As part of our June giveaway, you could win a stunning leather iPad clutch by Carokhoto from online boutique Shop des Createurs (see below!). We thought this was the perfect chance for us to learn more about the Vietnamese designer behind the brand, Thuy Vy – so we grabbed a chat with her about what inspires her designs, her must-visit spots in Saigon and much more!
How did you get started in design?
I have got a designer background. I studied at the School of Arts in Ho Chi Minh City for two years, and then moved to Paris to learn design and communication for another five years.
In 2008, I had the opportunity to work for the design studio of Montblanc, the world-renowned luxury brand. This is where my desire to create beautiful objects grew stronger.
Where do you get the inspiration behind your designs?
I am mostly inspired by the Arts and contemporary decoration. I also draw a lot of ideas from the history and people of Vietnam, where my family is from.
How does your Vietnamese heritage influence your work?
My Vietnamese origins are noticeable all across my work as a designer. For instance, the juxtaposition of warm and cold colours is an echo of the mix of salty and sweet flavours in Vietnamese culinary tradition.
This unique heritage has also made me favour natural, beautiful fabrics and certainly helped me scour for the best local craftsmen.
Can you tell us more about the manufacturing process; what happens between your initial ideas to it becoming the finished product?
I do all the design sketches myself in my Parisian studio. When I am happy with them (it might take quite some time!), I send the technical drawings to my workshop, which then prepare a few prototypes in different colour combinations and send them back to me.
Why did you decide to sell your pieces on Shop des Createurs?
Shop des Createurs is the ideal platform to help me spread the word about Carokhoto across Asia. Their high-end selection of international labels and the way they support each of us is quite unique, I believe.
For any Sassy readers heading to Vietnam soon, what are your must-visit places in Saigon? For food, for fashion and for anything else!
Saigon is an amazing city where you can almost find anything anytime! It is especially true for food – it seems like people just eat all day long! The best spot is certainly Cho Ben Thanh and its adjacent streets. Not far from there, in the touristic area (Pham Ngu Lao), you can find all types of food for cheap. But most importantly, be ready to bargain!
How would you describe the Vietnamese fashion scene?
Although still relatively small compared to Hong Kong, the fashion scene in Vietnam is booming. Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan and other international fashion publications have just opened their office – that’s a sign that something is happening for sure!
Have you ever visited Hong Kong?
Not yet, but it’s definitely on my list. I love to travel the world, eyes wide open for inspiration, and Hong Kong seems to have a bustling creative scene!
SASSY DEAL: You can get 15% off on all Carokhoto’s items at Shop des Createurs until 26 June, 2012. Simply enter the code “sosassy” at checkout to get your discount!
SASSY GIVEAWAY: We are giving away one of Carokhoto’s stunning leather iPad clutches (worth $1033) as part of our June giveaway; get your entries in here.