THIS WEEK IN HOT GEN Z TRENDS: SHONDA RHIMES STRIKES AGAIN 😵

For our second installment of AANHPI Heritage Month blogs, we’re chatting about brands and accounts by community members. The Screenshot team selected 10 each of the thousands of companies and Gen Z influencers out there that are founded by AANHPI individuals. Beyond and during the month of May, take intentional time and effort to platform and fund people like those listed. Follow accounts like @asianfounded, @sendchinatownlove, @dearasianyouth, and @ainamomona to learn more about AANHPI culture and interact with those in the community. 

Brands: 

  • Paro is a South Asian comfort food brand. The brand was created by a first-generation Pakistani American. They package lentil and spice mixtures that can be prepared in under 30 minutes. Paro launched on February 1, 2023, with three products: masoor daal, kitchari, and tarka oil. They also provide recipes to be made with the food to add a little *spice.* All of the food is gluten-free and made with good ingredients. 
  • Tower 28 is a Taiwanese-founded skincare and beauty company made for those with sensitive skin. They are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, and wanted to take the clinical feel out of sensitive skin products. Tower 28 has won Allure Best of Beauty awards and is the only beauty brand to follow the National Eczema Association’s ingredient guidelines. The company also hosts “Clean Beauty Summer School” to accelerate BIPOC-owned clean beauty businesses, providing them with funding, connections, and mentorship. Tower 28 also has a wide sustainability initiative, including PCR packaging and carbon neutrality. Plus, they are super inexpensive! 
  • Seen Library is an organization trying to connect people over books in an increasingly online environment. They host pop-ups, exchanges, drives, and interviews. Seen Library is mostly based in Los Angeles, but they host events across the country. The founder is Filipino and she intentionally curates books with an emphasis on marginalized identities. In many of the pop-ups, the books are covered by paper and a library card with a clue about the book’s themes and a quote. 
  • Immi is reinventing ramen. Dominated by Cup Noodles and Maruchan for years, immi’s founders have come together to create a new take on the food. The two Kevins come from Taiwan and Thailand and sell plant-based, nutritious, and easy recipes. Their noodles are keto, low-carb, and high-protein, and also delicious! Currently, immi sells black garlic “chicken,” spicy “beef,” tom yum “shrimp,” and spicy red miso flavors. They also provide recipes to switch it up. 
  • Glow Recipe is a fruit-recipe skincare company. The brand’s founders originally began the company as an importer of Korean beauty products from small businesses, but the growing market inspired them to curate their own goods. They met at L’Oréal Korea and immediately clicked. Glow Recipe is clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, made with gentle formulas. Their Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment went viral online, but they carry powerful products for every step of the skincare routine. Glow Recipe has won dozens of awards for their goods. 
  • Hi-Chew is an iconic chewy candy for Gen Z. The founder, who immigrated from Japan, started making sweets over 100 years ago in 1899. The predecessor of the Hi-Chew was made in 1956, as a swallowable gum. Hi-Chew’s flavors are inspired by fruits like lilikoi and dragonfruit. It’s now sold in almost every national grocery store. They even partner with Major League Baseball! 
  • Mohala Eyewear is an inclusive eyewear brand that counteracts the multitude of products that only work for Eurocentric features. They offer three unique nose bridge fits that work for everyone. For each pair purchased, Mohala donates a week of school to Room to Read, for girls in Asia. The founder grew up in Hawai’i and is ethnically Japanese, Chinese, and white. This year, Mohala sold a “Summer Essentials AAPI Beauty Box” with products from ALOHA Collection, Tatcha, Girlfriend Collective, Tower 28, Mount Lai, Kulfi Beauty, EADEM, Youthforia, and Have A Nice Day. 
  • Sanzo is the first Asian-inspired sparkling water. The Filipino founder was inspired in 2019 by watershed cultural advancements for Asian Americans in recent years. They use real fruit and no added sugar. Sanzo has flavors like calamansi, lychee, and pomelo and sells in locations like Whole Foods. Their most recent flavor partners with basketball athlete Jeremy Lin. 
  • Asian American Girl Club is an apparel company redefining what it means to be an AANHPI woman. The Japanese American founder wanted to celebrate women of color and increase the feeling of belonging. AAGC has partnered with Amazon, artist Kimi Kimo, Chunks, and other companies. They also post interviews with AANHPI women and brands. 
  • Kulfi Beauty is a celebration of culture and beauty. Their products are made with South Asian undertones, shades, and skin concerns in mind. Kulfi partners with organizations addressing mental health challenges uniquely faced by South Asian individuals. The business launched at the beginning of 2021 when the first-generation Indian American founder became fed up with the lack of beauty items that worked for South Asians. Kulfi was selected for Sephora’s Accelerate 2021 program for BIPOC-owned brands and now is carried exclusively at the store. They’ve won Byrdie’s best concealer award and Allure’s best eyeliner award. Their products are high-pigment, vegan, cruelty-free, and ethically sourced. 

Gen Z Influencers: 

  • Avantika (@iamavantika) is an Indian actress and dancer. She entered Telugu cinema in 2015 and has since done English and Tamil roles as well. Avantika is currently working on “Horrorscope” and a film adaptation of “Mean Girls: The Musical.” She is also starring in and executive producer of the “A Crown of Wishes” series for Disney+. 
  • SuKha (@sukhaneverdies) is a Muslim and Bangladeshi fashion designer and singer. Her style combines the experiences of a childhood in Saudi Arabia and her current life in Canada. SuKha is not hijabi, but she styles headscarves in creative ways. She’s released an album, “The Ugly Brown Girl Mixtape 2020,” and three singles. SuKha performs across Canada. 
  • Amanda (@virghoexoxo) is a Vietnamese content creator big on fashion and accessories, especially thrifted. Her style is funky and emphasizes slow consumption. Amanda also posts “day in the life” content and photoshoots. Her content is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 
  • Neil (@neilshibata) is a Japanese influencer who makes beauty, fashion, and LGBTQ+ content. He also makes a lot of wholesome content with his family. Neil upcycles clothing to make cheap DIY versions of luxury favorites. He has successfully partnered with brands like Nordstrom, H&M, and Mugler and was featured in Vogue Japan. 
  • Isha (@isha_punja) is an Indian fashion designer and model. She founded Hut Mentality in college as a way to put the human element back into clothing. All of the products have artisan sources and operate on a capsule level. Isha was also on the Netflix reality show “Twentysomethings: Austin.” On her social media, Isha creates relatable content, especially about dating. She’s worked with companies like Aveda and Liquid IV. 
  • Harley (@harleyhobin) is a Cambodian and Italian content creator. She posts about her child and lifestyle content. Harley has a casual presence on TikTok and a more professional one on Instagram. As an added benefit, her kid is adorable! 
  • Sara and Avni (@iconicakes) are sisters who post about … basically everything. They experiment with things, from wearing a 34-inch wig in a club to sugar waxing  facial hair.  Avni is on a gap year and Sara is at university. The sisters create fun and accessible content. Almost all of their content is made on a tight budget, which makes the experience more engaging. Sara and Avni also post videos learning about their Indian culture and teaching it to others. 
  • Gabby (@gabrielasage) is a Japanese model and mental health advocate. Much of her content is GRWM and fit checks. Gabby also posts about her modeling career. Her aesthetic is minimalistic and earthy. She was recently featured on a billboard for Tower 28. Gabby has partnered with Supergoop!, Beekman 1802, UGG, and Frank And Oak, among many others. 
  • Wehi (@mahiiiiimahi) is a Kānaka Maoli who posts about her Hawaiian identity, astrology, and her life. Her easy-to-understand videos debunk the experiences of Kānaka Maoli on the islands in a digestible format. Wehi is also a freelancer and makes videos about her experiences in this field of work. 
  • Joe (@joeando) is a Japanese and Italian fashion and relationship influencer. He recently made a skirt for Lizzy McAlpine and pants for Casey Lowry to wear at their concerts. Joe also makes wholesome content with his mother. His account is hilarious and adorable, and his millions of followers prove that. 

Trending 

Last month, our work with Coach sent shockwaves through the fashion world — with press from Vogue, Elle, Business of Fashion, Vogue Business, Harper’s Bazaar, Refinery29, and the NY Times all raving about the new sustainable sub-brand, Coachtopia. JUV’s collaboration with Coach began over a year ago and what we knew then, and what Coach knows now, is that the future of business is *community.* We partnered with Coach to build a community of Gen Z creatives who ideated for the brand, identified with consumers, designed graphics, modeled, and posted for the launch. No surprise … Coachtopia’s launch sold out not once, but twice. This is work we can do on behalf of clients and have done previously for brands, venture capital firms, and political organizations. If you’re interested to learn more, click here to book a quick call with Olivia Frary, our Senior Director of Community & Partnerships. 

Now, this is a monarch everyone can stand for … Netflix’s “Queen Charlotte” “Bridgerton” offshoot dropped on May 4, and it quickly became a popular show. The plot follows Queen Charlotte and King George III in the first stages of their marriage, exploring the bipolar disorder the real king had and that’s shown in seasons 1 and 2 with the older George. It also tracks Lady Danbury’s experience with her husband and her life as a widow, and the relationship between the butlers for Charlotte and George. @WILDSUN Tweeted about the perfect casting between the young and middle-aged Charlotte and Danbury. In contrast to the slew of colorist castings recently (and always), “Bridgerton” brings a different tune. The storyline brought many to tears as viewers watched the couple grow and adapt as time passed. One Gen Zer pointed out that Charlotte keeps the same fashion throughout her life — though most move from Georgian to Regency — “to comfort George and make her more recognizable.” For young people, at least, it seemed the storyline between the two butlers (Reynolds and Brimsley) was even more moving than the main plot. One scene, in particular, brought tears to everyone’s eyes: the two men dance together at the outskirts of a ball, and the scene transitions to Brimsley dancing alone. @anactualstone demanded, “SHONDA WHAT HAPPENED TO REYNOLDS.” The scene had @bfreezy and @cinemanyas crying in the club. Though we don’t know what happened between them, Shonda Rhimes has suggested their work got between the couple — though, we’ll hope for a better ending next season. We all thought “Bridgerton” was a pandemic-era escape from reality, but it seems here to stay. Shonda Rhimes strikes again! 

Is it 2009 right now? The Jonas Brothers just announced their “Five Albums. One Night.” tour, reaching 39 places across the country. The five albums span from 2006’s “It’s About Time” to 2019’s “Happiness Begins.” Gen Zers did not come to play with the presale, as we’ve had enough ticket sale problems the past few years for an entire lifetime. @jvIias joked, “Blocked off my calendar at work for jonas brothers tickets.” Many who attended Jonas Brothers concerts in their childhood remarked on the steep price increase in current times. While $100 could buy close-up tickets at past events, the same amount now purchases nosebleed tickets. However, after over three years of COVID-19 concert cancellations, many are willing to pay a high price to see an artist tour (think: “finna be in the pit” and “Eras Tour” tickets). With Beyoncé, SZA, Taylor Swift, and the Jonas Brothers all on tour right now, Gen Z is being blessed with a season of fire concerts. As Billy Ray Cyrus once wisely said, “I love the Jonas Brothers!” 

✨ IYKYK ✨

✨ This sound is for the delulu girlies … A TikTok audio from “Cunk on Earth” has people pointing out something they are *actually* not doing, whether being on hour four of studying or finally dating someone. 

✨ Ice Bear is Gen Z always. A compilation of “We Bare Bear”’s moodiest character’s quotes is making its way around TikTok for countdowns or GRWMs. 

✨ How do you recover from a letdown? This TikTok trend shows something bad that happened and a positive reaction (eg: “the most heartbreaking things happening in my life / everything happends for a reason) 

Screenshot of the Week 

The trend in Heritage months (ie: BHM and WHM) this year has been for people of that demographic to bring a sign to school with “I ❤️.” This month has been no different. @liggamaiahballz posted her take on this, with a compilation of classmates and teachers holding the sign. Another trend has been videoing peers bowing down to the camera in different countries’ variations (for an example, see @ylanthedogeater’s video). 

Harmonie Ramsden