I am staying in Hoi An which is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colourful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.
Hoi An is also famous for endless amounts of tailors that can create whatever you like. Saturated with the same same outfits, being bought by tourists. In my observation, I can truly see the demand tourists crave here for very cheap bespoke tailoring. I can see that the international tourists love the experience which is still strong no matter what the quality let alone outcome is when the clothes are fitted.
However that has never ever been me when it comes to the love of clothing. Clothing for me is a lifestyle and an endless passion of communication in an art form. It is for this very reason that in 2018, I am going to continue to trend that less is more and quality, individual clothing can have an impact in business. – Gracie Opulanza
As the years go on and my journey of marketing and promoting fashion designers continues. There has been one consistent passion I have always trended and wanted to communicate to my readers. Is that, I have always loved the hunt and the adventure of connecting with unique and very exclusive one-off pieces of clothing created by the hidden jewels of fashion designers.
Aldegonde Van Alsenoy
I love searching and learning from fashion designers why they work so hard to create what they do. For this reason, let me introduce you to designer called Aldegonde Van Alsenoy who trained in the city of Antwerp and is now residing in Hoi An Vietnam for many years. Most successful Antwerp designers decide to remain in Antwerp however Aldegonde is an adventurous woman who wanted to be a designer in her own right.
Aldegonde’s passion for fashion is to create one-off pieces. In her boutiques both in Hoi An and Da Nang all of her collections are unique and once bought no two are the same. This is rare to find in a saturated market as fashion. However, it is the core essence and the key to her success.
To be able to create designs, from start to beginning, using local produces and sellers of fabrics. I love that I am in control as the designer and it’s the core essence in creating clothing that customers from around the globe continue to return. I am very committed in preserving the art of what is left here in Vietnam regarding skilled craftsmanship. Supporting the local community in regards to weaving techniques. A room full of empty looms, leaves me with an empty heart! – Aldegonde
Avana Concept Store Da Nang
So committed to local craftsmanship, Aldegonde decided to team with artist Nguyen Quoc Dan. Together they began a journey and spent painstaking months scouting, collecting empty looms and recycled wood from Vietnam to create a unique and well thought out concept store in an up and coming area of Da Nang. In fact, it’s such a rare store that has not seen anything like this anywhere else in Vietnam. It is more like an art museum than a boutique. The attention to detail using recycled goods from around the country is why the Avana Concept Store is so unique.
Life and business always comes with risks. Showcasing my one off pieces in an inspiring room of art is all about the buying experience. Who am I to dictate what a man or a women should wear. My collections offer the freedom for the buyer to buy into what I call a gender neutral era world of fashion. In my store, time is no factor my customers can have a local beer or coffee and play dress ups. In that freedom of exploration, my clothing comes to life. – Aldegonde
Here in Vietnam Aldegonde has the control to choose from end of change fabrics, found in the factories. Aldegonde also travels around the globe to source the finest fabrics. From South East Asia, Europe or Africa nothing limits her to her commitment to the world of fashion. Aldegonde lives the lifestyle by embracing the culture of weaving and textiles around the globe. This is fun and exciting as the fabrics are luxury and high quality, therefore nothing is wasted and the quality of fabrics are not compromised. She caters for a niche market and is loyal to her customers.
It is one of the most interesting creative stores I have seen here in South East Asia, right here in Da Nang, Vietnam. If I had to describe Aldegonde Van Alsenoy in an interior art form this is it. The shopping experience here is just fabulous, edgy and chic. A collision of fashion and art, the AVANA Da Nang store is the result of a rich collaboration between the Belgian designer and renowned Vietnamese artist Dan Quoc Nguyen. Drawing inspiration from the Co Tu tribes of the Central Highlands, Ava and Dan have created a masterpiece of fashion, wood, art and craft.
I loved the rhythmic tribal carvings that formed the perfect backdrop for Aldegonde’s singular pieces, crafted from the finest handmade fabrics and brocades to create unique and sustainable fashion. This is quite different than something like Joann fabrics. The clothes are also hung on beautifully wooden carved coat hangers which is how meticulous Aldegonde is when it comes to her Avana boutique.
The whole exploration as a customer is relaxed and the store allows me to search at my own leisure. The more I delve into the world of Avana, the more I realise that these one-off pieces, stand alone in this world of saturated fashion.
Don’t limit yourself, my clothing are a universal shape for men and women. I don’t work in sizes, I create being lead by fabrics and textiles around the globe, it’s gender neutral. – Aldegonde
Hoi An Store
- Address: 57 Lê Lợi, Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam 560000, Vietnam
- Phone: 0235 3911 611
Da Nang Store
- 260 Đường Trần Phú, Phước Ninh, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
- Phone: 0236 3525 260