Cong Tri kept on his toes by celebrity orders

By Hoang Nguyen, Duy KhanhSeptember 4, 2019 | 04:40 am PT
Cong Tri kept on his toes by celebrity orders
Cong Tri is set to return to New York Fashion week in September. Photo courtesy of Cong Tri.
Vietnamese designer Cong Tri’s increasing popularity among international celebrities creates its own set of challenges, including creating custom-made outfits without direct measurement.

Time pressure and the availability of fabric and other materials are other hurdles to overcome as the Vietnamese designer caters to an array of top actresses and pop stars with strict demands. "Creating an outfit typically requires great accuracy and speed," the designer told Ngoi sao.

Tri and his crew often have to complete an order in a few days. Fitting becomes a problem, as the dimensions are provided by the artist’s stylist, and he is not available for direct measurement, he said.

"Sometimes when the outfit is done, the artist wants to change the color, and the crew has to find the right fabric and finish it right away, even if this requires that they fly to another country to search and find the proper material. You have to be quick to deal with such situations."

"Once, when I was making a gown for Beyoncé, there was a situation when they required that we give some extra fabric in case they needed to make some adjustments or addition to the outfit. I had to send my assistant on a flight to the U.S. immediately, carrying the extra piece of fabric," he added.

From left to right: Kate Bosworth, Rita Ora and Beyoncé in Cong Tris designs.

From left to right: Kate Bosworth, Rita Ora and Beyoncé in Cong Tri's designs.

Tri said it was more challenging and complicated to work with international stars than Vietnamese celebs.

"International artists have higher demands and standards. They have a big crew behind them with a long list of strict requirements," he said. "For example, before collaborating with a celebrity I have to sign a contract of confidentiality. Every statement or image that I want to post on Facebook and Instagram must be approved by the artist."

Tri’s most memorable moment was when British singer Rita Ora asked him to design some outfits for her a few days after his first show at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

"My crew made the outfits from scratch in just three days, from designing, selecting fabric and material to producing and delivering. With a thin crew, it was really a challenge for us. The great thing is, we finished Rita’s outfits in time and they were used in one of her tours," he said.

"I’m also very proud that Kate Bosworth, the fashion icon, wore one of my designs to the Oscars 2019 party thrown by Vanity Fair. At that party, Victoria Secret model Josephine Skiriver also chose an attractive smoky grey gown from my collection."

Tri said his success after the NYFW debut this year was just the start and there were a lot of things to do next.

"Presenting your collection at international fashion weeks is a way to introduce your brand to a bigger market. After that, it’s up to you to decide the next move. There are so many things that you have to take care of.

"Stylist Kate Young and makeup artist Hung Vanngo told me that there hasn’t been any debut collection at New York Fashion Week that has been worn by as many celebrities as mine. There is no such precedent, they said. That gave me more motivation and confident to return to NYFW this time," Tri said.

Cong Tri has become a familiar name among international stars after he showcased his collection at NYFW earlier this year. Some celebrities have chosen his designs to wear on special occasions and on stage, including Kate Bosworth, Rita Ora and Beyoncé.

Cong Tri is a member of the Asian Couture Federation. The 40-year-old has attended leading fashion events in Italy, the U.K. and Japan.

He made his debut at the New York Fashion Week this February, becoming the first Vietnamese designer to do so. His collection was covered by fashion magazine Vogue and received acclaim.

go to top