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A Very Saigon Collaboration: Hey Camel Ceramics and Linda Mai Phung’s Workwear Collection

Saigon breeds unusual collaborations. Take a walk around most neighborhoods and you’ll spot the odd storefront that sells both cơm chiên and motorbike parts, or an entrepreneurial spirit who’s managed, for better or worse, to fuse the flavors of strawberry and oysters. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity and Saigon's infectious, go-getter attitude.

The Workwear collection is a prime example of a serendipitous collaboration. A joint effort by fashion designer Linda Mai Phung and Leandro Marcelino, founder of Hey Camel Ceramics, its natural, utilitarian designs merge minimalist aesthetics with functional, comfortable design. 

According to Marcelino, the duo's collaboration came about organically. The potter and the fashion designer used to be work neighbors, with Phung's design office on the floor above Marcelino's ceramics studio. As they got to know one another, the idea for the collection grew.

“Seeing that we both shared the same vision and values behind our work, we naturally thought about doing a collaboration together,” Marcelino tells Saigoneer via email. “We both are passionate about design and organic materials but always with a sense of tradition behind it.”

Featuring natural colors and materials, the Workwear collection draws upon Phung’s design background as well as Marcelino’s practical expertise. Its resulting designs – clean, simple, and functional – show a slight feminine edge but also include several unisex pieces. Jumpsuits are a prominent part of the line, along with aprons, airy tops, and a handful of dresses.

“Linda, with her rich experience in fashion design, offered invaluable technical know-how on the collection,” Marcelino explains. “As it is a workwear inspired collection, I offered a practical point of view, whether the garments would really work in an artist's work environment.”

Their latest effort is set to make its official debut this afternoon. The pair are keen to introduce the project to Saigon and see where it goes from there. Says Marcelino: “We haven't thought about it yet but just like our values and aesthetic, we'll let the future play out organically.”


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Vietnamese Designer Fuses Ancient Dyeing Techniques With Modern Fashion


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