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© Regis Golay - Federal Studio

Real & fake, cheap & chic : Fashion from Saigon

Brain child of designer Mai Lam, MAI’S is a wearable art brand blending Saigon's eclectic street-style with Vietnam's cultural heritage. Every unique piece is inspired by the founders incredible story and the brands buzzing home-town of Ho Chi Minh. We worked with Mai Lam on her story-telling, visual identity, digital experience and art direction.

© Regis Golay - Federal Studio

It’s impossible to talk about the brand without talking about the woman behind it. The Vietnam war shattered Mai’s childhood and brought her to Australia on a refugee boat. Over there, Mai has became an award-winning chef at the Hilton before re-inventing herself as a highly successful florist. But 20 years later she went back to the city she used to call home and turned her attention to fashion and art.

© Regis Golay - Federal Studio

Constantly nourished by Vietnam’s street-style and cultural heritage, her ready-made pieces combine objects found in local markets with historical pieces originating from Vietnamese craftsmanship. From Balenciaga jackets she embroiders with traditional tigers to the popular local motorcycle helmets and masks re-interpreted into fashion statements: every item in her collection tells a story that comes to life through intricate details.

“The logo was inspired by what Mai Lam had already developed. We tweaked it to make it more branded - pairing it with a contemporary font reminiscent of needles and thread which allowed us to create a contrast between modernity and tradition. We also thoughtfully selected colours inspired by popular Vietnamese textiles that blended in with her pieces.”

We collaborated with photographer Régis Golay to give MAI’S a unique voice and visual story-telling. The result was a photoshoot both in-studio and in the streets of Ho Chi Minh. Blurring the lines between real and fake, chic and cheap, thousand-dollar pieces co-exist with 2 dollar t-shirts — perfectly representing Mai Lam’s vision.

© Regis Golay - Federal Studio
© Regis Golay - Federal Studio
© Regis Golay - Federal Studio
© Regis Golay - Federal Studio

The new website is an invitation into Mai Lam’s world. An intuitive navigation allows the visitor to discover her story and newest pieces. The designer herself uploads every item she finishes and its unique story to the website - allowing the website to grow at the same pace as her creative process.

The ultimate goal of this collaboration was to help Mai Lam place her brand on an international scale and give her the communication tools for a stronger, more unique voice. The result of our collaboration with Régis Golay paired with a strong digital strategy has allowed her to revive her brand and become increasingly present on social media, while the brand's website has become a drive for her to communicate more thoroughly on her projects and process!