Meet the Jean Makers Daughter : Denimsmith’s Hanh
When did you come to the realization you wanted to follow your father’s footsteps into the rag trade?
In our Vietnamese culture on the day of your first birthday you pick an item off the table. The items can include pen, money, calculator etc. I, funnily enough picked scissors. My life was destined for the rag trade! I’ve never thought about another profession other then this. My passion has always been in fashion and with the help from my Dad I plan to engulf myself in every aspect of it.
Growing up in factory life what are your fondest memories?
My memories are more from the stories my family has told me over the years one of the stories was when I was an infant my aunt was looking after me in the factory. For naps she would always place me on one of the sewing machines and I would fit neatly. We laugh about it now…how times have changed.
There is so many members of your family in local manufacturing, how did that benefit you in your fashion studies?
I am blessed to have family in the fashion industry. I have been able to learn from them as well as bond. I was taught to sew at a very young age making clothes for my dolls and pencil cases for my friends. My family also taught me the importance of end processes and presentation of the garments, enforcing that every step needed to be done properly. They taught me most importantly that you can design anything you put your mind too. Creativity is the greatest gift I received from my family that benefited my studies and now my role at Denimsmith.
Recently you worked on an up-cycling capsule range for the ‘Vintage Laundry’ brand, what did you enjoy most about the process?
The best part of the process was the hands on work of dismantling the jeans and turning them into a completely different wearable garment. I also enjoyed learning the technical aspects, the pattern work and finally reviewing the recreation on the fit model.
What is the most unique customer feedback you have had from the ‘without end’ capsule range?
The most feedback I’ve received has been for the ‘Smith bag’. Customers just stop and look at the bag and smile stating ‘they’ve never seen denim done in that way so unique’. The other pieces have also been really well received from customers, they enjoy hearing the back-story of how we’ve recreated the design and how important limiting waste is for our factory and brands.
What is your favorite piece from the without end capsule range and why?
My favourite piece would be the Kidd skirt. Not for it’s wild flower embroidery but the construction of the skirt itself. Originally it was a jean, but to turn it into a skirt required work! I had to make sure to correct the back seam and also the front crotch seam to make the skirt sit well on the body, to overcome this I created a small front slit as well as a raw stepped hem to give it some character.
Do you think consumers will continue to have interest in closing the loop products?
I’ve had the privilege of first hand discussions with our customers. Consumers are becoming more aware of waste in the textile Industry. I believe customers will continue to be more conscientious shoppers- as well as looking for ethical brands they are looking for brands that include limiting waste.
As Australia is increasingly flooded with fast fashion products, do you feel that the consumer still values well made clothes?
Quite a lot of people still value well made clothes here in Australia. Our customers are comfortable in expressing their opinions on poorly made clothes they’ve purchased in the past, they are becoming tired of constantly having to update their wardrobe as the longevity of the garments hasn’t met their expectations. Overall the feedback we get is they would rather invest in well made clothes that remain wardrobe staples.
You spend a lot of time at the 2nd Northside store in Gertrude Street, What are your two favorite things about the Fitzroy area?
I’m a true foodie so one of my favourite things about Fitzroy is the food and creativity that each place brings to the table. I make it my mission every few days to scroll through blogs and hunt down new exciting places that have great ratings. It’s truly amazing what my senses get to indulge in. My second favorite thing is the street culture. Fitzroy does remind me a little of our home in Brunswick, so many people that I see walking have their own story (as well as great fashion sense) I look forward to meeting them when they walk into our store.