Updated news about the ao dai started when I was working on my documentary. Also check www.myspace.com/vietqmedia
Ho Chi Minh City-based Vietnam Fashion Design Institute (FADIN) was set up in 1995 with a plan to promote the production of original Vietnamese garments of high quality. It is currently the main catalyst in attempting to make Vietnamese garment industry’s mark in the global market as well as identifying and nurturing young talented designers.
Vietnam’s garment and textile industry has long been a large contributor to the country’s economic development. Yet, most of its companies have operated as assembly workshops for foreign corporations for the lack of a complete production system, especially at the design stage. Over its 11 years of operation, FADIN has created opportunities for designers to meet apparel firms to produce garments of Vietnamese originality.
FADIN organises the annual Vietnam Collection Grand Prix, Spring – Summer and Autumn – Winter Fashion Weeks and makes good use of such festivities as 2004 Hue Festival, 2005 Rhythm of the Ao Dai and the 30th anniversary of national reunification to identify young talents and showcase their products.
The first issue of FADIN’s “Mot” Magazine came out in April 1999, familiarising the public with fashion basics, helping designers promote their products to consumers at home and abroad and contributing to orienting people’s fashion tastes.
“Designer Minh Hanh has been a leading figure of the FADIN since its early days. In addition to pioneering the fusion of traditional with modern clothes, she has attached great importance to identifying and nurturing young talented designers to form a contingent of design professionals,” Sao Kim, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Mot”(Fashion) Magazine, says.
FADIN works with the French Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and the French Fashion and Design Institute to organize short-term fashion courses and send its young talented designers abroad to study.
Today, along the country’s major shopping streets, FADIN’s brand names, M.H., Lega, VietLien, NhatMinh and Nguyen Sa, have set a foothold beside well-known international garments. Such garment companies as Viet Tien, Thanh Cong, Nha Be, Phuong Dong and Garment 10 have introduced their products domestically and abroad, paving the way for the country’s fashion industry. FADIN has represented Vietnam’s fledging fashion industry and introduced its culture to the world in Vietnam Cultural Weeks in Japan and Belgium, Vietnamese Days in the United States as well as at domestic festivities.
“Whatever showcased on the catwalk or seen for sale in made-in-Vietnam shops are the signs of the industry’s initial steps only,” says mild-mannered, yet self-demanding Minh Hanh, Director of FADIN. “We are still far from professional, in terms of designers, models and catwalk directors. There is a need for a national strategy to build a contingent of fashion workers and a healthy working environment in support of their work,” she continues, not hiding her preoccupation.
FADIN, with its initial achievements, is expected to fuel Vietnam’s growing textile and garment industry, helping to create its identity in the global market.
Story by Thinh Phat – Photos by Quang Minh & File