The Phuong My brand has been making waves in the international fashion industry, but its designer focuses her creativity on the modern Asian woman with sophisticated, simple tastes, Phuong Linh reports.
Designer Tran Phuong My was born in 1988 in HCM City, and graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, the US.
Her brand "Phuong My" maybe young, but it targets sophisticated women who can afford luxury and enjoy the beauty of simplicity and elegance of her designs.
Phuong My was selected by the World Fashion Exhibition Organization to be the first designer from Viet Nam to participate in World Fashion Designer Recognition, which started last October in Paris.
A Haute Couture masterpiece from Phuong My was presented and donated to the World Fashion Exhibition for a silent auction with proceeds used for poverty alleviation by empowering women, specially in African.
The latest collection of the brand was also on stage at the Mercedes Benz Stylo Asia Fashion Week in Malaysia last October. In December, Phuong My launched a pop up store inside Takashimaya, Singapore. She has collaborated with boutique stores in Kuwait, France and Singapore.
Her vision is to share the beauty of modern Asian women with the entire fashion world.
Inner Sanctum: You were a mathematically gifted student. Do you think that background can make you different from other designers? In other words, how does this knowledge affect you in the way you see and create beauty?
I think to me, beauty is all about proportion and composition. Similar to mathematics, it is about the balance of things, such as: fabric, weight, design and construction.
Inner Sanctum: Do you think of design as an opinion?
I think all art form is an opinion, so is the process of design. However, different from paintings or photographs, a design product is something you can try on. The idea of a beautiful design becoming less vague, and having more of a personal taste depends on how well the garments fit the clients.
Inner Sanctum: Please tell us about your philosophy of a beautiful dress.
A beautiful dress depends on personal taste. A beautiful dress is something to look at that one finds very pleasing to the eye and is very well made. For me, a beautiful dress is much simpler and veers on the side of comfort. I think a fitted dress is also beautiful.
Inner Sanctum: In your opinion, what are the differences between good and excellent designs?
Good designs get the basics right: colours, material and design of the product. Excellent designs go beyond that to distinguish the way clothes drape your body, the construction of fabric, its cut and finishing.
Inner Sanctum: What is your toughest dilemma?
To lose the ability to appreciate beautiful things, to be unable to create a new cutting, and to run out of ideas (smiles).
Inner Sanctum: Where do you see yourself in a few years?
Being more successful with more stores worldwide and still having the passion that I have today.
Inner Sanctum: What do you do on most days?
I love working. I think it is an amazing feeling to wake up every day, love what you do, and get the chance to do it.
I don't take too many vacations but I try to take time off between projects to appreciate my surroundings. Sometimes I take a one or two-hour walk on my way to work, so that I can really spend time to find the hidden charm of the city and luckily find my next inspiration.
Inner Sanctum: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Inner Sanctum: What do you consider to be the most personal and unique touch in your work?
The materials I use, their cut and finishing.
We use different fabrics for every season and we work closely with fabric mills in Hong Kong, Paris and South Korea to select new fabrics that set our collection apart from other designers.
We personalize our cutting technique to fit Asian women better, and we make sure our inside finishing is as nice as the outer facade of the garments.
Inner Sanctum: Earlier in an interview you said: "I believe it is time to change local people's mind on high fashion." You had said this earlier in an interview. Please tell us your definition of "high-fashion", and why did you want to change people's mindset about it? Why did you think that it is time to do that?
Many local designers believe they do not need to try hard to please their customers, because the customers do not know better. I believe that even though Viet Nam does not have a long history or education in design, appreciation for beauty does not need to be taught.
At Phuong My, we try our best to give our customers the best products, the best materials, and the best fit in clothes for Asian women. We simply want to achieve a higher standard of defining quality and value in our fashion products.
Inner Sanctum: Are you interested in building bridges between cultures?
There are many cultures I love and I draw inspiration from those cultures as I travel. However, at the moment, I am not sure about how I can build bridges between cultures.
Inner Sanctum: What comes easiest to you as a designer?
The process of designing itself comes most naturally to me. (Smiles) But to become a designer, one must possess more knowledge than just having designing skills. You need to acquire business, financial, leadership, as well as management skills. And of course, sewing and cutting, of which I still have much left to learn. — VNS