Vivienne Tam has had a strong passion for fashion design from a very young age. By 8 years old, she was designing and producing clothing for herself and her siblings, dressing the family in her own creations. Born in China, Vivienne Tam soon moved to New York to pursue her career, and launched her womenswear label in 1982, originally named East Wind Code, meaning ‘good luck and prosperity’ in Chinese. Ten years later, the founder and designer changed the label’s name to Vivienne Tam, before showing her first runway collection at New York Fashion Week.
Collections from Vivienne Tam are highly distinctive, known for their fusion of Chinese culture with Western sensibilities. With an appreciation and celebration of her Chinese roots always at the centre of designs, Vivienne Tam incorporates traditional Chinese silhouettes, prints and fabrics into her beautiful designs. Perhaps the most well known design from Vivienne Tam is her Mao Collection, produced in collaboration with artist Zhang Hongtu, which depicted the famous Chinese leader in many satirical positions, such as wearing pigtails or appearing cross-eyed. This playful yet somewhat controversial design contradicted the harshness of Mao’s rule, and earnt the designer international recognition, with designs held in museums such as the V&A in London.
Continuing her signature fusion of cultures throughout designs to this day, Vivienne draws inspiration from Buddhism, Chinese landscapes and the intricate arts from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Across hoodies, dresses and trousers, porcelain prints, dragon prints and florals feature heavily, met with lace details, ruffles and feminine silhouettes. Chunky knitwear, graphic tees and cheongsam dresses are artful and considered, adding vibrancy and interest to any wardrobe.
With stores in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, Vivienne Tam collections are also available online via the brand’s website.