Vivienne Tam hopes to inspire and empower women with her new SHERO collection.
Vivienne Tam’s vibrant SHERO collection showcases how fashion can be a force of empowerment.
Seeing fashion as a vehicle for positive change, Vivienne Tam often uses her designs to raise awareness about issues close to her heart, such as the environment, preservation of ancient crafts and, most recently, women’s empowerment. In her SHERO collection (a portmanteau of “She” and “Hero”), Tam hopes to inspire women to embrace their strength and femininity, creativity and confidence.
We caught up with Tam to hear more about the designer’s vision:
What was the inspiration behind the SHERO collection?
Vivienne Tam: Throughout my career, I have met so many inspiring women at events, meetings and conferences. They come from all different backgrounds and circumstances – many have overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives. They also manage to balance their businesses, finances, family, and so many other demands on their time. It’s incredible, so I wanted to glorify these women with the SHERO collection.
How did you come up with SHERO?
VT: We always talk about heroes, you know? But what about SHEROs? We should be celebrating women and their accomplishments – how they shape the world and take care of others. There have been many famous, outspoken women in history but we need more.
How does your philosophy manifest in the designs?
VT: My SHERO designs are reminiscent of female warriors, like Mulan. They are simultaneously soft and hard, a balance of yin and yang. When Mulan puts on her warrior clothing, she is ready to fight. But, at home, she is soft, beautiful and caring. Every woman has these types of complementary forces within her – we have dynamic personalities, and I wanted the collection to reflect that.
I love playing with details, colours, and textures so there’s a lot of jacquard, leather, and metallics – all mixed together. When choosing they palette, I considered the seasons. So you’ll see a lot of deep turquoise, green, black and red offset by creams, beige, denim and shiny leather. I think these colours work together magically.
How do you think that fashion can empower women?
VT: When women wear my SHERO collection, I hope they feel a sense of confidence and power from within themselves. Those moments in the morning, when you are thinking about what to wear, how to present yourself to the world... that’s all about you. The rest of the day, women spend so much energy taking care of others, working, and solving problems. But the morning, you can be creative and express yourself.
Does the SHERO collection have any sustainable elements?
VT: Yes! One of my favourite dresses in the collection is called the SHERO floral-print corduroy patchwork cheongsam, which I style with a cream smocking turtleneck chiffon blouse, and wine-red Women Warrior belt. It is actually made from fabric scraps from previous collections. I created this dress to raise awareness about waste and our impact on Mother Nature.
It’s also important to me to support traditional methods of embroidery, natural dyes and textiles like those you might see in rural regions of China. A lot of these old crafts are dying out, so I want to support and modernise these techniques to help them survive. You will be able to see some examples of old and new textiles in the Spring-Summer 2020 collection.
Can you tell me about a few of your favourite SHERO pieces?
VT: I love the black SHERO dress, which features coated cording and cut-out lace on corduroy that looks like leather, even though it’s not. I love that it is very feminine yet strong at the same time, especially when paired with a smocking turtleneck blouse underneath and a black Women Warrior studded belt.
Another favourite is the long, red, ruffled chiffon SHERO dress with sequined appliqués. It’s floaty and feminine and just moves beautifully as you walk. My favourite detail is the Graffiti Dragon print. If you look at the ancient warriors, they always have dragon as their symbol because they’re strong and powerful. So the woman wearing this dress will feel that energy!
We hear there’s going to be a SHERO ‘doll-making’ workshop at LANDMARK. What does this mean to you?
VT: It reminds me of childhood! Making doll clothes is actually how I started my fashion career. When I was a child, we didn't have a lot of money to buy dolls, so my mother taught us to use our hands and make our own toys. I used to go to the flea markets and find scrap fabrics then make doll clothes as a child. Later, I started dressing my sister! For the event, I think making SHERO dolls will feel really nostalgic and inspiring for a lot of people. You can use some of my fabric, dress up your doll how you like, and just relax and be creative.
Don’t miss LANDMARK’s SHERO doll-making workshop on 12th November from 6:30-9pm. For a chance to join, email LANDMARK (email@example.com) and tell us what empowers you – be it the personal SHERO in your life or an inspiring quote – by 5th November.
After the class, participants will take home a 20% off* coupon to spend at Vivienne Tam’s LANDMARK boutique! In the meantime, you can shop exclusive looks and curated pieces from the SHERO collection via Style Concierge on the LANDMARK HONGKONG app.
*Terms & conditions apply.