How long did it take Vu Ngoc and Son and the craftsmen to complete the collection “Childhood Memory”?
Barely a week after concluding the show “Queen of Love”, we received an offer from the organizers to do a collection at the show in New York. This is time when Lunar New Year is coming near, so it is a big pressure for us to both produce, handle orders, and finish the show with the collection to debut in New York. With approximately 30 employees, our team completed this collection in one month.
Why is it wool yarn and not other materials on the international catwalk?
We have utilized a wide range of materials in our collections over the last five years. However, when it came to international catwalk and presenting Vietnamese fashion to the world, we picked wool yarn since it is the material in every Vietnamese’ childhood memories. Moreover, our exquisitely knitted patterns will serve to honor Vietnam’s craft with skilled artisans who always create values through craftsmanship. As a Vietnamese, we take pride in this legacy.
Compared to other materials, what makes wool yarn more special for the designs of Childhood Memory?
Nearly 90% of the material we use is wool, therefore all of our products are handcrafted. Aside from the primary material, the color and the attached accessories also contribute to the product’s harmony. This is not a unique material because other fashion brands still use it in fall and winter hues, but what makes Childhood Memory unique is the tale, a journey behind the designs cherished by the Vietnamese people.
The most challenging aspect of adopting wool in designs is that there are fewer and fewer experienced knitters in Vietnam. To finish the patterns within the specified 30-day time frame, we must look everywhere, including locations with chilly temperatures where Vietnamese people frequently crochet themselves, such as Da Lat, Hue, and Hanoi, etc. Finding enough knitters is tough; another problem is that they are overly familiar with common crochet motifs, so working from drawings and designed details takes longer.
Do Vu Ngoc and Son plan to spread and restore this craft industry?
The very clear message of Childhood Memories that we want to express is to honor the beauty of Vietnamese handicrafts, and we hope that our designs released in New York played a small part in conveying this message.
Many people believe that the expansion of the textile industry is responsible for the disappearance of textile handicraft industries. Do you agree with that statement?
Looking at the development and integration of the garment industry into the world’s fashion flow with continuously updated trends, we must admit that the garment industry was established to meet the development demands. We, as well as Vietnamese and foreign fashion firms, must follow that path.
However, the truth reveals that handcrafted items and designs will always have a certain value and will never fade, particularly in the fashion industry. Industrialization is necessary, but the craft industry must be preserved and developed, as evidenced by the fact that designs and items produced by hand are always the designs that people crave to possess the most.
Today, while the knitting business stagnates and is disregarded by millennials, we believe it is still relevant for those who recognize the value of handcrafted crochet items. Certainly, when we wear or use crocheted goods made by skilled hands, not by artisans and craftsmen, but by relatives, friends, and family, we experience a sense of warmth and closeness that industrial products cannot offer. As a result, we believe that the aesthetic values of the craft industry will never fade away, and many families and craft villages in Vietnam today are building, recovering, and developing products with Vietnamese people’s handicraft value. These are definitely positive signs ensuring us with happiness and confidence in our mission to develop the “Childhood Memory” collection.
Will you consider wool yarn as inspiration for a future other collection to be performed in Vietnam?
Surely, in the near future, a collection inspired by wool yarn will be launched and released in Vietnam. This is also the question that the majority of our customers and admirers ask us once we return from New York. One of our goals is to be well-received in our own country, rather than just on foreign catwalks.
Best wishes for Vu Ngoc and Son.