Designer profile: Xuan-Thu Nguyen

Xuan-Thu Nguyen

This week, I am profiling fashion designer, Xuan-Thu Nguyen, a young Vietnamese woman who emigrated to the Netherlands with her family, but now lives in Paris. She has both ready-to-wear and couture collections. Her boutique is in the fashionable district of the Marais. I met Thu in Amsterdam a few years ago. I have always loved her clothes and accessories. They’re feminine and modern, and they do not borrow slavishly from the past.

Via email I posed several questions which she answered, as usual, with the same modesty that is uncommon in many young designers.

(1) What were your inspirations for the fall/winter 2009 collection?

The collection is about sand lines, water wrinkles. Starting something that can go either way . . . gone quietly or having texture like: pleats or ruffles to enhanced the shape.

(2) What are the advantages of having your own label vs. working for a fashion house? What are the disadvantages?

The advantage of having your own label is that there are no restrictions and fewer expectations. The disadvantage is not having a readily accessible network and the financing that a larger fashion company possesses.

(3) When you first came out of design school, did you already think of opening a Paris store? Or was that a distant dream?

I did not think about having a Paris store at all. I always thought it would be too much work to have my own boutique. But in 2005, we opened one anyway, in the Marais, which is a trendy district in Paris. And it was the best decision I have ever made.

(4) Why did you move from Amsterdam to Paris?

I moved to Paris because we opened the boutique and I needed to be there full-time. Originally, the plan had been to open the first shop in Amsterdam, but after thinking about it, we thought it was better to open the first one in Paris. After all, Paris is the fashion capital of Europe. My sister, Lan, also moved to Paris and has been of tremendous help to me.

(5) What advice would you give to any young designer who wants to start his or her label? What advice would you give about opening a shop in Paris?

My advice is if this is really what you want, then go for it! It is a lot of hard work and there is nothing glamorous about it. I do it out of passion!

Here are two pieces from her fall/winter 2009 collection:


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Spring/Summer 2009 Couture Show

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Xuan-Thu Nguyen
1, Rue Ferdinand Duval
75004 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 770 860

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About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Shopplr, a site on fashion, beauty and design. Esme is the founder of (travel guides and hotel reviews) and MuniWireless (WiFi networks).