Fashion designers markets overseas – Lien Huong Ao Dai

December 2, 2006

Fashion designers don their finest to tap markets overseas

 
   

The best of Vietnam’s fashion designers have slowly begun to integrate products into international markets, despite a competitive environment and difficulty introducing trademarks overseas.

Only a select few designers have good exposure in discerning markets overseas, including Minh Hanh, Sy Hoang, Le Minh Khoa, Viet Hung, Kieu Viet Lien, Cong Tri, Lien Huong, Ngo Thai Uyen.

It’s not unusual to see Le Minh Khoa shops in Hong Kong or Guangzhou, America, Australia or Malaysia.

Khoa said, “My American business partners expressed their surprise at Vietnamese fashion, saying that the designs and fabrics are indeed luxurious.”  

While Viet Hung, who has four stores in the US, two each in Canada, Germany and Australia, and one in the Czech Republic said, “Foreigners are interested in my products, which are mostly handmade.”  

“I am now targeting the Japanese market, hoping to make my mark with 30 fashion shops.”

Kieu Viet Lien – the only Vietnamese designer to have two prestigious designing certificates issued by Australia and France, well-known for her wedding and party dresses, said foreign customers prefer Vietnamese products made of silk, velvet, taffeta, or lace.

Lien Huong, on the other hand, has amazed people in France, Canada, Japan and especially America with many collections of remade ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress).

In Australia, her ao dai have made an impact on the former Miss Australia.

“The best way to attract foreign buyers is to make products steeped in traditionalism and modernism,” Huong said.

Challenges

Speaking at a round-table meeting on “The Fashion Industry in Vietnam – A Waste of Talent” in July, chairman of Viet Nam Garment and Textile Association Le Quoc An said.

“There is still very few Vietnamese trademarked fashions on the international market.”

Sharing his viewpoint, an expert in ao dai – designer Si Hoang said that Vietnamese designers often equate fashion with the so-called haute couture, suitable only for catwalks and not ready-to-wear markets.

Chairman of the International Garment and Textile Training Center (IGTC) in HCMC, Diep Thanh Kiet accepted the fact, adding, “Haute couture provides the greatest scope for creativity, but the fashion industry is largely geared towards the ready-to-wear sector.”

Vo Viet Chung – the top prize winner at the Japan’s Makuhari Fashion Competition in 1997 as a young designer – complained that Vietnamese designers seemed to return to the same old fabrics and designs, without incorporating fresh ideas to attract buyers.

Most empowered bodies and designers agreed that Vietnam designers should focus more on fashion industry demands, practical business knowledge and marketing strategies to develop their trademarks and expand business scale overseas.

Reported by Da Ly – Compiled by Luu Thi Hong

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