Material prioritizes designing modern, functional, and affordable kitchenware. The brand is known for its reBoard, a cutting board made from recycled plastics. However, it recently teamed up with Korean ceramics company Soil Baker to create simple and sleek dinnerware.
Thinking about becoming a plant parent? The Sill is the place to start. Cofounded by Eliza Blank, who has Filipina roots, the indoor plants and potted houseplants business offers a growing variety of plants to welcome to your home.
Since bursting onto the scene with its Instagram-famous Always Pan in 2019, Our Place has become a staple in countless home kitchens. Co-founded by Shiza Shahid, the brand prioritizes ethical manufacturing and buying less overall—a welcome disruptor in the overcrowded world of cookware.
Boy Smells cofounder David Kien used his extensive experience in the fashion industry to create a candle and perfume line that’s just downright cool. In addition to its cult-favorite scented goods, the Los Angeles-based brand also offers genderless underwear.
Virginia Sin, a Brooklyn-based designer, has pieces in the New York Historical Society Museum’s permanent collection and provides Eleven Madison Park’s serving ware. Now, her eponymous line of chunky home goods is here to add a sense of play to your space.
Husband-and-wife team Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung founded Poketo (which got its name when Myung’s grandmother mispronounced “pocket”) in 2003, eventually expanding into a beyond-cute line of home goods, accessories, and stationery.
If you aren’t familiar with Sari Sari General Store, it’s time to get acquainted. The brand carries everything from home goods and books to clothes from BIPOC creatives. Founded by Marielle Sales and Gabriella Mozo, the New York–based collective first launched to bring together descendants of the Filipino diaspora.
Looking for the coolest items in contemporary Chinese art, culture, and design? Chop Suey Club has the answer. The New York boutique, which was founded by Ruoyi Jiang, offers a range of products from Chinese artists from around the world as a way to share modern Chinese culture with others to fight against xenophobia.
Anyone who wants to add a touch of traditional Chinese culture to their life will love perusing the family-owned business Wing On Wo & Co.’s porcelain tea sets, dinnerware, decor, and more. The shop, which is located in NYC’s Chinatown, also leads W.O.W. Project, which was launched by owner Mei Lum to foster the neighborhood’s creative community.
To support Chinatown’s small businesses through the global pandemic, New York’s Made in Chinatown teamed up with local shops from the historic neighborhood to create a series of collections that are each based on some of the area’s most notable stores. All proceeds from the initiative, which is part of the grassroots project Welcome to Chinatown (founded by Jennifer Tam and Victoria Lee) will go directly toward the neighborhood’s businesses.
For those who want to up their crafting game, Woobles has you covered. The brand, founded by Justine Tiu and Adrian Zhang, gives you step-by-step tutorials to teach you the basics of amigurumi (a Japanese style of crochet) so you can make an ultra-cute plush toy.
Now that you’re getting ready to be able to host people again, up your table-setting game with supercute linen napkins from Loyale Studio. Whether you go with a monochrome set or mix and match, San Francisco native Jenny Hwa’s company has you covered. Perhaps best of all? Five percent of Loyale’s sales are split between La Cocina and Kitchen Table Advisors, nonprofits that work to make a positive impact on immigrant/POC livelihoods, U.S. food systems, and farming communities.
AAPI- and Asian-Owned Food Brands
Sandro Roco, a Queens-born Filipino American, founded Sanzo to bridge the divide between cute contemporary branding and traditional Asian flavors. Now, his line of sparkling waters celebrates real fruit like mango and lychee—with zero added sugar, of course.
Brightland founder Aishwarya Iyer is on a mission to simplify the complex world of olive oil, sourcing all of the brand’s olives from a family-run California farm. The result? High-quality cooking and finishing oils, plus vinegar and small-batch honey.
Sister duo and founders Vanessa and Kim Pham—daughters of Vietnamese refugees—launched Omsom to create an easy and accessible way to incorporate Asian flavors into your cooking. The brand provides you with premade seasoning packs to keep right in your pantry until you want to mix it into proteins and veggies.
When Bokksu founder Danny Taing left Japan for the United States, he brought a suitcase full of the snacks he loved, knowing he couldn’t find them stateside. In 2016, he turned his love of Japanese snacks into a full-fledged subscription box, introducing customers to delicious and rare finds from across the Pacific.
Debbie Wei Mullin founded Copper Cow Coffee to provide the world with an accessible take on Vietnamese drinks. The brand sells packets of sustainably produced grounds or tea and condensed milk to give you an easy way to make Vietnamese-style coffee drinks using the simple pour-over method.
If you need a foolproof gift for the foodie in your life (which could be you!), you won’t go wrong with spices from Diaspora Co., which is led by founder Sana Javeri Kadri. Diaspora Co. provides a new and equitable approach to the Indian spice trade that offers quality spices directly from its farmers.
Fly by Jing’s founder, Jing Gao, created seasonings inspired by the flavors she found at the hole-in-the-wall restaurants of her hometown, Chengdu, in Sichuan, China. The brand’s products, which include peppers, sauces, and more, are the perfect way to add a unique and unexpected touch to any of your meals.
To put it simply: Umamicart is your online Asian grocery store—which makes shopping for your favorite Asian pantry staples, snacks, drinks, and more doable from the comfort of your couch. The online marketplace, which was cofounded by Andrea Xu, prioritizes Asian American- and immigrant-led businesses and has everything from traditional, tried-and-true favorites to new products.
At Nguyen Coffee Supply, which was founded by Sahra Nguyen, you’ll find everything you could need to make a tasty cup of Vietnamese-style coffee, including beans and Phin filters. The brand works directly with a coffee farm in Vietnam, highlighting the quality of beans and celebrating diversity in the coffee industry in the process.
The eponymous Masala Mama is Nidhi Jalan, who grew up in Calcutta, India and earned her nickname from a nurse before she was even born. After moving to New York to pursue a fine arts degree, she started throwing dinner parties—and soon realized her true passion was cooking. Now, her brand produces vegetarian sauces with no added preservatives or sugar.
Tarush Agarwal and Jasleen Kaur—two first-generation Indian immigrants—founded Sach Foods as a way to bring their cultural heritage to the meat-free world in the form of fresh paneer. You can use the brand’s paneer, which comes in three different flavors, for nearly anything, whether it’s a Buddha bowl or a vegetarian burger.