The Viet Tien Garment Company has just inked three contracts with international customers to export clothing products created by its designers, totalling around US$300,000, said company director Nguyen Dinh Truong.
The foreign dealers were Australia, the US and Germany. To reach such contracts, Viet Tien had to train and improve the capacity of designers and fully understand global fashion trends, Truong added.
The firm has decided to build up and promote its own designed products in both local and overseas markets using the Vee Sendy trademark.
Meanwhile, the Sai Gon Garment Company 2 focused on building up its Sanding range of designed products two years ago. Chairman of its management board Ngo Trung Kien said each year the enterprise earned about VND40bil ($2.5mil) from selling Sanding goods.
Kien added that revenue from the sales of Sanding products accounted for nearly one third of its total turnover this year.
Taking the initiative in design has resulted in an increase in net profits of local enterprises with added value falling into the design stage and this has gradually replaced the previous sub-contract system, where Vietnamese firms just follow designs ordered by international conglomerates.
This fact was obviously proved in the local market where another competitor shirt costs a mere VND20,000, while one made by the An Phuoc or Viet Tien companies may reach up to VND500,000-700,000.
“Quality of raw materials of these shirts may be a little bit different, yet the shirt’s value mainly belongs to its design and trademark,” said chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Le Quoc An.
However, Truong from Viet Tien Co said the industry still lacks qualified designers and the country does not have a university specialising in training fashion designers.
General Secretary of the Taiwanese Textile and Garment Alliance Justin Huang said Taiwan faced the same situation one decade ago, then it sent designers to Paris, New York, and Tokyo for training.
“The Vietnamese garment industry has great potential for development,” Huang affirmed.
To upgrade design, for the short term the industry will invite international experts to train at home and for the long term, designers will be sent abroad, said An.