A Little Summer

Fashion consumers often buy products based on its meaning rather than its function. Clothing, accessories, and jewelry are still familiar items, new brands are key to creating existence in the market. Just like when a person buys a fake, they buy it because they want to inherit the value of the real brand, not because of the quality of the fake. It is well known that all wristwatches are used to keep track of time, but the power and value between a Rolex and a Timex can be quite different, even though both are good products. Your choice will depend on your ability to pay. But there are many times, money or other ephemeral things are not the issue, what matters here is the meaning, spiritual value, identity, soul of a brand in the minds of consumers.

When I was a college student, my part-time job was in sales for the Canadian brand Club Monaco. The brand was more expensive than Banana Republic, but in the early 2000s, Ralph Lauren’s corporation in the US bought it. At that time, Canada was boiling with a ‘made in Canada’ campaign, and to capture the spirit of national identity, Ralph Lauren agreed to allow the Club Monaco brand to be separate and independent in the same direction as before. All designs are focused on the Canadian consumer and come in a solid five color palette of white, black, grey, navy, and burgundy. Materials are used only natural fibers such as cotton, cashmere, sheep wool, raw silk, and silk. I still remember a few customers when they entered the store, the first thing they did was look at the label on the clothes. They want to see where the product comes from.

“Why ‘made in Peru’, ‘made in Mexico’ and ‘made in USA’?”

“Isn’t this a Canadian brand? We want it to be made in Canada.”

In this article, I would like to introduce you to four concepts of the relationship between consumers and products:

1. Self-concept attachment – ​​The “nostalgia for self-concept” will be formed when the product helps to create a personal identity. Pho, bread and coffee are typical of products that make up Vietnamese culinary culture. The success of any of these brands in the international market will make you feel proud.

2. Nostalgic attachment – ​​The “nostalgia for memories” will be formed when the product evokes nostalgia about the past itself. Every Mid-Autumn Festival, your family always eats Dong Khanh’s cake, whether it’s good or bad, it’s still a nostalgia, a tradition. Or, it’s the scent of Chanel that your mother used to use, lingering in your mind up to the present time.

3. Interdependence – A “two-way dependency” will be formed when the product is an indispensable thing in your daily life. Here, smartphones are an example that has changed the way our generation communicates, receives information, and buys.

4. Love – Affection will be formed when the product evokes emotional bonds such as love, intimacy, and soulmate. If you have seen the commercials that take away tears of Thailand, this concept is inherently not too strange.

Fashion for me is no longer in the clothes. It becomes a part of life, whether luxurious or popular, whether the wallet is heavy or light. I still insist on that mindset for fashion, supporting local brands of local people.

As I write this article, Siam has entered the end of April, and has also begun to make the sweltering heat even more wild among the iron and steel buildings. In the sweltering summer, it still depends on the rain that is no longer as heavy as before. Perhaps Bangkok is still in drought compared to the first years I came to live. Perhaps compared to Bangkok, Saigon is still more mundane as in memory when I was hugged by my mother inside a cyclo with the smell of plastic film to cover the rain. I remember the smell of a teacup from my motherland, a crock pot wrapped in a bamboo box, a sunny cup of tea, bitter but fragrant with the smell of kitchen smoke. I remember the empty pedestals as a seat by the pot of wild chrysanthemums, my feet do not touch the ground, my hand holds a red-fleshed guava, biting like a mouse. My grandmother from the back garden, holding a bowl of cooked rice, swinging it out in front of the yard, flocks of chickens and ducks flock to and fro. The wind blows softly, it passes through the jackfruit tree, it whispers through the bamboo fences, each drop of rain suddenly claps on the roof of the leaves, waddles to the ground, the earth’s vapor is strong in the nose, the taste is like kitchen ash that has just blown rice. My memory is like many Vietnamese children before urban times, shaping the concept of identity and a certain attachment to the rice tray, flower pot, and ao dai cauldron.

All my life, even though I have lived in a foreign country, nearing my forties, I am still moved by handmade products and brands that are far from the fast food industry. And I got to know Yen Lam through a friend. We later played in the same group, one of the craziest and most relatable groups in our social circle. Here I would like to introduce to readers the product lines and brand concepts of Yen Lam, which have successfully given me a feeling of attachment to feelings and memories.

Having had the opportunity to talk with Viet Hai and Kim Trong, two co-founders of Yen Lam ceramic brand, they said, “With the desire to preserve and develop the domestic craft ceramic industry, Yen Lam brand has developed in 2007.  The word “silence” means smoke, a blue smoke still wafts into the sky every day, it urges us to maintain so that the fire of the pottery profession has more achievements. The blue color of smoke always exists after each furnace trip lasts from 1 to 3 days, and in the evening is also the time to see the smoke mixed with the dark blue sky of the night. A cycle of making pottery from soil to finished product will take 25 days, and at the time of keeping the kiln is also when the ceramic artist will be more relaxed, blending with heaven and earth.

The idea of ​​Yen Lam products comes from the traditional beauty of Vietnamese ceramics through periods and regions. We are interested in the application of ceramic in modern life. The process of handmade pottery is always respected and implemented, for Yen Lam, the spirit of the potter is still the focus, anxiety and expectation on each product.

The highlight of Yen Lam is pottery made from affection, from innocent and honest hands like earth. Not only keeping the ceramic shaping with the turntable, rolling, carving, embossed which is almost separate from today’s industrial ceramics, Yen Lam also uses colored glazes from metal oxides extracted from ceramics. natural quarry. Using a variety of natural materials with diverse transformations when going through fire, we aspire to create emotional and spontaneous ceramic products from shaping to glaze color.”

Vietnamese pottery is very beautiful and rich, I want to bring a big pot of Yen Lam flowers to put on the balcony in the middle of Bangkok, every week I plug in there huge sunflowers, alternating with bouquets of wild daisies. that the young florist next door used to keep. And I also want to bring back an empty pedestal, set it up in the middle of a small balcony on the 16th floor. When night falls, I want to sit there, bite a huge guava and listen to the sound of the Bangkok tram. crashed through the platform On Nut.

Post: Valentine Vu – Academic Director of Raffles International College, Bangkok

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