Culture Culture

17/03/2019 - 16:09

Urgent branding needed for Hue’s ao dai

The conference was chaired and facilitated by Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the Steering Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province Intellectual Property Development Program. Participating in the conference were Dr. Le Ngoc Lam, Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Department (Ministry of Science and Technology) and fashion designer Minh Hanh.

Chairman of People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho chaired the conference

Attending the conference were more than 60 researchers, fashion designers and owners of ao dai tailor shops in the area. Enthusiastic and devoted to Hue, the participants shared their various perspectives on Hue ao dai, from cultural heritage, tourism enterprises, fashion designers, brand experts, to intellectual property issues.

Many issues related to "Promoting Hue cultural values in building Hue ao dai brand" were discussed actively and thoroughly.

It is affirmed at the conference that Hue is the cradle of Vietnamese traditional ao dai and Hue ao dai is a work of art, the essence and soul of Hue. It is important that Thua Thien Hue should take immediate action to identify the intellectual property for Hue ao dai.

Designer Minh Hanh said: “In Vietnamese people's mind, whenever Hue is mentioned, they always think of the image of a young girl with her long hair, a purple ao dai and a conical hat. Beautiful as the figure is, why don't we turn it into a symbol of Hue? Of course, the ao dai is the subject in that symbol.

Minh Hanh fashion designer discussing with zeng textile artisans

As an experienced fashion designer, Ms. Minh Hanh affirmed, "Hue ao dai has its own characters in the common Vietnamese ao dai". According to Ms. Minh Hanh, in order to build and develop the Hue ao dai brand, Thua Thien Hue needs to recognize ao dai as a unique, highly-commercial consumer product of Hue.

Whether the product is classy is not decided by the cost the product, but by the culture-richness incorporated in the creation of a truly functional product for life. Therefore, to honor Hue Ao dai, the matter is not only the material or the style but also the historical and cultural stories of the region embedded in that ao dai. Once the product is launched on the market, the underlying spiritual value is much greater than the material value that makes up the ao dai.

According to Mr. Le Dang Tho, Director of the Vietnam Technical Innovation Support Fund, it is now the right time for Thua Thien Hue to implement the project of creating, managing and developing a collective trademark for Hue Ao dai. Thua Thien Hue has all the necessary and sufficient opportunities to do this, including the advantages of cultural traditions, the team of skilled tailors and the support of all levels of industry.

Therefore, the authorities need to be timely to establish a Hue Ao dai business association. The association is the sole owner of the collective trademark registration for Hue Ao dai who later helps the province manage and develop the long-term branding for products.

The conference scene

From the perspective of a cultural researcher, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa said that the establishment and development of Hue ao dai brand do not mean the sole certification, but the recognition of the whole society. While he did not disapprove of the modernized ao dai, Mr. Hoa said it is necessary to educate the young generation, especially teenage girls, about the beauty and charm of the traditional ao dai.

“Education is essential so that the young girls can make the right fashion choices that are appropriate with our Vietnamese way. Modernization is fine, but the core soul must be Vietnamese. I think, if we build a good brand of Hue ao dai and provide good ao dai services, we are contributing to making Hue more culturally beautiful and socio-economically developed,” said Mr. Hoa.

Display of traditional ao dai

The need for Hue to have its own space for ao dai was an idea proposed by many delegates. Perhaps it could be a street dedicated to ao dai, a center of costumes that includes functional spaces related to ao dai or a worthy center of performance, etc. Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho said that the province will continue to survey and consider suitable locations to arrange the space for ao dai. At the same time, the province is ready to cooperate with qualified investors who have good projects and plans.

Regarding the issue of private space for Hue Ao dai, designer Minh Hanh proposed: “This space must be organized by professional traders. I emphasize the professionalism in the chain of promoting ao dai to the level of practical consumer products and to make Hue proud of that space. In the implementation process, professionalism is shaped by enthusiasm, skills, sacrifices and perseverance.”

Hue women in ao dai

On behalf of provincial leaders, Chairman of People's Committee Phan Ngoc Tho was open to all the suggestions proposed by the participants. He pledged that Thua Thien Hue will try its best to implement solutions in order to promote ao dai into a leading and typical brand of Hue.

Story and photos: Dong Van