Longhorns Bring Fashion from Asia to UT

By Cynthia Miranda

Read how Asian/Asian-American students are influenced by different trends and styles in this photo series to learn about the impact of fashion on students at UT. Enjoy!

Photo by Unsplash
Photo by Unsplash

The fashion sense of Asian-American students is influenced by their American culture while international students are influenced by their native culture, but just as there are differences there are also similarities in their tastes in fashion.

Angie Lou, a sophomore from Shanghai, China, said she is influenced by American culture although she is an international student. She said she likes wearing brands such as Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, which are all popular brands in America.

Business senior Gee Yeong is an international student from Seoul, South Korea. He said his favorite brands are Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Both of these international students at UT were influenced by American style.

But, Angie also said international students are still influenced by fashion trends popular in China or in Asia. She said her culture's values are a part of what shapes her fashion sense.

Business senior April and business junior Gaby are also South Korean international students who also follow the fashion trends popular in their hometown Seoul. They mentioned how everyone follows trends or "fads" in Korea, so at times all you can find in stores are same kinds of clothing.

Korean fashion style tends to be more formal and dressy. Gaby said Koreans "wear these kinds of things even if we go to the campus." They also discussed how international Asian students prefer not to show a lot of skin. Gaby said, "It's not because we are conservative but we are not used to that," and April agreed.

Advertising senior Yihe Wang, an international Chinese student, said that Chinese people "are more conservative in a way compared to American dressing." International students from China and Korea seem to agree that fashion from their countries is differs from America's fashion in its level of skin exposure.

Although Wang is an international student, he personally "is more into American style." There is a noticeable pattern in the merge of cultures in fashion between Asian culture and Asian- American culture and whether students were born in the U.S. or are studying here.

Pre-pharmacy freshman Sue Jin Park, a Korean-American student, mentioned she is influenced by both cultures in choosing what to wear. She said, "Sometimes I dress more like with Korean style sometimes I dress more like with American style."

Korean fashion is a trend right now and influences other students from other Asian countries apart from Korea. Sophomore Alicia is a Vietnamese/Chinese-American student, and she spoke on behalf of her and her Asian-American friends who, "often buy stuff from Korean fashion online."

Biochemistry sophomore Tommy Ngo, a Chinese-Vietnamese-American, said "Korean style is very distinctive like if you see someone walking in the street like you can kind of tell." Although he isn't influenced by the style himself he is aware of its effect.

Psychology freshman Angelo Vergara, Filipino-American student, said he has been told by his friends he dresses similar to K-pop stars. His style often includes dancer outfits. Although there are many Asian-American students who are aware of Korean fashion, not all of them are influenced by Asian fashion. Freshman Bree, a Vietnamese-American student, said she is not really affected by Korean fashion or Asian fashion in particular but the impact goes both ways. "There are like different forms of street style that we emulate or they emulate to," Vergara said.

UT international students and Asian-American students are connected through their fashion. Students have shared that they are influenced by their cultural standards or trends going on in certain parts of Asia such as Korean fashion and K-pop, while some students are also influenced by American fashion. At UT there is a diverse blend of creative influences from different countries and cultures in Asian/Asian-American students' clothing.

All photos by Cynthia Miranda, edited by Sunny Kim

Cynthia Miranda is a freshman journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin.