Catching Up with Khangle
Stitched: Hey Khang Le! The last time we saw you, your team was crushing the finale at the Stitched Fashion show at the Times Union Center in September 2019. Now that you’ve had some time to look back, what are your thoughts on that show?
Khangle: I had a blast at Stitched! Not just showing my collection but supporting the community and the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Most importantly, giving the Capital Region a remarkable moment filled with fashion and music. This 14-month project allowed me the privilege to meet many talented young designers, models, and dancers. Working side by side with Executive Director Mike Schinnerer was an amazing opportunity for me, as part of the younger generation, to learn from a great in the industry.
Stitched: Tell us what you have been up to since?
Khangle: After Stitched, I started a new project focusing on bridal wear and slowly expanding my brand into menswear. From mid-2020 until now, I collaborated with fashion magazines in the US and internationally. I created a new line called “DREAMERS,” a ready-to-wear collection. I am also working on my newest collection for Philly Fashion Week. I have a new position as Runway Director for PFW as well. In the start of 2021, I won the nomination of Fashion Bomb Daily Contest, which opened up the door for my brand to reach many stylists. I had the opportunity to travel back and forth from New York to Los Angeles for photo shoots and to meet with celebrities. I am working with various TV shows and sponsoring looks for celebrities in L.A.
Stitched: With COVID banning events and public audiences, how much does that affect your regular schedule as a designer and runway coach?
Khangle: This pandemic has affected many artists out there, myself included. In situations like this, it’s best to try to stay positive. I remind myself that there’s individuals out there who have to deal with situations much worse than me and to be grateful no matter what. The pandemic gave me more time to be creative. I had time to reflect on my journey, work on unfinished projects, connect with new talents and develop my own personality. That is how the DREAMERS collection came to be. It is inspired by the hard times that this pandemic brought upon us and hoping for better days. “BE A DREAMER!”
Stitched: We see you visited New York City to shoot some of the DREAMERS collection. Was the street scene much different from previous trips?
Khangle: Absolutely…big difference. Luckily, we had help from the NYPD. They gave us permission to park and shoot right in the heart of Times Square. We were able to use their private office for clothing changes. Their generosity meant a lot.
Stitched: Back in Vietnam, were you from a big city or a smaller town? What was it like?
Khangle: I am from Saigon – or Ho Chi Minh City. It’s one of the biggest cities in Vietnam. I’ve always been a big city type of kid. I love the sounds of traffic, the buzzing streets, and the smells from street vendors. Who would of thought I would end up in Oneida, a quiet city located in Upstate NY? Well, everything happens for a reason. Saigon is a fast-growing city. I would say it is comparable to Singapore, or even downtown Las Vegas. We have casinos, malls, high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and more. Entertainment is a big thing there, especially with music concerts and fashion events.
Stitched: How big is fashion in Vietnam? Are the any stars in the making from there that we should keep our eye out for?
Khangle: I know a lot of people in the Vietnamese Fashion industry. I was head of international designers that coordinated the backstage for Vietnam International Fashion Week – the largest in Vietnam. They take fashion very serious there. I’ve never seen a fashion show with such quality, performance, and luxury as the ones I worked with in Vietnam. The big-name designers that I adore the most are “NGUYEN CONG TRI” or “CORY COUTURE.” Cong Tri had his collection showcased during official NYFW 2018-2019, and I was front row for both shows. It was a great memory.
Stitched: So, what’s the next big thing for Khangle? We are ready to see more.
Khangle: We have MAJOR international TV shows and magazines in the works. I plan to dress A-list celebrity appearances in music videos, red carpet, and a Netflix show. Those will happen in 2021. Sadly, I cannot report any more due to confidential agreements, but exciting things are on the way!
Stitched: We will have our eyes glued! Can’t wait. Thanks for meeting up with us.
Photography by Lamont Aulet