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12-Year-Old Asian American Debuts New Collection at New York Fashion Week 2020

By Press Club

Mar 9, 2020



  • The US fashion industry’s 12-year-old child prodigy Ashlyn So makes history as one of the youngest Asian-American designers to ever join New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
  • Ashlyn has built a reputation for pushing boundaries and will showcase a diverse collection of bold and imaginative designs on the NYFW catwalk on February 8, 2020.
  • Ashlyn launched her clothing line in San Francisco and it has diversified into a ready-to-wear line and bespoke industry services.
  • Ashlyn began sewing at the age of five and marked her foray into NYFW back in 2017.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - At nine years old, San Francisco native Ashlyn So made history after becoming one of the youngest Asian-American designers to participate in New York Fashion Week back in 2017.

Now 12, Ashlyn returns to the runway once more to exhibit her 2021 collection on February 8, 2020, at The Angel Orensanz Foundation Center, powered by Art Hearts Fashion Week, in Manhattan. Her creations for this presentation revolve around the theme “Shapes From Space,” inspired by unorthodox silhouettes, cosmic elements, and mundane details that would typically go unnoticed.

Ashlyn’s interest in fashion was piqued at the age of five. She was soon allowed by her mother, prominent architect Angela Wu, to attend a sewing camp a year later. To this day, Ashlyn sews her own designs. When she returned from camp, Ashlyn was bent on creating her own clothes, and at first, she longed to dress like her mother. This led to the inception of their mother-daughter fashion venture Pin2gether.

The young designer first concentrated on ready-to-wear apparel for girls her age and their moms. As Ashlyn continued to hone her style, she began to produce bespoke pieces and custom-made clothing for special occasions.

Ashlyn categorizes her designs as avant-garde, as the pre-teen leans toward architectural and sculptural silhouettes. The young designer conceptualizes each piece as a functional work of art and marries form and function with the intent that the wearer enjoys her creations.

Since getting her start, Ashlyn’s work has appeared on the runways of Kidfash San Antonio Fashion Show, San Francisco Community Fashion Show, and Sacramento Fashion Week.

Ashlyn’s debut at New York Fashion Week came in 2017 when she presented her childrenswear collection, “Enchanted Winter Forest,” during the Society Fashion Show at the Roosevelt Hotel. Her line consisted of white, ethereal ensembles, a variety of textures such as fur and feathers, and a showcase of adornments.

Ashlyn claims that it’s material sourcing and making trips to the fabric store that gives her the most joy in the creative process.

“There are so many options and so many possibilities,” said Ashlyn in a recent interview. “When I go to the fabric store, I’m not sure how, but I know exactly what I want. When I look at the fabric, I picture what the final design will look like. For me, there’s no limit to what we can create.”

Ashlyn anticipates that her upcoming NYFW show will run much smoother after valuable lessons gained from her first presentation. This year, she’s added more design executions to her arsenal and has developed her avant-garde style even further, incorporating unconventional shapes into her garments.

“Sometimes I see things beyond what they are,” Ashlyn explains. “I like to re-imagine simple things, like the patterns on a wooden door or silhouettes of trees, into figures and fantasies and these will transform to be part of my collection.”

The inspiring child prodigy confesses that she feels both delighted and motivated while backstage during a show. “Before the show is always a big rush. Sometimes, right before I have to walk onto the stage, I feel scared, but once I set foot on stage I feel excited again.”

Ashlyn finds inspiration in the works of Alexander McQueen, creative director Sarah Burton and Unravel creative director Ben Taverniti. She’s fascinated by both of their edgy and unique styles. She dreams of one day collaborating with these fellow designers, dressing Lady Gaga, and enrolling at Parsons School of Design in New York.