The beginnings: interview with the designer of Vietnam brand
Japanese inspiration, fabrics that needed to be loved again, cool details: these are the main features of Vietnam brand, a women’s ready-to-wear brand based in Berlin Germany (https://www.vietnamofficial.com). I like, at the first sight, I talked with Nam, the designer of Vietnam brand, about the beginnings of the collection, about the stock fabrics and materials used for the first Vietnam collection manufactured in Germany and about the challenges of a young designer nowadays.
Vietnam is a women’s ready-to-wear brand based in Berlin Germany https://www.vietnamofficial.com.
I had a really hard time finding a name. For me, names don’t matter. A name becomes beautiful by its owner and that is the same case for a brand and its collections. Frankly, I was really uninspired and I couldn’t care less, I just wanted to do my designs and to work on the collection instead of worrying about a name. Time was running and I needed to order woven labels. I had many bad ideas and this seemed to be the least worst one. It is, in fact, a combination of my papa’s name and my name.
Who are you? What was your professional path? When and how this brand story started?
I started working in fashion right after I left school, always on the commercial heavy side. I worked in retail, in sales, wholesales, buying and product management. I worked for Luis Vuitton, Ann Demeulmeester and Haider Ackermann, I even tried high street fashion and I also worked for a luxury multi-brand online shop. I learned a lot working in all different fields and the desire to be my own chief grew bigger. I always wanted to work creatively, to express my ideas but I realised that no fashion house would ever give me the chance to work as a designer without any proven design experience.
Why did you used “only dead stock fabrics and materials”?
Our fashion/textile industries is one of the biggest prodigals, and there are so many clothes out there. We actually don’t need more of them. There are so many fabrics unused and unloved, so why not using them again?! It’s not a concept of mine though. I don’t try to use dead stock only. Design comes first, but I want to give my best using up industries leftovers.
What was the inspiration point for this SS17 collection?
I was heavily inspired by kimono belts. I love when Japanese women are dressed in kimonos and I really like the back work, the colours of the belts and how they wrap them sophistically around their body. I wished to be dressed like that too, so I tried to think about how to make an obi belt suitable for daily use. Every style has a different name because that’s how I learned to do it and its very practical.
Your style signature is…
I don’t know that yet! Maybe you can tell me that after my 6th collection…
Your favourite fabric is..
…cotton, viscose, silk. And I learned that I love to have every of them with some stretch in it. But viscose is my favourite out of these three.
Τhe biggest challenge as a designer right now is…
For me, it’s clear about the money! And there are two further challenges correlating with that: being recognised and get the sales in.
The fall/winter 2017/2018 collection will be inspired by…
To be honest there was no real inspiration for it. The collection was simply build intuitively of colours and shapes I want to have in it.