So Andy, can you start by telling us a bit about your fashion label, Andy Truong?
“With my label, it’s ideally for confident, sophisticated, outgoing, but refined and elegant women who like to feel glamorous in their dresses - and that’s what I try and do with my designs. I try to put an element of glamour in it, whether it’s with the embellishment or the fabric or the way it’s cut.
What was it like to start your career in fashion design at such a young age, are you dealing with all the media attention?
I guess I felt really proud of myself being able to accomplish all of that at such a young age.
It was all just very exciting, there were a lot of emotions happening at the time. Actually a lot of the time it was just adrenaline that was getting me through it.
I was so exhausted having to plan my fashion show, do all the press and media stuff but also keep up with school and all of that, so it was really stressful by the end, but it was so great doing it and I would do it all over again.
I guess with dealing with the spotlight at such a young age, I didn’t do anything crazy, I still kept true to myself ... I just kept it all normal and natural and I just treat it more like a job rather than like a celebrity thing.
How do you get inspired to create new garments?
I can get pretty much inspired by anything, sometimes it’s by music, or a story or a picture or sometimes I do see something on the street that someone’s worn and I think ‘wow! That’s really nice maybe I can incorporate that into my designs’.
A lot of the time I do look at clothing from the past. I love the 50s but then I also love the 20s, which is a complete contrast.
I think that a lot of my designs are that full hourglass design but they have an ease to [them] so they are not so crazy or full-on to wear, so I just keep that at the back of my mind when I design things.
Is there a bigger purpose to being a fashion designer?
Obviously there is a bigger purpose, essentially it’s just to make women feel really good in what they wear. I also work in retail and a lot of the time women love the [clothing] on the hanger or rack, but when they put it on they don’t feel happy about it, in terms of the way it fits or the colour.
I think what I want to accomplish is to make everyone feel really happy about [their outfit] and feel really good with it when they have it on.
And then also in future once I do make a little bit of money and a name for myself, I would like to actually help out, by not using child labour, maybe setting up a charity for children to put clothes on their back.
Because I am Vietnamese and I’ve visited Vietnam, I’ve seen a lot of the children over there and they don’t have the benefit of growing up in Australia and having clothes on their back.
So I think what I would really like to do one day is to set up a fund or charity where they have clothing and they have food for themselves as well.
How is your label going at the moment?
At the moment I am still running it by myself, so it is still quite small at the moment but it’s growing, we have stockists here in Melbourne but we also have one in Singapore.
I’ve actually decided that I’m taking a little break from designing because I am going back to uni this year...
It’s really crazy because I also have another job, I am actually a personal stylist at Myer, which ties exactly into fashion designing.
One of the reasons that I got into fashion designing was that I can make women feel really happy about what they were wearing. With styling it’s exactly like that - you put together a look for them that they can feel great in.
So you can see a long-term future in fashion design?
Definitely, even if don’t become a great designer I still want to be in the fashion industry because just the creativity of it and all the wonderful people that you get to work with.
And also working in fashion, every day is different, there is always something to do, there’s always new projects coming along, new clients, new designs, so every day is different.