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Trinh The Bao set first fashion design company in Viet Nam (April 29, 2003)
by Anh Thu

Trinh The Bao
Decadent: Outfits like this are a Trinh The Bao trademark. VNS Photo
HCM City boasts a host of young designers whose dream is to see their creations on the catwalk, but thats not the aim of one up-and-coming talent, whos finding recognition for his work on the stage.

Trinh The Bao has already made a name for himself as a fashion designer. Now the innovative businessman has opened the Trinh Bao Company, the first fashion design company in Viet Nam catering for the theatre and the film industry.

The company is the result of 10 years of hard work by Bao, who set it up with two close friends in the design and film industries, using a combination of experience, inspiration and VND60 million (nearly US$4,000).

"Opening the company was the best thing of my life," Bao says.

"I want to devote myself to making the local fashion and film industries more professional."

The former student of the HCM City Fine Arts College said he had the idea of opening a costume design company last year while working for the HCM City Television Film Studios (TFS).

"I designed 80 replicas of mandarin clothes, hats and boots for the TV series Ngon Nen Hoang Cung (The Royal Candle), a film about the Nguyen Dynasty under the reign of King Bao Dai," he said.

"I immersed myself in reference books and historical documents to get a better understanding of Bao Dais life. I even made a journey to Hue city, the native homeland of Viet Nams last emperor."

His work made a strong impression on the director, who suggested Bao create something new in the local film industry: a company dedicated to theatrical costumes.

Many of Baos colleagues warned him of the risks of his venture, but Bao was prepared for the hard work that lay ahead.

"Design is a new field in Viet Nam, which makes my work particularly demanding," he said.

"But, as a young designer, I was looking forward to the experience."

His hard work is starting to pay off and Bao now has a small troupe of young designers working for him.

"My staff are particularly talented in interpreting the requirements of actors, directors and film makers," he said.

Just one year after Bao began designing fashion in 1998, he was selected as a finalist in a competition for young designers organised by the Fashion Design Institute (Fadin) and Mot (Fashion) magazine.

His work has been shown at fashion and music shows around the country and he has designed costumes for films such as Nguoi Binh Xuyen (Binh Xuyen Insurgent Group) and No Doi (In Debt to Life).

"My business has a long way to develop, but my ambition is to always provide perfect costumes for the stage and screen," Bao said.

As a designer still in his early 30s, Bao will be living his dream for many years to come. VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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