Fashion Designer Nary Manivong Gets ‘Dressed’

At the first New York Fashion Week I attended in September 2007, I went to a show outside of Bryant Park’s village of tents that showcased the collection by a designer by the name of Nary Manivong.

His collection was enjoyable; I thought he was just a regular, run-of-the-mill designer that was part of the industry.

Fast forward to 2009 and I discover that this Ohio-born Laotian-American has a story. A really good story: Nary came from a broken childhood and eventually overcame homelessness to achieve his goals of showing his collection at New York Fashion Week.

Although I have yet to see the documentary (it’s currently making its festival rounds), I already know that this will bring some humility to an industry where anyone thinks they can be a brilliant designer. With commentary from some industry big wigs, Nary’s testimony is the heart of a story that shows how annoyingly harsh and un-glamorous the fashion industry can be.

As an instructor at an art university where fashion students think they have this head-in-the-clouds glossy perception of the industry you can only imagine how this documentary will help me pull these kiddos down to reality. In other words, I use Nary’s story to put my students in check — which I just LOVE doing.

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About Dino-Ray

Dino-Ray Ramos is a movie hobbit, social media swaggerist, pop culture junkie, smart-mouthed Asian American warrior, and a well-rounded inhaler of all things entertainment. After uprooting from Texas, he migrated to San Francisco where he shares his irreverent take on high and low brow aspects of culture. In addition to feeding he writes for, Hyphen Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle. You can also boost his self-esteem by following his musings on Twitter
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