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Mar 09, 2020

Fashion Trends in 2020: Four Experts Share Their Opinions

How will Vietnamese fashion scene break through in 2020? To answer that question in the most comprehensive way, we have reached out to 4 experts.

Fashion Trends in 2020: Four Experts Share Their Opinions

As Vietnamese, we are living in a remarkable era, when the world regards our country as a “land of promise” for the global textile and garment industry. 

In 2019, Vietnam’s fashion market has welcomed a great deal of international brands in all segments. We’ve also witnessed a robust growth of numerous local brands. Some have defined their own style, while others are still in the making.

Meanwhile, on the global front, a large number of Vietnamese designers and fashionistas are working hard to represent Vietnam, making a remarkable stride on the international stage.

So how will Vietnamese fashion scene break through in 2020?

To answer that question in the most comprehensive way, we have reached out to 4 experts, namely Tom Trandt (Designer and Founder of Moi Dien), Co Hue Anh (CEO of HNOSS), Tee Truong (Founder and Producer of 102 Production), and Dzung Yoko (Creative Director of ELLE Magazine in Vietnam).

Tom Trandt – Designer and Founder of Moi Dien

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2019 was an unforgettable year for Tom when he successfully made the list of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. But that’s certainly not everything Tom and the Moi Dien team had achieved in the past year.

Vietcetera sat down with Tom to take a look back at his special year and celebrate the coming waves of 2020.

If you have to recap 2019 in one brief sentence, how would you describe the experience?

The year 2020 will open a new chapter for the fashion industry in Vietnam after all the ups and downs happened in 2019.

Many fashion giants have quit the game, including Forever 21 or Victoria’s Secrets. In addition, the coronavirus epidemic burst out right at the time when major fashion weeks around the world occur, causing lots of challenges for the industry. However, the long-term difficulty could reveal unexpected adaptive factors.

What were the prominent design and fashion trends in 2019?

First of all, sustainable fashion is on the rise along with consumers’ awareness about global warming and personal wellbeing. The new era of sustainability will see a demand for radical transparency in the fashion supply chain. Brand will be asked to release information on where and how a product is made, its provenance and quality will be.

The second trend is the shift of fashion product display. Instead of presenting in pricey and rigid fashion weeks, young brands are democratizing fashion experiences through new platforms: Open Studio, livestream and blogosphere, or the well-loved systemic reform exhibition Fashion Revolution Week (FRW).

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FRW selects a number of sustainable fashion designers from around the world to participate in the event right in their own countries, but they would have access to international media and distributors. This year, Moi Dien will introduce our products through this platform.

This year, you’ve made Forbes Vietnam’s 30 Under 30 list. How does this event mean to you and the Moi Dien team?

It is fiercely competitive in the fashion industry, hence Moi Dien’s existence is adequately a joyful pride for me and the team. Forbes did a really good job in describing Moi Dien’s message to the audience. Even my parents find Forbes’s description easier to approach than mine.

Besides that, have you or the team accomplished any other achievements or outstanding performance last year?

In the past year, our studio had the wonderful opportunity of making uniforms and performing costumes in the Vu Hoi Anh Duong show, which saw nearly 300 international actors and lasted for 4 months.

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Regarding the ready-to-wear segment, we opened our first retail store, completed a 2-year training program with IFS, and thus would have the opportunity to work with the Fashion Revolution this year. The two sustainable fashion projects, which are in collaboration with Converse and CHANGE, were also flawlessly completed, leading to a new project with CHANGE this year.

In 2020, which design styles and materials the fashion industry should focus on?

2020 will be a victorious year for sustainable fashion, which emphasizes on colors from the old days and also in the modern age. Young designers from Africa (Thebe Magugu, Kenneth Ize) and Southeast Asia (Amesh Wijesekera, Rahemur Rahman) have been getting a lot of attention recently by incorporating local materials with traditional craftsmanship in European suits. Others have changed from traditional materials and accessories to more sustainable alternatives, for instance, beads, bioplastic buttons, and plant-based artificial leather.

Major brands start to invest in the personalization of fashion trends, allowing customers to co-design products based on their interests and needs.

In Vietnam, products made from high-quality domestic materials are in high demand for both tourists and locals.

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Are there any objections during the designing process or any limitations in material sources at the moment in Vietnam? If so, how to solve these problems?

One of the major problems is the scarcity of high-quality domestic material, as well as its high costs. On the other hand, as premium imported materials are too pricey for the local market, newbie designers have no choice but to use the available sources. This strategy, however, is not applicable for big projects that were planned 6-12 months in advance. As a result, we can split the collections into different phases in order to invest partly in customized woven fabrics.

Furthermore, young designers who still work independently without support and guidance of professionals and the press may have difficulty in navigating, administrating, and building an image for themselves. Without this companion, young designers are unlikely to develop sustainably, and have little access to great opportunities and projects. Since being accompanied by Elle Fashion Journey, British Fashion Council, I have had many opportunities of intensive training and immediately applied the knowledge into practices through my projects.

With the rise of international brands, do you personally feel pressured? In your opinion, how can local brands win our own public?

The participation of international brands in the market is actually a positive signal. The larger the market, the more opportunities for local brands to improve and develop.

In terms of Vietnamese brands, we need to empower and support designers in our team. They need time and encouragement to improve their original products.

Co Hue Anh – CEO of HNOSS

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Co Hue Anh, CEO of HNOSS, is one of the first women we’re honored to name in the A Working Woman series. What we admire most about her is her progressive attitude and strong character she has while unpuzzling all the obstacles during HNOSS development. Turning 12 this year, HNOSS is now one of the most well-loved Vietnamese fashion brands.

Let’s listen to the expert sharing her standpoints about Vietnamese fashion market in 2020.

If you have to recap 2019 in one brief sentence, how would you describe the experience?

For me, last year saw a vibrant transformation of the fashion industry in Vietnam and also HNOSS.

What were the prominent design and fashion trends in 2019?

The supply chain is going through a digital transformation. And consumer behavior is being monitored more closely than ever to provide effective manufacturing strategies as well as offering the best customer-centric tactics. It can be seen that in the past year, a majority of fashion brands focused on improving customer service.

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What was the most memorable achievement of you and the team? 

Besides our weekly “New In” projects, every 3 months, HNOSS would launch a special collection that was well-invested from design to material. Although the price raised 30% compared to the average price of HNOSS products, the special collections were still loved by customers. This is synonymous that the consumers really care about quality and design.

Where do you see the fashion retail industry in 2020?

The fashion retail industry will continue to grow robustly. However, there is a high possibility that traditional retail models won’t last long, unless they change to keep up with customers’ needs in modern days.

In addition, the trend of personalization in shopping will also thrive in the fashion industry. Accordingly, customer service is an impactful factor for fashion brands to develop.

In a highly competitive market, how can Vietnamese local brands impress and attract consumers?

You need to define your style and target the right customers. Don’t hesitate to test personalization techniques to bring customers the best experience.

Tee Truong – Founder and Producer of 102 Production

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetReferenced by Tran Ha Mi, we met Tee Truong, Founder and Producer of 102 Production. 102 Production provides expert service in branding, photography, e-commerce and video production for fashion brands, agencies, and magazines. Before working at 102 Production, Tee Truong had 7 years of experience in visual production as a Production Director at Zalora Vietnam.

102 Production has recently launched the “102 x Local Brands” project, guiding local brands to personalize each a charisma profile that reflects their unique fashion spirit.

If you have to recap 2019 in one brief sentence, how would you describe the experience?

2019 was a year filled with changes. The entry of key players in the retail industry, namely Zara, H&M, and UNIQLO, has created a great competition for local brands. The pressure awakens local brands to define their own voice; otherwise, they will be eliminated easily – change fast or die fast.

What were the prominent trends of visual and content production in 2020?

From where I stand, regarding Vietnamese’ market in 2020, live video shopping, or livestream, will be in favor. Combined with other tools developed by major platforms like Apple or Facebook, 5G could facilitate the presence of technology in content in 2020. 5G will also allow formatting new streaming media with high resolution visual, audio, and interactive technology.

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In 2018, live video shopping generated 4.4 billion USD in sales in China, promising to become more popular among Western countries in the near future. Early players, namely H&M-owned Monki and ShopShops, connected Chinese consumers with stores in the U.S. 

Hopefully media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube will jump in the game to introduce new features facilitating in-app purchases.

Since the market this year will continue to take advantage of both live and off-live video, I will focus on developing the team in the same direction. 

With such a busy and competitive fashion market in the country, how would Vietnamese local brands become distinctive and outstanding?

I think every fashion business that wants to stand out will need a one-of-a-kind brand story. Then based on their background story, development strategies of branding, marketing, and products will follow that spirit. It’s essential to have an impressive and innovative brand image, but it’s also vital to provide efficient content that hit the mass market and bring about efficiency in sales.

For newly launched brands that have a limited budget for visual production, how could they ensure a consistent and flawless branding image?

The fashion industry has never been a low-cost investment. I recommend that before opening a brand, you should have a careful and cautious plan, avoiding a possibility of financial shortfall as well as low-quality visual production.

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The popular saying “You get what you pay for” is applicable for every situation, and the visual production industry is no exception. However, if you both want to save budget in the long run and control the branding image, I highly recommend an in-house production team. Especially for chain-model brands, this tactic could save you a lot in the long run.

What’s your opinion about the fashion industry in 2020?

I sense that 2020 could be a difficult year for the fashion industry. Particularly, since the beginning of this year, we’ve encountered plenty of challenges from the coronavirus outbreak. The negative impact on revenue will probably last until the middle of 2020. Thus, I guess 2020 would be a “moderate” year, not a “booming” one for the fashion industry.

Dzung Yoko – Creative Director of ELLE Magazine in Vietnam

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Having been the Creative Director for ELLE Vietnam fashion magazine for 9 years, Dzung Yoko is one of the big names in the fashion and media industry. He has accompanied ELLE through a long way, from early stages of the well-loved magazine, to rising as a leading online fashion and beauty forum in Vietnam. More than anyone else, he is a witness to the evolution of the media industry.

If you have to recap 2019 in one brief sentence, how would you describe the experience?

2019 was a year enthroning creative personalities.

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What were the prominent trends of fashion and media industry in 2019?

It is a collaboration of fashion brands and the media to find a common voice for audiences and consumers. Traditional print is a core value that brands need to keep in mind because of its branding strength, whereas online 360-degree marketing platforms are where brands can broaden their image.

What was the most memorable thing that you and the ELLE Vietnam team have achieved last year?

Our proudest moment was probably when ELLE’s financial report last year showed a high revenue coming from the editorial office, especially the print editions.

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What’s your opinion about the media industry in 2020?

2020 will be quite bleak due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, which will directly affect the sales of brands, causing the media suffer as well. We need smarter strategies to deal with the problem.

What areas do you think the domestic fashion media industry needs to focus on? 

Nothing is more important than developing and promoting local talents. At the same time, it’s important to educate consumers on sustainability.

In the upcoming period, what do you and your team plan to do in order to develop ELLE Vietnam Magazine?

We will strive to create more appealing and meaningful content in order to maintain and develop the good values of the media.

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