Vietnamese models burst into int’l scene

July 5, 2006

Model Tong Bach Thuy and Kim Hong.  

In recent years, more Vietnamese models are strutting their stuff on international catwalks, showing the growth of Vietnam’s modeling industry.

Most models said that international fashion shows gave them the opportunity to gain more experience from their international colleagues as well as represent their home country. 

Model Xuan Lan spoke to Thanh Nien about her experiences in touring abroad.  Most Vietnamese models always do their best to make first good impressions not only for themselves, but for their country, she said.

“I have modeled in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Japan and China.  Thank to these tours, I have learnt about performance styles and gained experiences from foreign models. But above all, I’ve had the opportunity to become more independent and appreciate my country a lot more,” said Ms. Lan.

Tough work

The model spoke about her most unforgettable moment at a huge fashion show in Paris last year.

This fashion show had beautiful models from all over the world, but the Vietnamese models were selected to start off the show, said Ms. Lan.  The models included Ms. Lan, Anh Thu, Than Thuy Ha, Tong Bach Thuy, Ngoc Nga, Kim Hong and Uyen Lan.

For the show, each model had to wear the traditional Vietnamese ao dai in two-degrees Celsius weather and walk down a 20-kilometer street from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. the next morning while holding incenses.

“The 10 Vietnamese models had to struggle with the severe cold that night.” Ms. Lan recalled. By the end of the evening, the models were completely exhausted from the cold weather and long walk.

But, they still did their best against the uncomfortable conditions to complete the show. Some models even walked down the street barefoot because their scandals had broken, she said.

“We were extremely tired. But, when we saw the smoke spiralling up from the incenses held in front of our chests, we thought about our national pride and continued our journey, added Ms. Lan.

The models’ determination also won the admiration of witnesses.  Some overseas Vietnamese could not hold back their tears and even Frenchmen praised the bravery of the Vietnamese models, she said.

To prepare for the memorable show, the models also prepped themselves by doing their own hair, ironing their own clothes and arranging their part of the show.

Getting better

Although Vietnamese models have left good impressions on the international scene, there is always room for improvement. 

“Vietnamese models are less professional than foreign models,” according to Director Ngoc Thuy, who used to take Vietnamese models abroad for shows. 

“Their strength and diet are not good enough. And although Vietnamese girls are very beautiful, they are still not the ideal height for modeling,” he said.

Also, the authority should create more conditions for models to gain experiences at shows abroad to hone their professional skills, said Mr. Thuy.

Previously, two models, Phan Thu Ngan and Hoang Men, had been invited to the Philippines to work. But, the two girls could not go because they were unable to obtain overseas working licenses from the relevant authority.  This is because “models” are not officially considered a profession in Vietnam, said Mr. Thuy. 

Meanwhile, Thanh Long, who has accompanied Vietnamese models to fashion shows in Germany, said Vietnamese models needed to improve their English skills. 

Despite some developments, the modeling industry in Vietnam is still young and unpopular.  Most Vietnamese fashion shows are still held for the main purpose of cultural exchange. 

With more Vietnamese models bursting into the international scene, now is the time for people in the modeling industry to promote the industry to the country and world.

Reported by Da Ly – Translated by Quynh Nhu.

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