HCM CITY — One of the most famous fashion designers in Việt Nam, Võ Việt Chung, has launched a new book.
The book is entitled Mặc Nưa – an ebony-coloured fruit used to dye a delicate black satin called "lãnh Mỹ A" that has been made for more than 100 years in Đồng Tháp Province's Hoàng Ngự District.
Cover of the book 'Mặc Nưa' which tells the journey of Võ Việt Chung to become one of the most famous fashion designers in Việt Nam. — Photo courtesy of Võ Việt Chung
Chung played an essential role in restoring the rare and refined silk as well as introducing the unique fabric through his collections shown around the world. His designs have been seen on the catwalk at fashion shows throughout the country and in Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Ontario.
Explaining the book’s title, the designer said: "The material motivated my career development over more than 20 years. The word mặc in mặc nưa also literally means "to dress", which refers to my job and my career. It can be said mặc nưa plays a key role in my life, in many meanings.”
According to the designer, the fruit is also his son’s nickname.
Designer Võ Việt Chung (2nd left) seen at the launch of his book 'Mặc Nưa' on Saturday. — Photo courtesy Võ Việt Chung
It took the designer seven years to complete the 250-page book, which was penned by Michael Arnold and Bùi Nguyễn Bảo Quyên.
Revealing untold stories about the life and career of Võ Việt Chung, the book Mặc Nưa is also to celebrate the 25-year milestone since the designer first introduced his collection of áo dài (traditional Vietnamese dress) to the world.
Chung said the launch has another special meaning as it is introduced on the 100th anniversary of lãnh Mỹ A in the south of Việt Nam in 2022.
The book is expected to help readers learn more about the designer, from his start in the fashion industry, to the challenges he faced in building his reputation as a top áo dài designer.
The book includes photos depicting famous Vietnamese celebrities in áo dài creations made from lãnh Mỹ A by Võ Việt Chung.
The designer will donate 50 per cent of the book’s proceeds to help orphaned children whose parents passed away due to COVID-19.
At the launch on Saturday, Chung unveiled three of his áo dài collections featuring creations for both men and women.
Chung also has revealed a movie project that is expected to start next year. In planning for more than 10 years, the movie will be about the ups and downs of the fabric as well as the difficulties in preserving the craft of making it.
Born in 1974, Chung started his career in the fashion industry in the early 1990s and soon became a famous áo dài designer in Việt Nam. He founded his own brand Vo Viet Chung in 1994.
Designer Võ Việt Chung (2nd left) poses with models wearing his áo dài creations at the launch of his book 'Mặc Nưa' on Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Võ Việt Chung
In 2007, he was invited to show his collections on the Mega-F Diamond Cruise Ship chartered by the Fashion TV (FTV) channel when the five-star cruise ship docked at HCM City's Nhà Rồng Wharf. FTV's top models wore his designs on the catwalk.
Chung later signed an exclusive contract with FTV to introduce his products on the channel.
In 2007, he was honoured by UNESCO for his restoration and application of lãnh Mỹ A satin.
In November 2014, he was the only Asian designer selected for the seventh Leonard Simpson’s 10 Best Dressed Awards in the US.
Chung was named the “Best International Designer” and “Excellent Designer of the Year – Asian Region” by the US Fashion Forward programme in 2016.
In 2020, thanks to his contributions to the domestic and international fashion industry, he become the first Vietnamese designer to be granted the Labour Order, third-class, by the Vietnamese President. — VNS