by : Dunkine N.

Behind the stage curtains of Asia 79 – Love is Forever variety concert, is a crowded scene of musicians, dancers, and staff rushing and bustling over the performance taking place. In the mix you can spot a young face carefully going over the preparation of the Ao Dais for the performers. That face is Thien Truong, an up-and-coming fashion student full of promise. This is his first big gig, working with fashion name Minh Hung, to create  unique Ao Dais for over 20 artists in the opening piece of the program.

PM: Thien, please tell us a bit about your contributions to the Fashion Industry in Southern California?

TT: I moved to Orange County a year ago and was very excited to get aquainted with many people in entertainment and fashion. My first big challenge was how to  get involved in Asia 79, which would be filming in Reno, NV. This was the first time I was getting to work with a star-studded roster of artists, and there was no escaping the anxiety there were many I’ve never even met. The deadline and time frame was extremely tight, there were artists I had never worked with, some lived out of state. I had to quickly dig for pictures on Facebook, press, visually guess measurements and dimesion. The fitting miraculously went perfect without mistakes. It was an intense project but I am very happy and proud of myself for overcoming trials.  I have to admit it was a show of enormous scale. The grandest of Asia this year. Other than my work with Asia, I will also be participating in this year’s Viet Fashion Week working with Design House Jacky Tai on his collection.

PM: When did you know you wanted a career in fashion design, was your family supportive of your decision?

TT: I’ve liked art as a child, at about 12, 13 old I started watching performances and fashion shows and fell in love. Back then our house was next door to a fabric shop. I would regularly come by to shop and just admire all the beautiful colors and textures of the fabrics. I asked my mom to teach me how to make clothing. I took fashion classes at school. My family owns a manufacturing house for Converse in Viet Nam so I grew up sewing machines, and all the usual of a manufacturing house for apparel. Funny thing is I used to be in Love with everything Converse, I had every style and color, 98 pairs at one point!

I think Fashion is something that is in my blood so I gravitated to it very naturally.

There is this superstition that you give a child on it’s first birthday a platter of different things, whatever he chooses, represents their chosen passion or profession in life. I was looking at my baby photos, I picked up a roll measuring tape and a pair of scissors! But when I actually decided to pursue fashion design, my family wasn’t thrilled, they know it is a tough industry and very competitive. But I decided I wanted to do what I was passionate about, eventually they accepted it, are are pretty happy with my decision.

PM: Tell us about your personal fashipon style and what you would like to contribute to this profession?

TT: I want to bring fashion that transcends gender. Men can wear a skirt, and there are already skirts created for males. Females can rock a jacket and trousers, a vest, it doesnt matter. Fashion is for then wearer, it isn’t really necessary to assign sex to clothing. I think I’ll wear a skirt to an upcoming show. But usually I like skinny jeans, I can’t do baggy clothes. My closet is very organized, according to color, so I can choose my outfit easily.

PM: Can you tell us about your dreams and plans for the future?

TT: I hope next year I will be participating in Viet Fashion Week as a designer. I want to exhibit my own collection. I don’t know what theme would be, but I’m very into ready-to-wear fashion and couture gowns. I know as a newcomer my challenge is networking and finding people I want to collaborate with. I have to always be ready to meet people, and when I accept a project, to be completely dedicated, to exceed expectations, so no client is ever disappointed. I want to style celebrities, and anyone who needs service, to make it so that I am on their minds whenever someone needs a stylist. I am currently taking Business Administration at Goldenwest College and will be taking Fashion Design hopefully at UC Irvine. I want to learn money management first so when I have my own retail I will know how to make it work.


PM: Thank you so much Thien, much luck to you and Welcome to Entertainment and the Viet Fashion Industry US.

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