It’s been a noteworthy year for the Asian community worldwide. From Chloé Zhao and Youn Yuh-jung’s landmark wins at the 2021 Oscars to global anti-Asian violence and the rousing ‘Stop AAPI Hate’ protests in response, the community has found itself front and centre in the news for reasons both invigorating and heartbreaking. Like many of us, Golden Globe-winning superstar Awkwafina has turned to thinking about family—whether near or far.
“In a world that tells you that Asian women should be a certain way, my grandmother showed me that she was the financial neck of my family and held us all together. She wasn’t meek or shy; she was loud and confident and wanted to make people laugh just like me,” reflects the comedienne extraordinaire and Vogue Singapore’s May/June issue cover star.
Having had the influence of such a strong woman in her formative years, it is no wonder that Awkwafina has become a shining beacon of pride for the Asian community worldwide. Lensed by Yelena Yemchuk for our May/June ‘Perspective’ issue, she opens up to deputy editor Amelia Chia about upcoming projects, imposter syndrome and Asian representation. The last item on the list is not something she takes lightly, having consistently picked roles and projects that further diverse and inclusive narratives. From being shot to fame for her role as Goh Peik Lin in Crazy Rich Asians to her latest project voicing Sisu in Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s first princess from Southeast Asia, that has always been apparent.
Among the many accolades and nods she has received, the most recent is Awkwafina’s new appointment as an ambassador for Gucci’s new Beloved Line. Her love for the whimsical brand is splashed over the pages of our book, in a 14-page editorial of Gucci’s most exuberant looks. It’s a good fit for Awkwafina—as she cracks, she has always been “thirsty for Gucci and the eccentricity of the brand”.
The rest of the issue contains a mind-bending trove of stories on everything from the truth behind sustainable packaging to life as a young transgender person in Singapore. As we enter the mid-year, it is all about finding new perspective.
Editor-in-Chief: Norman Tan
Photographer: Yelena Yemchuck
Fashion: Daniela Paudice
Art Director: Henry Thomas Lloyd
Hair: Jenny Kim
Make-up: Benjamin Puckey using Clé de Peau Beauté
Manicure: Ada Yeung, BRIDGE Artists
Fashion co-ordinator: Michael McDowell
Stylist’s assistant: Alexander Picon
Producer: Bo Zhang
Casting: Jill Demling, Creative Casting Agency
Set design: Ian Salter
Story: Amelia Chia