Vietnam’s fashion industry was in the spotlight at a major industry event that attracted local and international fashion experts to RMIT Vietnam.
The three-day Producing Fashion: Made in Vietnam event provided opportunities for delegates to examine the current state and future directions of the fashion and textiles industry.
More than 200 fashion aficionadas from around the world converged on the Saigon South campus to network, share ideas and gain insight into the growing industry.
The delegates, consisting of students, academics and industry professionals, came from as close as Ho Chi Minh City and as far as the United States.
Australian Consul-General to Vietnam, Karen Lanyon, said the Australian Government was proud to partner with RMIT to bring this international fashion initiative to Vietnam, showcasing Australia’s strengths in fashion and design education.
“We are delighted to be able to connect Australia’s creative talent to the world through local events like this, and to nurture links between the Australian fashion industry and our overseas partners,” Lanyon said.
The event’s themes of creativity, connecting with industry and growing the future opened up conversations about opportunities for the industry in Vietnam.
Vietnamese experts at the event included Tran Nguyen Thien Huong, Chair of Sun Flower Media which owns Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam; fashion show director Tran Thien Ha Mi, who served as Brand Manager for Vietnam's Elle magazine; and designer Sy Hoang, who recently designed an ao dai for Michelle Obama on the occasion of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Vietnam.
International experts included Professor Ian King and Professor Jose Teunissen from the London College of Fashion.
Professor Robyn Healy, head of RMIT University's School of Fashion and Textiles, also spoke on the expert panel.
“This event provided a space where key academics and industry people from around the world could converge to explore the future of the fashion and textiles industry,” she said.
“The focus was on exploring the relationship between Vietnam and the world, placing a spotlight on design, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, and the importance of a ‘creative economy’ in the global fashion industry."
RMIT Vietnam’s Fashion Department head, Victoria Ho, said the fashion colloquia were designed to enhance registrants’ understanding of the industry in Vietnam.
“The fashion colloquia gave us the chance to analyse the current state of play and identify future opportunities,” Ho said.
“This will further serve to enrich the Vietnamese fashion industry.”
On day one of the event, participants examined the opportunities for Vietnam as an emerging creative economy.
Day two was devoted to exploring aspects of manufacturing in Vietnam, while the final day looked towards the future and asked how emerging designers in Vietnam could be supported.
The fashion colloquia will benefit RMIT students from both Vietnam and Melbourne who attended the event, connecting them to prominent members of the flourishing Vietnamese fashion industry and to internationally renowned fashion academics, and enhancing their understanding of future roles locally and globally.
The fashion colloquium series began in 2011 with a core network of four institutions connected by their involvement in the four big Fashion Weeks across the globe: London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London; Domus Academy, Milan; l’Institut Français de la Mode, Paris; and Parsons School of Design, New York.
Story: Sharon Webb