Melbourne Spring Fashion Week begins on 3 September, and Andy Truong is making his designer debut. Andy is 15 years old and juggling his high school studies and fashion design. I love his work ethic and determination to follow his dreams. I believe the experiences he has had through fashion design are every bit as important as traditional school based study – they have taught him resilience, contingency planning and creativity.
Andy had kindly shared his story with Tune into Radio Carly. As well as a talented designer, I think he’s a great writer too. Thanks Andy, and I look forward to seeing your show this week.
How long have you wanted to be a fashion designer? Why have you chosen this path?
“I didn’t always want to be a fashion designer until I understood the job better and what it was at about 7 or 8 years old. I always had a small phases where I’d be like I want to be a teacher, a lawyer, a policeman, a signer like all kids do. But I have wanted to be a fashion designer since 7 or 8 years old.
I chose this path because I was always around it and I am comfortable in it. You know, I forget all about my troubles whenever I sew; always.”
How do you balance studying year 10 and fashion design?
“I am currently in year 10 at Kew High School in Melbourne, Victoria. I actually don’t know how I balance year 10 and fashion and a part time job! It just happens, you just need to sort out your priorities (Ha! Obviously fashion…) I spend whatever time I have free on designing. I try to do as often as possible and I somehow always find myself sketching away in class when I should be revising for a test!”
What has it taken you to put this show together?
“Everything. I have spent every free minute of the past 3 months planning for this event to be perfect. At first I would always come home stressed that there will no models, or people will not show up or something will go terribly wrong days before my show and crack it with everyone.
A situation I had was that I had chosen and paid a deposit for my venue in Port Melbourne and then a day later MSFW emails me saying that my venue is not in the municipality of the City of Melbourne and that I need to find another venue in less than 24 hours, that ticked all the boxes of capacity, price and date, all by tomorrow… At that moment I cracked; I cried and panicked and even thought of dropping out of fashion week! Fortunately, I found another venue at Trunk and met the deadline!”
Tell me about the funding you received to help you?
“A month ago, I was lucky enough to gain financial support from Connections – South Eastern Chances Scholarship. This helped paid the venue space. Then a few weeks ago I gained sponsorship from a jewellery brand called Liberté Designs for the show and a few days, I received great news that Wittner will be sponsoring the shoes for the show! Other than that, I am working my job at Hoyts Cinemas to pay for the show and I am happy to do so!”
Tell me about your collection.
“My latest collection is my SS 12/13 collection. There are a dozen pieces and the inspiration was warm, vibrant, tropical exotic things. So birds, fish, plants and anything bright and topical was an inspiration. I also wanted to incorporate my culture in the collection by making my version of the Vietnamese national costume; the Áo Dài. It’s a tunic with side splits and worn with pants. Since I am not yet comfortable at making pants what I did was have a skirt instead.”
What advice do you give young people who have a big dream like you had?
“I would say stick to your dream, know what to do and where to go and how to get there and work your way to it and you’ll do great. Doing lots of research is always great too.”
What are your hopes for the future? Who would you love to work with?
“In 5 years I see myself in New York showcasing at NYFW and studying at Parsons. In 10 – 15 years hopefully I’ll have a couture line in Paris. I’d really love to work with Zac Posen or Elie Saab or Christian Dior or John Galliano.”
Where is your show being held?
“My show is going to be on Wednesday 5 September at Trunk Town, 275 Exhibition St Melbourne 3000 at 7pm. Tickets are selling at the door for $20 each or for a group of 6 it is $100, save $20.”