Yvette LIBBY N’guyen Paris is a designer fashion brand that bridges Asian and European cultures. A specialist in outerwear, the brand redefines fashion by offering an elegant silhouette inspired by the past and in line with today's challenges. Drawing on bygone eras, the brand offers original creations that seem familiar, allowing everyone to access elegance. Most of the styles are designed for every gender, too, and Yvette LIBBY N'guyen Paris carefully considers how it responds to current climate challenges.
"When fashion is gendered, it does not allow you to choose according to the silhouette you want but according to the ones you are offered. By re-examining this code, Yvette LIBBY N’guyen gives our clients the freedom to adopt the line in the way they want, allowing them to be themselves. This is why a large part of the range qualifies as unisex pieces. Yvette LIBBY N'guyen Paris prides itself on being a gender-fluid label."
Tell us about your passion for fashion, how and when it started? I was born in Vietnam in a small village near Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city). I grew up in a household that believed fashion was vanity, and when I started sketching a lot and dressing up my dolls and even my cat, my parents weren't happy. They wanted me to spend more time reading and studying to become a businesswoman, rather than becoming a couturier or a designer.
For my family, I gave up making clothes and studied business, hiding my passion for fashion. I went on to study business in Singapore, Japan, and the U.S., while doing part-time jobs in fashion. It wasn't until I worked for an international pharmaceutical company in Vietnam that I really thought twice about my fashion dream.
At the same time, by coincidence, I found a photo of a young mixed-race girl in my family photos. My grandma told me that “the girl” was my great-grandma, Yvette N’guyen and she was a couturier while adding that the family weren't proud of her story and that I should ignore it.
After quitting my job at the pharmaceutical company, I spent the next 11 years starting over, learning and working in every corner of fashion. I studied fashion at CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers) and ESMOD Paris, and in 2016, I launched Yvette LIBBY N’guyen Paris.
My mom worked for a local theatre and cinema when I was a kid, and I grew up following her to work and watching movies for free on a giant vintage screen while waiting for her to finish her work.
I watched movies from everywhere - Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, China to the US, Mexico, and France. I couldn’t understand most of the movies at that age, but I was fascinated by the outfits and costumes. That kicked off my passion for costume design.
What interested me in the costumes was how they portrayed the different characteristics and even the destinies of the characters wearing them. That motivated me to learn more about costumes and I believe that everyone also has his own “costume” nowadays, in this cinema of life.
Why outerwear? I've always been obsessed with the detective character Hercule Poirot as a fashion icon and the trench coat as a re-definition of functional elegance. It is a timeless wardrobe staple worn across the decades by sleuths of all ages, sexes and nationalities. The authoritarian allure of the trench means it's become the coat of choice for detectives, and no wonder.
A trench coat can enhance your personal styling while being weather-functional, saving you a lot of time in daily life. If, like me, you have ever experienced “four-seasons” within one day during a Californian summer, you would understand, going from a warm sunny morning to being caught in the rain, and then a chill in the evening. I believe that the high-tech waterproof fabric trench coat from Yvette LIBBY N’guyen makes your day more beautiful and convenient.
Please describe your point of view of the importance to provide unisex designs? When fashion is gendered, it does not allow you to choose according to the silhouette you want but according to the ones you are offered. By re-examining this code, Yvette LIBBY N’guyen gives our clients the freedom to adopt the line in the way they want, allowing them to be themselves. This is why a large part of the range qualifies as unisex pieces.
Yvette LIBBY N'guyen Paris prides itself on being a gender-fluid label.
What cause is particularly important for you? Sustainability might be a buzzword, but at Yvette LIBBY N’guyen we've followed the motto of being ecologically friendly and ethical from the very beginning. If it’s not, we have no motivation to go further.
It is simply about respect - for people and their living environment, and we can’t ignore it.
This is why most of the techniques we use allow us to reduce the impact of the manufacture of clothes from using natural dyes to natural and organic fibres, such as hemp, cotton and linen, as well as using dormant stocks. All of our buttons are also made from natural shells and horns.
Yvette LIBBY N'guyen also donates revenue each year to local and international non-profit organisations to support their green planet projects.
We also believe that the human link is essential in the quality of the finished product and that is why Yvette LIBBY N'guyen opened its own clothing workshop in Vietnam (Saigon). We ensure that working conditions are above the country's standards, and we fully support all members of the company.
Describe yourself in a hashtag #nostalgic
What is your favorite time of the day? Energetic morning
What is your dream country to visit? Tibet
What is the superpower you would like to have? To be invisible
Vintage or new? New
When are you the most inspired? Talking with people who know themselves very well