La Petite Caravane: The Launch

21Jun11

As some may know, last week I finally launched my children’s wear line, La Petite Caravane.

(You can see the full collection on La Petite Caravane Facebook page while I fine-tune the website!)

Encouraged by the enthusiasm for my designs and fabric, several models sold out almost immediately.

As a young designer, launching my first collection was a nervous moment. I was sharing both my first designs and the fabrics I have been collecting.

The launch could not have happened without so many supportive friends – Sylvie, Rachel, Anne-Sophie and Hoa – who generously opened their homes and invited their many friends.

Sylvie, one of my friends who hosted La Petite Caravane trunk shows

One mother was so eager to see the collection that she turned up a week before launch day at Hoa’s house.

Quite a few mothers wanted to squeeze themselves into the Zoe olive shorts and the Iris Ikat blouse. Perhaps there is room for an adult line of La Petite Caravane?

The support from friends was wonderful, but nothing compares with the excitement of complete strangers appreciating my designs.

During the shows, I wanted to create a univers beyond the clothes. This meant carving out space for the story of La Petite Caravane within someone’s home.

To accomplish this, I sewed a large flag version of the caravan logo on a muslin cloth with a burgundy ribbon.

Using leftover fabric, I sewed a garland of festive triangular flags featuring patterns from the clothes. On another rope I sewed tennis ball-sized red pompoms. The garlands criss-crossed the room, giving a playful atmosphere (Children had great fun pulling them down!) I used a large swatch of beige linen to cover the presentation table.

In addition to creating a space for La Petite Caravane, these accents served to anchor the brand in fabric.

Those buying clothes were able to choose among the 150 muslin pouches I sewed, each with a swatch of colorful leftover fabric. Everyone took their time choosing among the bags, based on the swatches. One swatch was from the first dress I sewed (and shared on this blog). It was fun sharing a piece of my sewing history!

Some mothers were thrilled to tell their children that the clothes helped others. (Ten percent of the price of each item sold went to Room to Read.)

The most enriching part of presenting my first collection was feedback from many perspectives. Hong Kong’s diverse population allows for so many different takes on style and aesthetics, including Dutch, Indian, Italian and many others.

For some English mothers, a boy’s Mandarin collar is too formal. By contrast, for the French, the Mandarin collar is more casual than the straight collar.

An Italian mother urged matching boys and girls sibling outfits, a popular phenomenon in Italy.

With all this first-person feedback from around the world, I could imagine no better place for La Petite Caravane’s journey to begin than Hong Kong.

Adjusting the Anita Magenta dress on Jasmine

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2 Responses to “La Petite Caravane: The Launch”

  1. 1 Anne-Laure

    Thuy Tien, felicitations! the clothes look amazing! tu es belle!

  2. Anne-Laure! Je suis contente que tu aimes la premiere collection de La Petite Caravane! x


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