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Vietnamese Visionaries: How Local Designers Are Making a Global Splash in Couture

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Vietnamese Visionaries: How Local Designers Are Making a Global Splash in Couture - MEAN BLVD

Let's embark on a fascinating journey with Mean BLVD to delve into the lives and legacies of these groundbreaking designers. Mean BLVD, your go-to source for the cutting-edge in fashion, offers an exclusive look into how Công Trí, Phương My, Thủy Nguyễn, Đỗ Mạnh Cường and Phan Huy, Đỗ Mạnh Cường,... are weaving their magic into the fabric of international couture. From their humble beginnings to their meteoric rise on the global stage, we'll uncover the stories behind their stunning creations and the ways they're putting Vietnamese fashion on the map. Ready to get inspired? Let's dive in!

Công Trí

Công Trí is recognized beyond his role as a designer, contributing as an advisor to various fashion, entertainment, and arts programs in Vietnam, as well as appearing on reality TV. He shapes the personal styles of Vietnam's renowned artists and judges both design and international beauty competitions.

His career, spanning nearly two decades and marked by the launch of four collections, reached a milestone with his debut at New York Fashion Week 2019—one of the global fashion capitals. This event was a deliberate move to affirm his name and unique style on an international platform. The debut of his “The Walk of The Stars" collection at this event was met with considerable acclaim, swiftly earning it the status of Công Trí's notable New York Fashion Week debut.

Phương My

Together with Công Trí, Phương My stands out as a Vietnamese designer who has gained the confidence of international celebrities and was invited to showcase her work at New York Fashion Week 2019. She pursues the goal of establishing a sustainable fashion brand, gaining respect for focusing on her brand's impact rather than her personal story. While influential, she prefers a low profile in the media, letting her work speak for itself.

Phương My made a notable impact with her Autumn-Winter collection presented alongside designer Naeem Khan, bringing to life the essence of East Asian femininity through the nuanced and delicate details of her designs. This also defines Phương My's brand development direction, with a focus on ready-to-wear fashion. Her designs are not based on personal style or inspiration but rather draw from the personalities and inspirations of the women around her.

Thuỷ Nguyễn 

Another prominent figure in Vietnamese fashion is designer Thủy Nguyễn, often referred to as "The Woman of Silk.” While many admire her beauty, it seems she prefers complexity over conventional attractiveness. What sets her apart in the contemporary fashion scene is her unique ambition: to revive traditional fashion using the language of modern design.

In 2015, at Mercati Di Traiano in Rome, upon invitation by the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, designer Thủy Nguyễn hosted a Spring-Summer fashion show featuring silk with a distinct East Asian essence. She painted a mesmerizing picture: designs in vibrant colors blending silk, taffeta, and satin, centered around the dragon motif, a symbol of strength and power in Asian culture, showcased in the heart of ancient Rome, creating a breathtaking scene.

Đỗ Mạnh Cường

As Vietnam's most beloved and sought-after fashion designer, Đỗ Mạnh Cường commands immense popularity not only at the nation's most reputable and professional fashion shows but also on the global stage. The fashion showcase of SIXDO - the fashion brand by designer Đỗ Mạnh Cường - at New York Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2024 unveiled a stunning collection of 50 new designs. 

During the runway presentation, models gracefully traverse the catwalk in an S-shaped pattern, a creative departure from the conventional straight path. "I aim to infuse the spirit and imagery of Vietnam into this showcase. Both SIXDO and I draw inspiration from our homeland. It's a source of immense pride," shared fashion designer Đỗ Mạnh Cường.

His designs feature a rich array of materials including tweed, brocade, taffeta, organza, cotton, silk, fur, and chiffon, adorned predominantly in hues of black, white, and pink. Additionally, Đỗ Mạnh Cường elevates the collection with the timeless polka dot motif, a signature emblem of his career. These meticulously crafted, high-end creations, characterized by their intricate detailing and sophisticated allure, epitomize the epitome of couture fashion. Despite their opulence, they are seamlessly integrated into street-style ensembles, reflecting the designer's profound understanding of consumer needs.

Trần Hùng 

Another unique and talented young designer hailing from the S-shaped land is Trần Hùng, who has just debuted his Fall-Winter 2024 collection digitally as part of London Fashion Week 2024.

Trần Hùng's vision incorporates elements of surrealism into his personal fashion designs. In his concept of surreal fashion, garments transcend their utilitarian purpose to become artistic masterpieces for the public to admire and preserve. Currently, the creation of eco-friendly materials is a pressing concern for many sustainable fashion brands worldwide.

This marks the 12th consecutive appearance of Trần Hùng's collections at this prestigious fashion event, following nearly 5 years of collaboration with the British Fashion Council. Notably, Trần Hùng remains the first and only Vietnamese designer to be featured as a member of London Fashion Week to date.

Phan Huy

Having previously made an impression with his graduation project "La Monyenne Région," 25-year-old designer Phan Huy once again garnered attention by presenting his collection "Lost in the Cavern" at Paris Fashion Week in France.

The collection draws inspiration from the beauty of the caves in Quang Binh province, such as Son Doong, Thien Duong, and Phong Nha caves. Phan Huy shared that he was utterly mesmerized by the natural masterpieces within these caves, including colossal rock formations and the magical scenery created by water flows.

Phan Huy is devoted to honoring the cultural essence, people, and landscapes of Vietnam through his fashion designs. His favorite selection of fabrics are delicate and ethereal, such as chiffon, organza, tulle, and silk. These materials evoke a sense of lightness and grace. His color palette is centered around hues of beige, rose gold, silver, black, and pure white, lending an air of sophistication to his creations.

Phan Đăng Hoàng

Phan Đăng Hoàng quickly rose to prominence as a remarkable success in the fashion industry, notably in Milan, Italy, from an early stage. Upon returning to Vietnam, he continued to draw inspiration from the cultural narratives, lifestyles, and people of his homeland to craft truly unique fashion pieces.

At Milan Fashion Week Phan Đăng Hoàng had has integrated the sculptural works of Điềm Phùng Thị into his fashion designs. These adaptations are executed meticulously with attention to detail. Some designs closely resemble the original artworks, almost mirroring them. However, there are also designs that undergo reinterpretation, offering a fresh perspective while still preserving the essence and distinctive characteristics of Điềm Phùng Thị's creations.

Phan Dang Hoang participated in Milan Fashion Week as an independent designer, with a digital show alongside renowned brands like Gucci, Prada, and Fendi, which marked a significant milestone. The Digital Show is regarded as a pioneering stride in expanding fashion's reach across the globe.

"Hopefully, this will be a turning point that brings me closer to fashion enthusiasts and enables me to conquer both domestic and international markets," the young designer expressed his aspirations. 

As we wrap up our exploration of Vietnam's trailblazing designers, it's clear that the journey from local craftsmanship to international acclaim is both inspiring and transformative. Designers like Công Trí, Phương My, Thủy Nguyễn, Đỗ Mạnh Cường, Trần Hùng, and the emerging talents of Phan Huy and Phan Đăng Hoàng, are not just creating clothes; they're weaving narratives, blending cultural heritage with modern aesthetics, and, most importantly, opening the world's eyes to the rich tapestry of Vietnamese design. Their success on the global stage is a testament to their relentless creativity, innovation, and dedication to their craft.

As they continue to break boundaries and set new standards, the future of Vietnamese fashion shines brighter than ever, promising more exciting chapters in the global fashion narrative. Let's keep our eyes on the runway; the best is yet to come.

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