MOCA current exhibition, Front Row: Chinese American Designers, traces and celebrates the rise of Chinese American designers who decided to make their marks in New York. Curiously, the growth of New York’s Chinatown, the preponderance of Chinese manufacturers (tailors and seamstresses) in the city’s garment district, and the increased outsourcing of garment manufacturing to China, occurred alongside the rapid growth of fashion’s creative industries and a broader shift towards creative driven production in New York.
This exhibition, guest-curated by designer Mary Ping, features the unique visions of 16 designers amidst a larger narrative of social and cultural forces that accentuated and cultivated this group’s rise. Front Row will feature designer assemblages of signature looks while drawing on personal reflections that speak to unique artistic visions and entrepreneurial paths. From the origins of their careers and development of signature styles, to understanding their own complex relationship to the concepts of New York and Asia, the exhibition will explore the rise of these Chinese American designers and their relationship to New York City.