Dang Kim Thien Huong’s journey during her Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management) has been about striking a balance between art and business while thriving in a challenging environment.
Huong’s time at RMIT Vietnam involved completing and succeeding at multiple internships during the program. Following stints at Zalora, Uniqlo and Fashion4Freedom, Huong has developed into a multi-skilled merchandiser, whose passion for the industry originated from a willingness to try new things.
“I can’t pinpoint where my love for fashion began. Like Alice in Wonderland, I chose to jump into the rabbit hole to find out by myself. Afterwards, I fell for the art, the craftsmanship and the dedication which people in this industry put forth in their work,” said Huong.
Huong’s initial foray into the fashion industry saw her choose a path which combines two elements of fashion which may seem unglamorous, but form the bedrock of the industry.
“I chose the Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management) because it has a balance between art, creativity and a business mindset. The two things seem hard to get along at times but these two are essentially what the fashion industry is made of and built on,” Huong said.
Huong’s journey during her degree included a challenging internship at Fashion4Freedom. A seven month project which involved a dedicated focus on supplier sourcing for Vietnamese brands, Fashion4Freedom allowed Huong to explore new sides to her career choice.
“It taught me about the social responsibility of a fashion brand and gave me the opportunity to approach Vietnamese artisans and get to know my own roots and culture,” Huong said.
“In my opinion, this brand is a perfect combination of art, cultural craftsmanship and pure dedication shown through each product and each stage of the business process.”
Huong’s success has been matched by the struggles inherent to the fashion industry, which includes an ever-changing demand and the need to create fresh and meaningful styles.
“Nothing is black or white in fashion, since it’s all based on individual representation of a particular subject. Like art, you have to learn to transpire your message in a way that is understandable for the beholder,” Huong said.
Huong’s future in the industry looks bright as she begins to contend with different challenges and even fulfill a dream with her fellow graduates.
“I might move on to retail to improve my understanding about the shop floor and customer behaviour,” Huong said.
“In the long run, a promise has been made between me and a few university friends to open up a collaborative brand and I intend to keep that promise.”
Story: Daniel Eslick