Five prominent Asian American fashion designers and influencers have banded together to launch “House of Slay,” a digital superhero comic series centering diverse Asian voices.
On a night out in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the friendship of the “House of Slay” heroes is tested. The fivesome deepens their bond after a Phoenix deity gives them powers, transforming them into fashionable, glittering superheroes who fight the forces of hatred and oppression.
The inspiration behind the series’ characters comes from real-life Asian American designers Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung and Laura Kim, as well as influencer Tina Leung and restaurateur Ezra J. William. Collectively, they refer to themselves as the Slaysians, based on a hashtag they often use. The real-life friends teamed up to create “House of Slay,” which draws inspiration from their heritage and immigrant backgrounds. Each of them has converted themselves into a superhero with powers based on their personalities, their strengths and vulnerabilities alike on display.
The group worked with writer Jeremy Holt and illustrators Kevin Wada, Soo Lee and Kimi Lee to create their characters. “We were all very hands-on from the beginning of designing our costumes to the very end detail of armor and embellishment,” the Slaysians told NextShark. They described the process as empowering: “It felt [like] giving yourself permission to be unapologetically your true self.”
The visuals of the comics are bright and action-packed, and the characters wear bold and exciting outfits befitting their fashionable real-life counterparts. The storyline poignantly reflects the difficulties that Asian Americans have faced over the past year.
“This past year of all the senseless violent attacks on our community due to scapegoating us has had profound impact on how we move forward,” the series’ creators said. “We all have had the privilege of leading and championing the #stopasianhate movement that turned a moment into a global movement. No longer will we stay silent and complicit when It comes to injustice, racism and hate.”
View this post on Instagram
“We want the world to see that being Asian is a thing of joy, creativity, and celebration. For so long, we have been viewed through an outside lens as foreigners, painted as consumers without culture or voice,” they added.
The concept of the House of Slay extends beyond the comic, however. The Slaysians are already planning on expanding the brand: “The future is limitless as long as we come together as a larger community and build this house together. We are just getting started.”
The first installment of “House of Slay” debuted on the Tapas App on Nov. 11, and the second one will be released on Nov. 18. New episodes will be uploaded on a weekly basis.
More information about the project can be found on the official House of Slay website.
Featured Image via House of Slay