Tuesday 09 September 2014

(Hanoi, 9 September 2014) Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Fashion/Design 2014 is a unique award acknowledging the talent of creative entrepreneurs in Vietnam. 

This year’s winner are Vu Thao, owner and fashion designer at Kilomet 109 and Ta Minh Trai, a creative design professional and co-founder of ADC Academy. Kilomet 109 is a fashion brand featuring Vietnamese traditional weaving and eco-fabrics while ADC Academy is an innovative creative hub model.

Both were able to convince the jury of their entrepreneurial capacity and commitment to their community.   

The 2014 YCE Award targets innovators with creativity and the entrepreneurial skill to run successful fashion and design businesses using innovative models. The winners also demonstrate leadership skills and a clear commitment to cultural and social issues. 

Vu Thao used the competition to showcase her inspirational Kilomet 109 story. As a designer, Thao draws inspiration from many different sources including traditional Vietnamese textiles and garment construction techniques. She is interested in reinterpreting them in a way that is playful and timeless. Kilomet 109 features the traditional weaving, dye and beeswax print of ethnic groups in Mai Chau and Cao Bang.

Through her presentation, Vu Thao expressed her strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by working with ethnic women groups to produce eco fabric dyed using traditional methods for the Kilomet 109 label. 

On 13 September 2014, Vu Thao will begin her trip to the UK to attend the London Design Festival. In particular, during the trip, Thao will meet YCE 2014 winners – all are young and successful creative entrepreneurs from around the world. This is the chance to meet UK investors and influencers, which could lead to potential collaboration and expansion in future business. 

The awards jury, including representatives from the British Council in Vietnam, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism plus fashion designer and previous finalist May Cortazzi stated: ‘Ms Vu Thao acts as a business exemplary, she has high standard of design quality, great products and clear market in Vietnam and also fantastic collaboration work with designers, artists and producers.’

Vu Thao said at the awards ceremony: ‘I am very honoured and excited to be selected as winner of the YCE 2014 competition. This is the third time that I have applied for this award so to win is particularly gratifying. The YCE 2014 fashion and design award is both a conclusion to a dream I have worked tirelessly for, while also representing the opening of new doors for my career in fashion. I see my trip to the UK as a wonderful opportunity to network and learn from the winners from other participating countries, to exchange ideas with the British Council network of creative entrepreneurs in the UK.

‘In particular, I am looking forward to introducing my fashion products from Vietnam to the UK market. I hope this will be a big stepping stone to meet potential collaborators and clients in the UK for Kilomet 109.’

As runner-up, Ta Minh Trai, has introduced an innovative business model – the ADC Academy – and new ways of thinking about design. ADC is a co-working and training space with a focus on design and visual arts including graphic design, product design and design thinking. It is an innovative model for a creative hub and boasts a huge network and reach especially among emerging creative professionals and entrepreneurs in Ho Chi Minh City. They currently have about 60 businesses and students using their facilities and a Facebook following of around 50,000.  

ADC offers students and young creative professionals training bridging the gap between formal education and accessing a job in industry. Their next step is to set up a co-operative studio providing real paid projects for students to work on, thus building up portfolios and generating income for the hub.

Cherry Gough, Country Director, British Council Vietnam said: ‘The British Council’s global Young Creative Entrepreneur award is a brilliant programme that gives the most talented young creative entrepreneurs around the world the opportunity to develop their international business networks. In the last 10 years, the Awards brought 376 creative entrepreneurs from 54 countries to the UK.’

‘The Award is one of the central activities in the British Council Vietnam’s Creative Economy project. By acknowledging the talent of young creative entrepreneurs and giving them ideal opportunities to expand their business, the Award is strengthening the project’s mission which is to fortify Vietnam's new creative sectors and support socio-economic growth.’

Since the programme launched in 2004, British Council’s Awards have brought 376 creative entrepreneurs to the UK. These have been from 54 countries with the finalists having created numerous global and local collaborations. These include initiatives such as The Digital Minds Network, Jakarta Fashion Week 2013, Slovak Fashion Council, Sri Lankan Design Festival. 

Uche Pedro, YCE 2013 winner was subsequently named one of Africa’s leading young entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine while YCE Ridwan Kamil is now Mayor of Indonesia creative powerhouse city Bandung. 

In Vietnam, YCE 2014 marks the sixth year the British Council in Vietnam has organised the Awards. Since 2010, the Young Creative Entrepreneurs network has brought together more than 300 creative entrepreneurs in Vietnam. 

In 2013, Phan Gia Nhat Linh, co-founder of the First Online Film Festival ‘YxineFF’ and winner of the Screen and Multimedia International Young Creative Entrepreneur Award 2013, participated in a range of multimedia-related activities in the UK, including the London Cross Media Forum 2013. The British Council is collaborating with YxineFF to organise a pitching workshop for young filmmakers in Ho Chi Minh City. The workshop will be held from 22 to 28 September 2014 at Saigon International Film School, 15A Hoang Hoa Tham, Binh Thanh District. 

See also