Local designer made French chevalier
July 7, 2006
Knight in shining fashion: Designer Minh Hanh (centre) poses with friends after receiving the title last night. — VNS Photo Thanh Vu
Vietnamese designer Minh Hanh was granted the title Knight of Arts and Letters (Chevaliers des Lettres et des Arts) by the French government for her contribution to promoting Franco-Vietnamese cultural co-operation in fashion.
Hanh was given the title by Consul General of France Nicolas Warnery in HCM City last night.
Hanh is a leading figure in Viet Nam’s fashion industry and is well-known for her successful combination of Vietnamese traditional fabrics with modern styles, which is present in her ever-changing ao dai designs. Her various collections have been introduced in many countries like Japan, Germany, France and the US. She became the first Vietnamese designer awarded an international prize at a Tokyo Fashion Fair in 1997.
As a director of the Vietnam Fashion Design Institute (Fadin), Hanh initiated Viet Nam Fashion Week – a rendezvous of professional designers, and Viet Nam Collection Grand Prix – a competition for young designers with an international jury, including examiners from the French Fashion Design Institute.
She soon became the bridge between Vietnamese and French fashion after helping boost fashion activities between the two countries through different programmes signed with the French Fashion Design Institute.
Vietnamese designers have won scholarships to France for further study in fashion while French lecturers of fashion have come to Viet Nam to provide training courses to 15 young talented Vietnamese designers.
In 2002, Hanh held two fashion shows dubbed White Night in Paris and Far East in Nantes after joining a two-month course for professional designers in Paris.
She was also invited to join the jury of ESMOD by Paris Cultural Department. As a key fashion partner of the French Consulate in HCM City, she collaborated with French directors and artists to direct Vietnamese and French programmes at Viet Nam’s Festival Hue.
Established in 1975 by French General de Gaulle, the title Knight of Arts and Letters is given to people with outstanding achievements or great contribution to the arts and literature to France and the world. — VNS