Eight fashion industry experts opened the event Producing Fashion: Made in Vietnam with a lively panel discussion on Vietnam’s fashion industry, where it’s at now and where it’s going.
“It’s important to hold the Fashion Colloquia in a ‘making economy’ and to know what happens here and what will happen next,” said Professor Robyn Healy, Head of the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Professor Healy facilitated the discussion and asked panellists to comment on where the industry was headed, and specifically on whether there are incentives to encourage young Vietnamese designers.
Photo: Professor Robyn Healy facilitates a panel discussion with local and international fashion industry experts.
Fashion show director Tran Thien Ha Mi said there are a lot of young designers in Vietnam, but the country lacks an organisation that promotes and protects them.
“If a designer puts their work online, the next day people will copy it,” Tran said.
“In Vietnam there’s no organisation to protect their intellectual property. There’s also no fund to help them.”
After citing examples of organisations in other cities around the world that provide scholarships and open doors for young designers, Tran invited audience members to join her to start an organisation like this in Vietnam.
Photo: Professor Ian King (third from right) speaks about the history and purpose of the Fashion Colloquia.
Agreeing with Tran, Ipa-Nima Founder Christina Yu added that young designers struggle to showcase their work.
“Apart from Vietnam International Fashion Week, there aren’t many opportunities for designers to present their fashion,” Yu said.
“I’m also seeing that retail rental prices are going very high, which makes it difficult for young designers to have their own retail space to showcase their work.”
Vo Thi Bich Ngoc, Business Development Director at Zalora, believed that change needs to occur in the Vietnamese education system.
“People believe that fashion is something glamourous and just on the catwalk, and not a career,” Vo said.
“We need to have better education to understand the nature of design and its contribution to society.”
The discussions and activities will continue over the next two days with academics, students and industry representatives from around the world participating.
The other members of the opening panel discussion were Professor José Teunissen and Professor Ian King from the London College of Fashion, and Matthew Roach and Van Ho Bao from Parca Equipment Co., Melbourne.
Further information on the Fashion Colloquia can be found here.
Story: Howie Phung