With New York-based Vietnamese designer Peter Do now leading the iconic label Helmut Lang, it is evident that the Southeast Asian nation’s influence in the global fashion realm is undeniable. “With his debut for Helmut Lang for Spring Summer 2024, Peter Do introduced Vietnamese text into his runway designs by incorporating the poetry of Ocean Vuong,” says Thao Vu, founder and designer of Hanoi-based label Kilomet109. “We are not just the world’s outsourcing hub but a cradle of creativity and original ideas”.
Vu added that the number of Vietnamese studying abroad in creative fields has also increased significantly in recent years. The Western education they received, coupled with the country’s thousand-year-old rich dress culture, is a perfect pairing that creates unique fashion nuances of Vietnam.
Creative director and Vietnamese designer Peter Do seamlessly integrated the poetry of Vietnamese American poet, essayist, and novelist Ocean Vuong into his inaugural runway designs for Helmut Lang.
Fashion stylist Dien Huyen Linh agrees, noting that there has also been a shift in the shopping preferences of young Vietnamese, who once gravitated towards fast fashion giants like Zara and F21. “With the same price point, Vietnamese local designs now offer more diversity and are quicker at updating trends,” she shares. It is not just about the designs; the love for local also drives this fashion renaissance.
“We are not just the world’s outsourcing hub but a cradle of creativity and original ideas”.Thao Vu, founder and designer of Hanoi-based label Kilomet109
Vietnamese fashion houses like Cong Tri, Phuong My, Le Thanh Noa, and Gia Studios have long been making waves internationally, with their designs seen on the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna. They have also marked their presence on renowned online shopping platforms like Ssense.
Vietnamese fashion labels frequently integrate the country’s rich textile heritage into their designs. For instance, this cotton jacket by Kilomet109 is dyed with rocks by artisans from the Nung An minority group.
At its core, Vietnamese fashion is where intricate hand-crafted textiles meet contemporary designs, creating a look that’s both timeless and forward-thinking. Dang Que Huynh, the creative director and founder of Ho Chi Minh-based label The Idiot, describes this as “humble creativity”. Sharing the brand’s vision of introducing Vietnamese fashion to the world and promoting the country’s rich culture, he notes how the label, founded in 2020, works tirelessly to “express the potential of Vietnamese local brands and assert our position on the global fashion map”.
Vietnam is also extremely diverse, and its indigenous culture has played a central role in raising the value of Vietnamese fashion, becoming an endless source of inspiration for young designers and fashion-savvy Gen Zs. As Kilomet109’s Vu puts it: “The younger generation of Vietnamese pay more attention to values such as environmentally-friendly materials, local manufacturing, and recycling. They are well aware of what is happening in the world and the global environment. They are doers, not just talkers”.
As the country continues to shine, we look at some Vietnamese fashion labels you need to check out.
Designer Josh Tirados Channels Childhood Memories Into Capsule For Dover Street Market Singapore