17:32′ 15/09/2008 (GMT+7)


Bridge – Pascale Valery Tung Lam, a fashion designer for Thai Tuan Garment and Textile Company, designed the 2008 Miss Vietnam Collection for the 30 ladies who competed for the title of the country’s most beautiful woman in Hoi An.

You are the result of a romantic relationship between a beautiful French woman and a Vietnamese man. Please tell us more about yourself.

I am the result of a romantic love between a French lady from Champagne and a Vietnamese man from Ha Noi. They both had the same passion and played the violin. My father was a doctor and my mother a violin professor. She taught the violin to young students. I am the eldest of four children. I was born in Paris and lived in Ho Chi Minh City for the first 10 years. I learnt Vietnamese from my paternal grandmother. After 10 years I returned to France with my family because of the war. In 1996 I returned to Viet Nam for the first time.

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? What were you doing before working with Thai Tuan?

I became a fashion designer like my French grandmother, who had a fashion house. She passed on to me her passion for this trade, especially for silk, and [taught me] how to match colours. After my studies – fine arts, marketing in England and the US and courses at Stanford University [in the US], I opened a fashion house in France and was lucky to meet my fashion godmother, Carven, who is a famous designer in Paris. I learned the sensorial approach and studied the aromas of wine with my husband Jean Jacques, who is a wine taster and export manager for a famous wine and spirit distributor. I also studied with Jacques Puisais, an eminent enologist. I designed dresses according to the aromas of wines and held very successful shows in France and other European countries, including in Paris, the capital of fashion. I developed my design and my business thanks to Ratti Spa, a big Italian factory that makes silk. I also design for other brands like Pierre D’Alby, Christine Laure, and Sarah B. I studied the history of the Vietnamese dress, the ao dai, and met Lien Huong, a famous fashion designer of ao dai. I invited her to France and suggested to UNESCO that the ao dai be classified as intangible heritage. During my stay in Viet Nam, I worked as a fashion consultant to producers like IGTC, Vita Jean, Sai Gon 2, and Sanding. Now I work for Thai Tuan Company.

Do you think your mixed Vietnamese-French heritage gave you an edge when designing the Miss Viet Nam Collection?

I think that I am very lucky to talk Vietnamese, French, and English fluently. I see it as advantage to speak many languages in this kind of job. Now, for the Miss Viet Nam Collection, I think it is easier if I speak Vietnamese.

Please tell us about your Miss Viet Nam collection? Why were you chosen as the designer for this event?

I worked and designed dresses for Miss Viet Nam because Thai Tuan Company asked me to do it. Thai Tuan is an important partner and sponsor of Miss Viet Nam. I designed the fashion collection based on a theme inspired by nature in a glittering, new material called voile that Thai Tuan Company produces. Finally, Tien Phong, the Miss Viet Nam organiser, chose the dress “light” as the most representative of the event. It is both elegant and sexy at the same time.

What do you think about the fashion industry in Viet Nam?

I think the fashion industry is better than 10 years ago. Viet Nam now has many very good designers, especially of the ao dai, but we may progress more with a contemporary Vietnamese style (casual and city wear). We must also make a big effort to improve the quality of textile products we can introduce to, and capture, foreign markets, especially Europe and the US.

(Source: VNS)

Pioneer modelling agency dreams of global exposure
23:18′ 27/06/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – One of Vietnam’s first modelling agencies, PL (Professional Look) is teaming up with HCM City’s Stage and Cinema College to train Vietnamese beauties how to be professional models.

This beauty means business: Supermodel Xuan Lan, who raged across the catwalk in the early 2000s. She recently became the director of her own modelling agency.

PL also signed a contract with model training companies in Japan, South Korea and Singapore to hold exchanges with the Vietnamese company, PL director and former model Tran Thanh Long says.

“Our company will also establish representative offices in these countries to hold shows and introduce Vietnamese models.”

Long and his friend Ta Nguyen Phuc, known as the founders of the Vietnamese modelling industry, first set up PL Company in 2003. Since then, dozens of companies have followed the trend, including model Vu Khac Tiep’s Venus Fashion and actor Nguyen Anh Tuan’s A Dong (Eastern Asia). Most companies enrol students aged 14 to 23.

Some of PL Company’s stars include super model Phung Ngoc Yen, Vo Hoang Yen, Miss Friendly winner Chung Thuc Quyen and Miss Fashion winner Truong Chi Truc Diem.

Inner beauty

During PL’s training course, students will study different subjects like make-up, performing on the catwalk and how to act in front of the camera, says Long.

But beauty is one thing, behaviour is another, the former model admits. “It’s easy to find beautiful girls in bars and clubs but finding someone who loves the work and is virtuous, is another matter.”

Lessons on good behaviour should also be included on the courses, says director Xuan Lan of Xuan Lan Model Company. “I employ models carefully and selectively, they should be good girls and act responsibly.”

Other companies, like Venus Fashion Company on Nguyen Trai Street, HCM City, also focus on boosting the girls’ skills and charm, with classes on how to act on stage and others on foreign languages.

This isn’t just to look good in the skills round in the Miss Universe competition, as more modelling agencies look to promote their models on the international stage.

A Dong Company has teamed up with a modelling agency in the US to promote exchanges, says company director Tuan. “A Dong will invite some foreign experts in the industry to give lectures in Vietnam in 2009,” he says.

But few agencies can rival the success of PL. Last year the agency received an invitation from Fashion Television to send 20 models to a fashion show on the its Mega-F Diamond Cruise Ship at Nha Rong Wharf, HCM City last year, according to Thanh Long. FTV Jury also chose four models for Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand. PL is now an official representative of FTV in Viet Nam.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

Fashion fair in Hanoi for promoting domestic enterprises
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 (Vietnam)

Vietnam spring-summer 2008, fashion fair, kicked off yesterday in Hanoi and will continue to attract lot of visitors till April 6. More than 100 enterprises are participating in this event to showcase their creations.

The products displayed for the onlookers include a wide range of cosmetics, fashionable garments, along with various home décor items. Latest footwear designs are also exhibited here for Hanoi people.

According to official of the organization board, such events offer opportunities to domestic enterprises for promotion and marketing for their products. It also provides them a chance to understand the market trends to cater to the need of consumers.

Key consultant services are protecting intellectual property rights at the expo as well as are engaged in building brand and trade marks in international integration.

Fibre2fashion News Desk – Vietnam

Thursday started my first full day of shows here in New York and I was really looking forward to seeing the collection of newcomer Thuy Diep, a young designer who grew up in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley.
The California-reared Vietnamese-American, who’s worked for such powerhouses like Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen and Bay Area native Peter Som, showed 17 looks in an airy, loft space this afternoon. Her second collection since she started her label, Thuy.
Her design aesthetic fit the space – uncluttered, modern, bright.
“I like to use great fabrics and do one-off details that are subtle, but catches the eye,” she said in a quick interview during the presentation. “Each piece has something special.”
That would include a simple shift, done in silver glittery fabric, with three horizontal tiers draped so that part of the lines appear as if they are melting.
(It’s the first dress in the group shot.)
Diep, who was born in Phan Thiet, which she describes as a resort town located between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Her parents were tailors who ran a tailoring school and custom clothing business before immigrating to the U.S.

Diep was educated at Brown University and worked for Pricewaterhouse as a consultant before going to Parsons School of Design (yes, the one featured in Project Runway) and taking on draping and pattern making jobs for Herrera, Posen and Som.
Last season, she struck out on her own and impressed a number of luxury retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman. She giddily says she’s booking “quite a few” appointments with buyers interested in this spring line. Especially in the spotlight: the slim tuxedo jackets.
Her coats  – a silver gray linen blend one and a floral brocade, kimono sleeve one – struck me as pretty special. They will retail for about $1,000.
Also special, a blue satin high waisted pencil skirt with seams and a diagonal cut that hugged curves in the right places, eliminating the sort of ride-up inherent in the shape of a pencil skirt. Genius.
Diep is definitely one I’ll watch. She’s talented yes, and that’s reason enough.
But her heritage alone should spark the interest of many in Silicon Valley’s Southeast Asian community.

Talk Around Town

December 6, 2007




Talk Around Town


Dress up or as: youth shock in two styles

by Tran Thu Van

The miniskirt and its use by young girls to rebel against traditional fashion never swept Viet Nam in the swinging sixties, but today youngsters in HCM City and Ha Noi are increasingly using their wardrobes to express their individuality and shock their parents.

While the miniskirt does play its role in the latest fashion trends sweeping Viet Nam, young local trendsetters are looking for inspiration from Tokyo not London.

Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, a 12th-grade student at Kim Lien High School in Ha Noi, says she can’t imagine a life where she wasn’t free to express herself through her clothes, however bizarre they may be to her parents.

Thuy started following Japanese street fashion a few years ago, finding inspiration in the harajuku style, which is named after a trendy shopping area in Tokyo. Dressed in a motley mix of urban threads that mix aspects of the do-it-yourself punk movement with Japanese streetwear, Ha Noi’s harajuku exponents would certainly turn heads on the streets of the capital.

Despite, or maybe in spite of, older people’s disdain for the style, harajuku followers have found joy in the individuality and creative freedom of the trend, swapping their ao dai for a short, pleated schoolgirl’s skirt and a pair of saucy stockings, augmented by a carefully put together grab bag of accessories.

“Having one’s own style makes harajuku interesting,” says Nguyen Lan Anh, a 10th-grade student at Gia Dinh High School in HCM City.

“Everyone wants to make themselves distinctive from others.”

Everyone except the old folks.

“While we young people love to dress like this, our parents definitely feel shocked at seeing us in such weird clothes,” says Minh Vu, a student at Van Hien Private University in HCM City.

Move over, Sailor Moon

But as parents continue to cast disapproving eyes on harajuku, another trend from Japan is taking hold among Vietnamese youth. Cosplay, a combination of the two words costume and play, involves people dressing up as their favourite characters from Japanese manga comics or video games.

This fad, which arrived in Viet Nam in 2005, allows for much more elaborate costumes. Paying attention to minute details, cosplay enthusiasts try to look just like their idols and even try to pick up some of their mannerisms.

Many girls dress like the dashing, pretty nubiles that fill the pages of manga books, while their boyfriends take on the guise of action heroes and video game warriors.

While the harajuku style can be easily translated into casual streetwear, cosplay is reserved for special occasions, such as cosplay festivals or competitions. With recent cosplay festival in both Ha Noi and HCM City, the movement is gathering force.

A competition organised by Kim Dong Publishing House was a playground for hundreds of manga lovers recently, while the Night of 7 Festival in HCM City and the Active Expo 2007 Festival held in Ha Noi last September also attracted the participation of many cosplayers.

It is easy to understand why cosplay has such a strong attraction for teenagers, who want to be like their idols.

“What can be more wonderful than becoming a character you love for one day?” says Thuy. “And what can be better than people saying that it looks like you’ve just stepped off the screen?”

The fad has become so popular that more and more businesses selling special cosplay costumes are opening up.

Depending on the cosplayer’s creativity and the character they want to become, a costume may cost as little as VND300,000(US$18) or as much as several million dong. The average price for an outfit is about VND1 million ($62.50). This is no small amount for Vietnamese teenagers who are still studying, so cosplay for many is still a luxury pursuit.

While some are lucky enough to be able to splurge on costumes, other manga fans on a shoestring budget have to get a bit more creative.

Nguyen Dieu Linh, who studies at the Ha Noi College of Arts, buys cloth for her costumes and takes it to a tailor with the cosplay design of her choice.

Cosplay can be a harmless type of entertainment. Dressing up is a part of Vietnamese culture, and it’s up to each individual cosplayer to choose which character he or she becomes, as long as they don’t dress up as Godzilla on the day of their grandmother’s birthday party. —VNS

Four Vietnamese models selected for Miss FTV 2007
17:18′ 07/11/2007 (GMT+7)

Model Ngoc Quyen

VietNamNet Bridge – Fashion TV (FTV) will choose four Vietnamese models for its Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand.


Director of P.L Model Agent Company, Thanh Long, said that he received FTV’s invitation to send 20 models to a fashion show on Mega-F Diamond Cruise Ship of FTV on November 9 at Nha Rong Wharf, HCM City. There, FTV Jury will choose four models for its Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand on November 13.


P.L Model Agent Company has nominated four women, Thanh Hoai, Khanh Ngoc, Ngoc Quyen and Hoang Diep. The personal records of these models have been submitted to the Art Performance Agency for consideration for licencing.


Of the four models, Khanh Ngoc is the tallest, 1.81m. She won the Gold Prize at the Vietnam Supermodel 2007 contest and represented Vietnam at Miss Universe 2004 in Ecuador.


Ngoc Quyen entered the finals of the Vietnam Model 2006 contest. This 18-year-old model is also an actress.


Model Thanh Hoai was the first runner-up of the Miss Vietnam in photo and attended Miss Earth 2005 in the Philippines.


Hoang Diep, 22, is an exclusive model of P.L.


Miss FTV 2007 is a weekly contest. Each week around 20-30 models are invited to compete on the Mega-F Diamond boat. The three top models will enter the year-end Grand Finale round.


If their records are approved, the four Vietnamese models will go to Phuket, Thailand for Miss FTV 2007 on November 13.


In the fashion show at Nha Rong Wharf on November 9, Vietnamese models will model Thuan Viet ao dai and a collection of Van Thanh Cong.



16:35′ 24/04/2007 (GMT+7)


VietNamNet Bridge – Years ago, while the textile-garment industry of Vietnam was processing for foreign clients, Ninomaxx was designing, producing on industrial scale and building its own distribution network.


Currently, Ninomaxx not only holds a large market share in Vietnam but is also the only representative of Vietnamese fashion in the US.


According to the Vietnam Textile-Garment Association, of the nearly US$6 billion of textile-garment export turnover reported in 2006, the real value that the country earned accounted for only 20-30%. The remaining went to foreign partners, coming from imported materials, which were re-exported after that.


So far, Vietnam has not built a fashion industry. Ninomaxx is one of only several local companies that produce fashion garments on industrial scale.


“When our first shop with Maxx brand opened in 1998, we had already defined our strategy: turning Ninomaxx into a regional and world trademark,” said Nguyen Huu Phung, Ninomaxx’s Chairman.


Mr Phung said that 16 years ago when he went abroad, he tried to learn about the development of international fashion brands to apply in Vietnam. His Ninomaxx has become a leading fashion trademark in Vietnam.


Starting with the first shop in 1998 in HCM City, Ninomaxx has spread to many provinces in the south, the central region and the north. It currently has nearly 50 shops and 30 agents nationwide. Ninomaxx’s turnover has reached hundreds of billions of dong and it has been selected as the strongest brand in Vietnam by the Vietnam Textile-garment Association.


Ninomaxx was also the pioneer in taking Vietnamese fashion products abroad. Firstly, it opened shops in the neighbouring country of Cambodia, and then it developed a distribution network in Australia. After several years of preparation, Ninomaxx opened shops in the US.


According to Mr Phung, going to the US is a strategic and ambitious step of Ninomaxx. In the near future, Ninomaxx will expand to some European countries and its distribution network in Southeast Asia will be further expanded. In Vietnam, Ninomaxx will open shops in all 64 provinces and cities, with 120-150 shops.


Along with developing its distribution network, both at home and abroad, Ninomaxx will join hands with a US partner to produce high-class products. To have capital for those plans, the company will perform equitisation and list its shares on the stock market at this year’s end, said Mr Phung.