Mainstream fashion coverage is saturated with the successes of Western models and personalities like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I appreciate when relatively lesser-known models, designers and fashion photographers with interesting backgrounds and timelines are given credit where they deserve it.
As I serendipitously visited anyarena.com’s fashion vertical last month to catch up on Vietnamese fashion news, I was delighted to read about all the interesting Vietnamese models, designers and photographers who are enjoying important milestones in their fashion careers.
Last month, for example, Italian brand Gucci invited Vietnamese model-stylist-designer Kelbin Lei to create artwork for its Instagram art initiative #GucciGram. For the initiative, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele curated a selection of online graphics by Asian artists who each reinterpreted Gucci’s Tian, a new spring print inspired by ancient Chinese bird and flower paintings from the 10th century. Lei is the only Vietnamese artist to participate in any of the brand’s art initiatives, according to anyarena.com.
And in February, the Vietnamese, US-based photographer An Le shot renowned supermodel Naomi Campbell for the cover of Vogue Portugal. He is the first Vietnamese photographer to photograph her for the magazine, according to anyarena.com. More of Le’s incredibly clean and professional work for industry publications like Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, i-D and Nylon can be seen at anlestudio.com. Viewing his high-quality work, he is definitely remarkable and one of my favourite fashion photographers.
In the same month, anyarena.com also praised a Vietnamese photographer based in Madrid, Viet Ha Tran, who had her work featured on Vogue Italia’s website PhotoVogue. Tran specialises in fine art photography. Her photographs are influenced by romanticism so the majority of her work captures the emotional and depicts traditionally feminine Asian women in soft, solemn and dreamy environments.
Model-wise, the revered Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2010 winner Trang Khieu was selected to walk in January’s very hip and athleisure-oriented Adidas Originals x White Mountaineering Fall/Winter ’16 show and presentation at the 89th Pitti Uomo (a menswear event in Florence, Italy). Khieu told anyarena.com that the collection was one of the biggest runway shows she has been a part of.
It seems like it’s been a very vogue year for Vietnamese in fashion so far. Happily, there is more good news about Vietnamese individuals working in fashion than I can fit in this column. I can’t wait to see what they all do next.
Ruben Luong is AsiaLIFE’s style editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.