16:23′ 05/02/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam fashion industry’s recent success is attributed to the growth in number of young designers with their own trademarks which have become consumers’ favourites.

Besides well-known fashion designers such as Minh Hanh, Sy Hoang, Vo Viet Chung, Le Minh Khoa, Cong Tri, Truong Thanh Long, Trong Nguyen and Kieu Viet Lien, many younger designers such as Huyen Mi, Hoai Sang, Nhat Huy, and Thuong Huyen have now gained success through fashion competitions at home and abroad.

With the guidelines not to use fashion for performance only and to show one’s individuality, many designers now work on simple designs for daily life. Minh Hanh has many young designs on brocade; Sy Hoang and Vo Viet Chung pursue ao dai (Vietnam’s traditional long dress) and Kieu Viet Lien has passion for making wedding dress.

Fashion trademarks such as Zip Fashion, Legafashion, Viet Thy, Nino Maxx, PT 2000 with fashion for daily wear gave been welcomed by customers, marking the success of the domestic fashion industry.

In addition, Vietnamese fashion designers such as Minh Hanh, Pham Huyen Trang, Ngo Thai Uyen and Vo Viet Chung have been invited to co-operate with international fashion magazines.

The Vietnam’s fashion industry has now entered a higher developmental step, not only to process samples made by other countries.

Though Vietnam’s fashion industry is still in a fledging state, what young designers have contributed to customers is undeniable.

With the tendency of receiving and creating, the link between creativity and industrial production, between designers and garment and textile companies have brought success to Vietnam’s fashion industry.

(Source: Nhan Dan)

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Vietnamese ’creative entrepreneurs’ tour the U.K.
15:16′ 03/04/2008 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese designer Ngo Thai Uyen and artist Nhu Huy recently traveled with delegates from East Asia to the United Kingdom on a trip organized by the British Council.

Designer Ngo Thai Uyen works at her company NTU Design Inc. in HCMC.

With stops in Glasgow, Bristol and London, the Creative Entrepreneur trip is a component of the three-year-long Creative City project, which is a cultural and artistic partnership between East Asia and the U.K. to develop cities where global citizens thrive.

The purpose of the trip was for local creative entrepreneurs to network and share ideas with their East Asian and U.K. counterparts and to observe how the British economy has benefited from the Creative Cities project.

The Creative Entrepreneur project aims to support the development of young entrepreneurs in creative industries who are integral to building successful economies.

Uyen, CEO and creative director of NTU Design Inc., said that after the trip she felt more confident as an artist conducting business and understands better how art contributes to the economy. She had the opportunity to learn from U.K. specialists about practical business know-how, which encouraged her to define her products based on real social needs.

The next step for the creative entrepreneurs is to establish a network of like-minded people in the region and in Vietnam. Once the network is established, a series of international seminars, workshops and partnerships between countries in the region and the U.K. will be organized.

Locally, a Vietnamese Creative Entrepreneur Club will be established for the purpose of networking, finding inspiration and keeping up to date with the industry.

The audio-visual project Re-Imagining the City, another component of the Creative City project, took place in Vietnam in January. The project explored how artists influence and are influenced by the cities in which they live and aimed to give artists a voice in how cities are planned and experienced.

(Source: SGT)

Going global

July 4, 2008

Going global
Ao dai and jeans – an innovation of Vo Viet Chung who is trying to penetrate the international fashion market

A generation of young designers is confident that Vietnamese fashion will one day become popular abroad.

Young ao dai designer Thuan Viet says the country is yet to have “a fashion industry.”

“It will take at least 10-15 years before we develop that.”

Viet, who has seen his stylized ao dais – the graceful Vietnamese tunic – strutted on international catwalks, says the most important ingredient missing on the local fashion scene is the raw materials industry.

To make ao dais, he imports most other raw materials, except silk that is produced locally, from India and Hong Kong.

Viet says in developed fashion industries such as the US and France, designers and textile producers work closely to create new types of fabrics for different collections.

Vietnamese designers, however, do not have that luxury as local producers are “either not yet capable of producing new fabric on their own,” or refuse designers’ orders which are usually too small to fetch profits.

One of the few successful female designers, the French-educated Kieu Viet Lien, agrees.

Considering that other countries spent decades building their fashion industries, new players like Vietnam have no choice but to learn from their experiences, she says.

“The more we learn from them the better.”

Foreign fashion designers’ key to success, she says, is their professional marketing and brand name development.

Designers’ shops, for instance, are often located in “strategic” places to enhance public awareness and prestige.

Vietnamese designers are as creative and talented as their foreign counterparts, which she says raises hopes that the country can develop its distinctive fashion brands – as long as it sticks to what it sees as attractive.

“We should not pay too much attention to fashion trends,” Lien cautions.

“Fashion trends do not last.”

Local designers should “determine and maintain” their own styles to show the world something “outstanding and different.”

Designer Vo Viet Chung, the first Vietnamese designer to be featured on French channel Fashion TV, admits Vietnamese designers’ styles are not appropriate for practical use.

“Most designers, especially the young, like to create impressive collections that are suitable for the catwalk rather than street walk,” he says.

A good idea will be to infuse traditional elements into modern clothes to create a unique blend that will make Vietnamese designs distinct, he says.

Long gone is the time when the country was simply waiting for foreign brands to come and show what they had to offer, he says.

“Now is the time local designers should jump onto the scene.”

Chung and Viet both have plans to take their collections abroad this summer: the former to two international fashion shows in France and the US, and the later to Japanese.

Chung also plans to introduce a new line called RubyVo with which he aims to target the wider Asian market.

RubyVo clothes include distinctively East Asian designs ranging from the dragon to the lotus, and make use of regionally-produced fabrics.

For his part, Viet aims for much more than just building on the traditional dress.

“One day, when my ao dais are more known on the international market, I will start thinking about Western-style clothes.”

Reported by Phuong Anh