2008 U.S. Olympic Diving team, Athlete Haley Ishimatsu

28 08 2008

Haley Ishimatsu was one of 12 divers nominated to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.  A member of the U.S. national diving team since 2006, (she had previously represented the U.S. national gymnastics team), Haley has since won numerous medals internationally.

Guess what? She only started diving in 2004, overcame a phobia of heights, trained 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, and is only 1 of 3 women who can perform a back 3 1/2 pike.

Haley’s sister Tory is another U.S. national diver. Haley talks about having two world class athletes in the same household

“If we were in the same event, our household would be very tense, shall we say […] We support each other every which way, we’re hardly ever apart. Dad said if we were in the same event, he wouldn’t want to live in the same house!”

Read more here at Asiance!




Japan’s top luxury fashion brand, international fashion icon, Anna Sui

23 08 2008

Anna Sui is a New York-based Asian fashion designer known worldwide for her playful creations and whimsical runway shows. She was born and raised in Detroit, but relocated to New York City after graduating high school to study at Parsons School of Design.

While attending Parsons, Anna found a collaborator and close friend in Steven Meisel, who has gone on to become one of the world’s top fashion photographers. In 1980, Anna showed a mere 6 original pieces at the Boutique Show and immediately received an order from Macy’s department store, who in turn one used of her designs in a New York Times advertisement.

That same fateful year, Anna launched her own label out of her apartment. Recently, Anna was named by Time Magazine as one of this decade’s top 5 fashion icons, a designer who “never panders.” With boutique stores in the US, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and a dozen stores in the planning stages for Western Europe, Anna has also added a cosmetics and shoes line. Check out her sites here and here. She continues to design from her NY offices.

At a young child, Anna dressed her dolls and her neighbor’s toy soldiers, and pretended they were at the Oscars. Growing up, Anna clipped fashion-magazine pages and began filing in what she now calls her “Genius Files,” an inspiration to her throughout her career.




Actress, model, neighborhood street fighter, Kelly Hu

19 08 2008

Kelly Hu used to sing improvised songs on her neighbor’s porch about going to the market and other daily chores. She was 2 at the time. After being the first Asian to win the Miss Teen USA pageant in Miami Beach and graduating from high school, Kelly used her pageant money and a new Mazda RX-7 to moved to Los Angeles. Her Mazda was stolen a month later but Kelly was on her way to stardom.

Did Kelly wait for the calls to come?

Heck no!

Her first order of business was putting a full-page ad in Variety to announce her arrival in Hollywood. (Can someone post that ad if they find it?) That call generated twenty calls the day it ran and Kelly soon landed the popular commercial role for Philadelphia Cream Cheese. At one point, she couldn’t walk down the street without someone yelling,

“Hey, Pheel-a-DEL-phia!”

Back in the states, Kelly started playing roles on television shows such as Growing Pains, Night Court, and 21 Jump Street.

Fun facts?

Kelly’s brother Glenn, who attended martial arts classes, taught Kelly how to fight…and then set up fights with neighborhood boys to take bets.

Kelly was also the first Asian American to be featured on the cover of Maxim Magazine. At the time of publication, Kelly’s cover was the biggest selling issue in their history.