Nancy Tran is a former lawyer whose passion for style prompted her to launch an eponymous designer line dedicated to inspire women to discover their own beauty, strength, and limitless potential. Born in Saigon and raised in the United States, Nancy possesses a well-honed understanding of both the modern glamour of Western tastes as well as the serene elegance of Eastern sensibilities. Although she started on a more conventional career path at various prestigious law firms and an investment bank in New York, she never gave up on her true calling. She enrolled in a fashion design associate program at the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology to learn the fundamentals of the métier before totally committing to transforming herself into a full-fledged designer. Her first collection serves as a testament to her personal journey of following her dreams, of harnessing the full extent of her creativity and experience, and sharing this collection of sophisticated style with women everywhere. For Nancy Tran this is merely the beginning for what promises to be a global fashion brand. Below is her exclusive interview featured in the Exclusivity Issue of The 7th Magazine –
You believe that fashion is an adventure, that’s an interesting take on it, could you define this further?
I have always viewed fashion as a journey of possibilities – taking you to familiar places or somewhere completely new to you. It can broaden your horizons, give you a different perspective even if you’re seeing something again for a millionth time. For all of us – wearing your favorite garment or a brand new dress is to express a side of yourself or unveil a new one. The very act is to open yourself to fresh experiences. As a designer, I create with a similar mindset. I feel free to imagine without constraint, take risks and seek out new roads, different ways to appreciate the beauty of nature, and all its magnificence and dynamism. And what could be a grander adventure than that?
How was the transition from a practicing attorney to an exquisite fashion designer?
I have always had a deep interest in design, photography, and the arts since I was a child, but leaving behind my earlier career in law was both the most difficult and the easiest decision I ever had to make. While, a successful career guaranteed a sense of security, I also realized I had to follow my true calling. This opportunity to finally fully embrace creativity and share with women everywhere my designs as joyful expressions of timeless sophistication has been truly liberating. A lot of hard work went into building the foundation of the brand, and part of my early mission was finding all the right people to help launch the brand such as suppliers and digital printers, as well as the highly skilled artisans who could faithfully execute the intricate couture-level hand embroidery and applique and craft the prototypes for production.
Tell us a bit more about your style as a fashion designer?
I draw much of my design inspirations from all the beauty that surrounds us – from the vivid colors and shapes of nature to the rich cultures around the world, from architecture, the arts, and even from the wonders to be experienced from our daily lives. I try to capture these moments of joy into timeless elegance, through modern silhouettes, brilliant sparks of color, and embodied in the softest embrace of silks and other fine fabrics. I have also chosen as part of the brand’s signature to use of originally designed, digitally rendered prints as well as masterfully created embroidery applied by hand.
What is it about the modern glamour of Western tastes and the serene elegance of Eastern sensibilities that is prominent in your collections?
I am fortunate enough to have my cultural Vietnamese heritage and growing up in the United States as a foundation for my creativity. Because of course, each has something wonderful to offer. There is a practicality to Western thinking and a more apparent sense of glamour. Eastern sensibility on the other hand is more inclined to be metaphoric and defy temporal restraints. It was natural for me to develop an appreciation for both perspectives and it is through my designs where I seek to find their ideal harmony, to express the best of both worlds in something beautiful to see and to wear.
What inspired this collection within the Exclusivity issue?
My Transformation Collection was inspired by women in my life and truly all women everywhere. The patterns in the outfits are meant to tell the story of women discovering their own beauty, strength, and limitless potential. Based on the twists and turns of my life, I was also determined that this first collection feature the butterfly and its emerging out into the world. I think of this extraordinary creature’s metamorphosis as a powerful representation of freedom and rebirth. It takes courage, will power, and passion to allow and commit oneself to be transformed. The striking beauty of this natural process makes the common butterfly’s emergence a perfect symbol for admiration and inspiration. To be able to convey this in beautiful wearable art and sharing that canvas with women around the world is a true blessing.
As an adventurous spirit, where would you like to take your brand in the future?
We are merely at the beginning of what promises to be a global fashion brand. We currently have plans to gradually expand beyond the designer collection with a diffusion line for Spring/Summer 2019 – both of which will be available online at my website www.nancytranstudio.com, in boutique stores, major retail stores and at special events. And from there, I hope to have the opportunity to keep designing other ancillary products from our core brand aesthetic.
What would you like the legacy of your brand to be?
From the moment I conceived the Nancy Tran brand, I wanted it to exemplify the finest qualities of women – confidence, strength, beauty, a richness of humanitarian grace – which I hope empowers the women who wear our pieces to express themselves through a personal, timeless style. With every collection, these are the qualities I want to convey and hope to have as the brand’s lasting legacy. A decade, maybe several decades from now, I want our customers to put on one of our dresses and feel as stylishly modern, as vital and as on point as they did that very first time they wore it.
NANCY TRAN Company Description
New York’s exciting new designer Nancy Tran unveiled her launch collection in a range of day, cocktail and evening dresses meticulously crafted from premium silks in creamy tones and opulent shades of scarlet, pink, purple, and yellow to capture the delicate flourish of both fashion and nature. According to Ms. Tran, “The collection is inspired by rebirth. I wanted to welcome the season with an homage to blossoming in beauty. The graceful draping and silhouettes lend focus to that magical way that fashion can transform us all. But it’s not so much about changing into someone different rather discovering your own potential, unleashing your own beauty and finding that reservoir of confidence and strength in every woman. That’s why I employed both butterflies and flowers in the design to illustrate that emergence from our own cocoons, of blossoming into someone strong and beautiful.” The collection is rendered close to the body with fitted waists and skirts tapered like tulips or voluminous roses in full bloom. The butterfly and floral motif is further evident in the couture level details of cascading embroideries, prints, pleats, and cutouts that add rich texture and depth. Hemlines range from asymmetric to at, below the knee, and floor length gowns. Pricing $500 to $5000.