Tran Hung is an emerging name in the Vietnamese fashion industry. Born in 1988 in Yen Bai, he graduated from the University of Industrial Arts and has been active in the field for more than 10 years.
Tran established his brand, named after himself, in 2016. He was the runner-up in Project Runway Vietnam 2015 and one of the judges for the Vietnam Supermodel 2018 contest. Last September, he was the only Vietnamese designer to participate and be featured on the homepage of London Fashion Week.
What brings you to fashion design?
My mother used to own a tailor shop and have many apprentices. It seems like my connection with clothing and textiles started in my mother’s womb. Since then fashion has become my passion. There are a lot of memories, as well as milestones. During my first fashion design class, my teacher overgeneralized about students from other provinces. He said we must put in more effort to broaden our knowledge about fashion than students from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. This was because we were less exposed to the field. It was such an insensitive and discriminatory thing to say. I will always remember it.
The biggest challenge fashion designers face is finding their style identity. Your signature is what customers and fashion gurus remember you by.Tran Hung.
What is the most memorable story from your early days in the industry?
There are a lot of memories, as well as milestones. During my first fashion design class my teacher overgeneralized about students from other provinces. He said we must put in more effort to broaden our knowledge about fashion than students from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. This was because we were less exposed to the field. It was such an insensitive and discriminatory thing to say. I will always remember it.
When you decided to be a fashion designer, did your family support you?
Parents always want their children to have a stable and secure job. Although my mom was a seamstress, she only worked for five or six years until quitting. When I chose my major, my family wasn’t against it. However, after graduating, my dad wanted me to achieve pedagogical skills and become an art teacher. Now, not only have I chosen the career, but it has chosen me. My family supports me even more.
Every designer has a signature style, how would you describe yours?
I am a designer from Vietnam – a very young country in the fashion industry. However, my pieces amaze the audience. My diverse and sophisticated designs are as good as famous brands in nations that have a more developed industry.
My collections take inspiration from women and everything surrounding them, such as feminism, freedom, empowerment, and open mindedness.
I am proud to have the only brand that embraces sustainable fashion in Vietnam. About 90 per cent of the materials I use are silk from domestic and international suppliers. Silk is an environmentally friendly material. The sewing process is mostly hand done with high level crafting techniques, minimizing the use of machines. Some designs are even constructed from fabric scraps, which reduces textile waste.
My signature is natural fabric, hand done crafting and the use of organza. These crucial features contribute to the brand’s uniqueness and help distinguish it from others in Vietnam.
Could you describe Revival, your Spring/Summer 21 collection that was featured in London Fashion Week in September?
The collection blends different textile waste, such as fabric scraps, sheepskin, and thread. This revives materials that are supposedly disposable into high fashion.
I aim to create sustainable fashion that currently has very few pursuers in Vietnam. The collection promotes environmental awareness and evokes feelings of love of nature in its wearers. Revival also embraces the beauty inspired by women.
The materials I used were taffeta, organza, and chiffon. These are environmentally friendly textiles and can be recycled multiple times.
The collection is a bold mixture of vibrant colour block hues, such as red, pink, yellow and green, and white.
Intricate techniques, from hand stitching to beading and embroidery, are also seen in the collection. By the hands of experienced craftsmen, flawless designs are made.
Do you have any advice for young people who plan to pursue this industry?
You must consider your dreams thoughtfully. Because once you follow this pathway, you have to be patient and persistent. Fashion is not as glamorous as it looks. It is difficult and arduous. Loving fashion and becoming a designer are two different stories.
First and foremost, you should understand what you are really good at, because the industry is not only made up of designers. I’ve witnessed many people pursue fashion, but in reality, only 10 per cent of them remain in the field. It is cruel, as some invested a lot of money in it. On the other hand, there are some who rose from practically nothing. You must choose a suitable path that is aligned with your ability.
What style and colour do you think will be popular in spring/summer 2021?
Due to the impacts of natural disasters and the pandemic, sustainable fashion is rising and gaining attention. Environmentally friendly pieces will hopefully become a popular choice. Instead of mainstream styles, individuality will gain traction.
The hue that I pick for spring/summer 2021 is lemon, a vibrant yellow green colour that has appeared since spring/summer 2020. You will see it in accessories and outfits by various designers.
What is your future plan?
I will hold a show for the Pre-Fall 2021 collection in Vietnam and I will participate in London Fashion Week in the future. Long term plans are to develop the brand, open more stores and expand to the international fashion market.
Would you like to say anything else to our readers?
I would like to thank you Culture Magazin for having me. Hopefully, I will be able to do more and have new things to share with everyone. Thank you very much.
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt