Linda Mai Phung is a French fashion designer whose unique and inspiring label is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Linda is no ordinary designer. An eco-entrepreneur and avid dreamer, her garments fuse Asian and European aesthetics and styles with stunning results. Inspired by the poetic worlds of inspirational figures such as Frida Kahlo and Yoko Ono and the cultures of the people she works with and meets, Linda’s designs stand out. If they’re not deeply colourful, they’re heavily patterned, if not alive with pattern, they make great use of luxurious layered textures in fairtrade fabrics; nothing is ever dull.
Every Linda Mai Phung collection is created using eco-friendly textiles such as G.O.T.S certified organic cotton, silk that is produced in Vietnam by blackberry bush worms, traditional textiles handcrafted by minority tribes in Asia, eco-friendly and hypoallergenic linen, and upcycled plastic bags from Saigon’s food factories. Every item is skilfully handcrafted by tailors who are paid fair working wages. In addition to this, Linda employs many people who have been victims of sex trafficking and prostitution, offering them a fresh and safe start as well as full textiles training from a Vietnamese social enterprise.
Linda loves to travel and draws much of the inspiration for her seasonal collections from her adventures around the globe. Inspired by visits to Japan and Saigon her graphic city map print was the result of a collaboration with Japanese artist Ayano Otan. Her buzzing fabrics and simple garment designs compliment one another perfectly. Though there’s usually a great deal going on when it comes to the pattered pieces of her collections, Linda’s designs are unfussed, light, and beautiful. Each item tells a story of colour, of dreams, individuals, personal culture, and peaceful resolutions.
Linda graduated in 2007 from Duperre School of Art in Paris. Having worked in fashion houses in Paris, Berlin and Prague, she developed an expert knowledge of design, materials and the importance of ethical supply chains. She launched the Linda Mai Phung brand in 2010 and since that time, Linda has stormed the fashion world. After winning the “Paris Jeunes Aventures” grant to fund a photo-documentary about crafts in Vietnam, Linda has gone on to win many prestigious awards including the Eco-fashion Designer Award by Néoplanète Magazine, the Creativity Prize of the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, and the Innovation Source Award 2012 of the Ethical Fashion Forum. If you’re interested in keeping up with the brand and Linda’s designs, her travels and her progress in making fashion fairer for all, follow her blog here. We’re looking forward to seeing her new collection and learning more about its roots and the people that have been working hard to create it.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth