HA NOI — Shoemakers and designers will join hands in developing a fashionable shoe and accessories industry as a result of a workshop on creative ideas held in Ha Noi on Friday.
|Making it: Designer Trinh Bich Thuy said at the workshop that she had difficulty in finding shoemakers in Viet Nam who were prepared to make her designs. — File Photo
The workshop, organised by the Viet Nam Leather Footwear Association and the Ha Noi Fashion Designer Association, was attended by the Leather and Shoe Research Institute and shoemakers.
"Shoes and accessories are important in a fashion collection but Viet Nam is lacking shoe designers," said designer Trinh Bich Thuy.
Thuy said she had difficulty in finding shoemakers in Viet Nam who were prepared to make her designs.
Representatives from fashion brands Jean Viet and Canifa said they had similar problems.
A Canifa representative said the brand had been in the domestic market for 11 years and sold about 1 million products, including T-shirts, cardigans and pullovers.
"But so far we have not made shoes."
The representative said Canifa wanted to co-operate with Vietnamese shoe designers instead of importing ready-to-wear products from China.
Footwear association secretary-general Nguyen Thi Tong said in her opening speech at the workshop that the shoe industry, including private-sector and State-owned enterprises, had not met the demand for fashionable styles.
Shoemakers were lacking in design knowledge and creative ideas, she said.
In the one-day workshop, the participants, including Italian shoe designer Giorgio Gadina and Italian charge d'affaires Damiano Francovigh, were introduced to the history of the shoe industry in Viet Nam.
Shoemakers appeared in Viet Nam in the 15th century and until the 17th and 18th centuries went to the old capital and developed their business in the old quarters of Hang Hai, Hang Da and Hang Giay streets.
In French colonial times, shoes were handmade in family businesss during the American war they were produced for police and military forces.
At the end of the 1980s, factories produced uppers for export to the Soviet Union and since then they have moved towards a production lines.
Since 1990, joint stock enterprises have been established with foreign partners, including Chinese Taiwan and South Korea, focusing on products for export.
However, shoemakers were formed in three groups: uppers, forms and soles. Designing was by upper and form makers with French techniques.
In 1991, the first shoe designing course was held by the Viet Nam Shoe and Leather Factories Union. Since 2000, many training courses have been held by the footwear association, financed by the Government and foreign organisations.
However, Viet Nam Leather and Shoe Research Institute's Training Centre director Tran Thi Tuyet Mai said Viet Nam still didn't have professional shoe designers.
"The designs were mainly by shoemakers and their technicians who have limited design knowledge in shoe soles and forms," Mai said.
Creative ideas and sourcing materials and new products were also discussed at the workshop. Designer Gadina shared his research on fashion materials over many years working with Vietnamese shoe companies. He showed shoe designs and accessories made from Vietnamese materials such as coconut fibre, buffalo horns and shells.
"Shoes made in Viet Nam should be distinguished and designs should be focused on useful value," Gadina said.
The workshop was part of the Viet Nam-Italy programme which will be followed by a series of activities co-held by the footwear and designer associations, including a fashion design training course with Italian lecturers and a fashion show in November. — VNS