COFFEE WITH DIEGO CORTIZAS DEL VALLE
Ever since the first time I saw the Chula collection at L'espace, Hanoi, I was impressed at Diego's style and deep sense of humor in his fashion. Finally, I got to have a coffee at the designer's beautiful house the other day to talked about Chula and his journey to Vietnam.
Diego Cortizas del Valle and his family came to Vietnam first time on 2004 and started his brand Chula on 2006.
He was a Spanish architect and always had a passion for art and painting. With a lot of motivation and help from his wife Laura Fontan, he found his way to fashion. At first, his wife made some simple black skirts and he would paint some images on it. The design was simple but caught a lot of attention. They got a lot of orders and started to invest in fashion seriously. As time went by, they developed the line and became one of the biggest designer houses in Hanoi. The Chula name became familiar with people who love fashion and his unique style.
Nowadays, when people talk about Chula, they immediately think about something colorful with nice clean cuts, hand sewing and embroidery techniques, and graphic patterns on Asian fabrics (mostly Vietnamese silk). Chula designs target the modern women who confidence knows exactly who they are, and have an attitude when showing it. Diego told me that he loves to create something cool, something different, inspired by a lot from Vietnamese culture and what made him unique is that he doesn't follow the world trends. He only uses his freedom in creativity and follows his instinct to create what he likes. That's why his designs are so close to real life but with a good techniques and his architect knowledges, the design is better in the proportion and structure, it's art.
One more thing about Chula’s designs is everything is handmade and each one is made by 1 person from start to finishing. Diego gives his tailors the main designs direction, and fabric but lets them choose how to put the colors randomly, so with one design, you will never see them same garment. Your dress will be one of the kind! You can also come to the studio and order your design. Chula takes custom orders.
I love Chula house. From the design which mixes between Spanish culture and Vietnamese's, the old and the modern elements in the decoration to the handmade furniture. It's always joyful and busy with friendly workers, interns and clients. It's not just a store, studio, or an exhibition; it makes you feel like home.
Chula gives opportunity for young students who looking for internship, jobs in fashion; giving courses in tailoring, designing patterns and making garments. Chula also hosts lot of events like fashion shows and live music. You won't want to leave once you come here. For me, I love the Chula studio the most. There's so many colorful clothes that I though I would never wear but once I tried them on, I just wanted to have them all.
This was such a good afternoon and great conversation with Diego. It felt more like talking to a friends or an amazing teacher ( because I learned a lot about him and from him) than interviewing one of the most famous fashion designers in Hanoi. I wish him all the best and more successful than he already is and I'm looking forward to his next events.
Diego Cortizas del Valle
THE LIVING ROOM:
Diego, Laura (wife) & Ngo Thai Bao Loan (top 5 Project Runway VN)
***I'm Queen A, cause I ain't no Queen B... Hand me the ♕!***