HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the fashion industry, driving many garment makers to lay off workers with fashion shows and new lookbooks cancelled and almost everyone going online.
Closed international borders have pushed local fashion houses, designers and shops to find creative ways to reach out to customers.
Áo dài designer Liên Hương, who is behind the brand with the longest tradition of making the signature Vietnamese lady's tunic, has switched to making decorated face masks. The schools are back and public school teachers traditionally wear an áo dài to school on special days. Liên Hương House is leading the trend by selling matching face masks.
All designers have been forced to get creative to lift themselves out of the situation.
"Our staff have been working hard on embroidering each and every áo dài since Tết," Mai Lan, co-founder of Tú Thị Embroidered Company Ltd. told Việt Nam News. "They work on their own, not in big groups, so they respect quarantine time, yet never have to stop working."
Upscale designer Lê Thanh Hòa has switched from making evening gowns to ready-to-wear garments.
More practical garments for office and streetwear have taken over this summer and fall-winter seasons. Hòa said he had spoken to regular customers about their demands, and was working every day to maintain his creative inspiration. He said it was important to maintain close contact with customers even though they did not have any desire to purchase new clothes at this time.
Designer Chung Thanh Phong led the trend to launch the COVID-19-inspired collection "Save yourself": protective gear, face masks and hand sanitiser. The average price tag has also been fixed to fit middle-income customers. T-shirts range from VNĐ600,000 to VNĐ800,000, while jumpsuits are VNĐ1,8 million apiece. The collection aims to reach out to more online shoppers so his staff are not laid off. He has even put his collections online, presenting each new piece with a price tag, something he has never done before. — VNS