Coming Full Circle: Expect the Linsanity to heat up in the Bay Area as California’s hometown hero faces the Golden State Warriors on February 12th. As fans remember, Jeremy Lin was first signed to his favorite team on July 21, 2010 and turned down higher counter offers so he could play for the Warriors. During his first exhibition game, fans, especially Asians, went nuts and chanted mightily for the first Asian American born NBA player. After an unceremonious start on the “Inactive List,” Lin made his NBA debut during the Warriors Asian Heritage Night. Off and on, Lin improved his overall skills playing in the Warriors D-League. A disappointed Lin was “waived” or essentially released
by the Warriors on December 9, 2011, picked up by the Houston Rockets 3 days later but again “waived” and picked up by the New York Knicks on December 27th. Just when Lin was thinking about giving up on the NBA, the Knicks coach played Lin on Feb 3, 2012 out of “desperation” and Lin unexpectedly led the team’s turnaround. The next night, he surprised his coach again with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists and Linderella was finally the belle of the ball. Shortly thereafter, The Rockets were back as suitors and offered Lin a three-year $25M deal…not bad considering not one college offered him a basketball scholarship so he paid full board to attend Harvard who guaranteed he would play on their team. Lin’s parents were both born in Taiwan and named him “Shu” which means “book” and “Hao” which means “proud”. My friend believes his parents gave him his name in hopes that he would love to read, be knowledgeable and make the family proud. Well, he’s the pride of our community and I will be cheering him on (and buying my jersey early) at this year’s Asian Heritage Night with a portion of ticket sales to benefit the Asian Week Foundation on February 12th at 7:30 pm. Log onto http://www.warriors.com/asianheritage to buy tickets and attend a post game Q&A. And for those who believe in Chinese numerology and lucky numbers, Lin was born on 8-23-88.
Uber Status: Growing up, my parents wanted me to be one of the “LEAD” professions: lawyer, engineer, accountant or doctor. However Liu Wen‘s mother wanted her to be a model which is probably more appropriate if you’re as tall and striking as she is today…5’10″ and ranked #7 in Vogue’s Top 10 Models of 2012. A new Facebook convert, she is sharing her glamorous life with 216k subscribers. She’s appeared in every major fashion publication, sauntered in famous designer shows, and made headlines as the first model of Chinese descent to walk Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2009 which surprised her since she doesn’t “have big boobs.” (FashionTV.com interview). Today, she is the (first Asian) face of Estée Lauder and she is well on her way to becoming a household name both in China and around the world.
He’s Hot: One of Liu Wen’s favorite designers is Alexander Wang…no doubt because they are young stars at the top of their games. On Nov 29th, Wang was named to be the new Creative Director at the French fashion house of Balenciaga, the Spanish designer who showed his first collection in Paris in 1937. “Alexander Wang is young and he has a universal culture. He is American with Chinese roots…I like that he’s young and based in New York, so he will have more exposure of the brand worldwide,” said Francois-Henri Pinault (whose wife is actress Salma Hayek – Chairman of PPR (aka Gucci Group). Wang was born to Taiwanese American parents, raised in San Francisco and speaks Mandarin. He moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design at 18 and created his signature brand in 2005. Today his flagship store is in SoHo with 12 retail stores in seven countries. Last month Forbes magazine named Wang one of the best and the brightest “30 Under 30.”
A Family Who Prays Together, Stays Together: Another Forbes A-lister is self made South Korean immigrant Do Won Chang, founder of Forever 21. He finished 2012 as Forbes #88 Billionaire in the US and #276 in the World. Chang and his wife immigrated to America where he worked three jobs at once: janitor, gas attendant, and at a coffee shop. Three years later, they opened their first store in 1984 in Los Angeles targeted to the trendy Korean American middle aged women. Fashion 21 expanded quickly and they later changed the named to Forever 21; today they have 480 stores around the world generating $3 billion in sales. Their only two daughters help run the business today and you can find “John 3:16″ printed on the bottom of their shopping bags. His advice to young entrepreneurs hoping to make-it- rich fast: “Retail is like a marathon, not a 100-meter dash.”
Auspicious Date: President Obama will be officially and publicly sworn in on Jan. 21, 2013 – which happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. To keep up with the latest on Capitol Hill and the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on AAPIs, visit http://whitehouse.gov/