Designer Focus: NGUYEN HOÀNG TÚ
Was there a particular moment that made you decide you wanted to work in fashion? Tell us about it.
My mother is a traditional costume tailor. I was there to help her with all the little things. I was not thinking that I had interest in tailoring, I just wanted to help my mom. After seeing the finished clothing, fashion design and creation felt like such a miracle. That's when I started thinking about how I could create designs with my own style. I started to pay more attention to clothing and fabrics, and I eventually decided to embark on a career in fashion by studying fashion design in college. Creativity in fashion is honestly such a miracle; life with fashion is so meaningful.
Do you think you have a responsibility as a designer to respond to the social and political issues of our time?
The most important responsibility is to just be creative.
In your opinion, what’s the problem with fashion today?
In my personal perspective, I think there are excessively different fashion styles. It does enable designers to explore and seek out unique ways to stand out, but the playground of creation for designers is also limited and there are just a very few environments to compete and develop.
Has your relationship with clothing changed as you delve into the fashion world?
My relationship with fashion has changed considerably since I did the deep research about the craft as a whole. Instinctively, I am easily obsessed by the new material, so every time I see a special kind of fabric I immediately want to play with it.
What are the trials and tribulations of being an emerging designer?
As I said, because it’s fresh and there are abundantly different sources of information, it requires the young designer to work strenuously to clarify their own style. Figuring out how to sell their product is also a hassle. This means that they should tighten the relationship with people who have the same ideology to co-develop and have an environment to interact with like-minded creatives.
What do you feel are the most important ingredients in building a brand?
The most significant factor to build a brand is preserving the first orientated initial essence. I have to know how to turn the original story into the brand story, and make it so that it speaks to the customer. Fashion designs have to be honest—when the honesty is appropriately transmitted, anything can happen.
What excites you the most about the future of fashion?
The thing that inspires me the most about the future of fashion is being indulged by the fascinating world created by my fellow creatives. We mutually interact with one another and challenge the future of design.
How do you balance your creative vision with the harsh realities of the fashion industry?
Creative perspective and the strenuous reality of the fashion industry have eradicated bold and outstanding ideas. But to me, I chose an independent way for my own brand so I always think about the future that I always dream about. I have a responsibility to those who work with me, and all those things force me to find a balance between creating and conducting a business.
How do go about choosing your materials and manufacturers?
In Vietnam, I work with some small fabric factories. I order some special kinds of fabric in accordance with the demand for each collection. Nevertheless, I also have some fabric suppliers and auxiliary materials from Japan and China, so it seems effortless in choosing the material.
Image: Nguyễn Hoàng Tú
Tell us a bit about how you run your business.
Always bring the best quality to the customer.
What makes a design compelling?
Perfectionism and drama.