ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Viet fashion industry misses a stitch
A lack of long-term strategies for design, marketing and creating new styles is the basic reason why there are so few renowned fashion brands in Viet Nam, despite the country being one of the top ten leading garment and textile exporters in the world.
The shortcomings in weaving, dying and finishing and the lack of professional designers are also a factor behind the poor competitiveness of Vietnamese garments and textiles, says Nguyen Duc Hung, director of the Viet Nam Fashion Design Institute (Fadin).
According to designer Minh Hanh, up to 90 percent of all garments and textiles companies do not have long-term development and training strategies. Their fashion trends and designs are mainly copied from catalogues and samples supplied by foreign partners.
Faced with this situation, Viet Nam's Textiles Research Institute (VTRI) has recently completed a scale of clothing sizes for Vietnamese people from the ages of 6-55, based on the measurements of 16,000 people in this age group.
VTRI director Nguyen Van Thong says designs will be updated annually based on the demands of each group of products such as European-style trousers, shirts, dresses and children's clothing at different ages.
The director of the Nguyen Tam Fashion Company, Ngo Thi Bau, says Vietnam should introduce policies to encourage private businesses to develop materials and new weaving and dying techniques, as they are at the heart of the industry.
In addition, businesses which specialise in market information and have good knowledge of consumer tastes should link up with designers to produce the right kind of products for Vietnamese consumers, she notes.
In an effort to promote Vietnamese fashion, several businesses have expanded their distribution networks, especially in foreign markets.
Recently, the Nha Be Garment Joint Stock Company successfully franchised its Mattana brand to an Italian partner, while the Viet Tien Garments Joint Stock Corporation has opened chains of shops in several markets, including Laos and Cambodia.
Viet Nam's garments sector is targeting an export turnover of US$10.5 billion in 2010, an increase of $1.4 billion against last year.
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