Fashion industry needs fresh talent

July 11, 2006

14:20′ 11/07/2006 (GMT+7)

With limited inter national success to date on the fashion scene, young Vietnamese designers need an influx of international training and exchange to improve upon garment industry styles.

Design for living: Viet Nam Grand Prix Fashion Week is a chance to discover new talent in the fashion industry.

With some success on international catwalks, poor designs and an inability to build international trademarks plague the Vietnamese fashion industry.

Over the last 10 years, young designers like Vo Viet Chung, Le Minh Khoa, Cong Tri, Quoc Binh, Truong Thanh Long, Trong Nguyen, Kieu Viet Lien, and Ngo Thai My Uyen have emerged as new faces among veteran designers like Minh Hanh and Si Hoang.

Ngo Thai Uyen won third prize in a regional fashion competition held in Singapore in 1997 and Vo Viet Chung received a top prize at the Makuhari Fashion Competition for young designers Japan in the same year.

Designer Si Hoang, an expert in designing traditional dress ao dai said that Vietnamese designers often equate fashion with the so called haute couture, the glamorous, high profile, high profit side of style.

Haute couture, of course, gives designers an opportunity to show off their creative skills, but it is not the only line of business in the fashion industry. This sector must know about designing and manufacturing garments for high volume retail sales,” he said.

Critics of the domestic industry said most designers simply copy or improvise Western and Chinese designs. But young designers in Vietnam should seek to assert a separate identity with works partly inspired by Vietnamese traditions to catch the eye of foreign designers.

Discerning buyers

With living standards improving drastically in Vietnam and people becoming more concerned about appearance, the fashion industry has a bright future. Fabric selection is now more important than ever as discerning shoppers can feel the difference in quality silk, cotton or linen.

Young designers need to seize the opportunity of stylising clothing for the new discerning and modern Vietnamese consumers. Industry experts think that the only way this is possible is for designers to increase exchange with international clothiers.

Vo Viet Chung also complained that Vietnamese designers seem to return to the same old fabrics and designs, without incorporating fresh ideas to attract buyers.

Minh Hanh, director of the HCM City Fashion Design Institute (FADIN) said that young designers have rich ideas and use a lot of embroidery and Vietnamese silk, but they lack-basic fashion techniques.

“We have a lot of factories, which can make good quality products, but they lack fresh designs. I think if we have young designers who have learned and trained more in international fashion, the reputation of the Vietnamese fashion industry would grow rapidly,” Hanh said.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

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