June 15, 2016
Khac Tiep is a fashion titan leading the image transition of Vietnam’s $4 billion apparel market. However, while many fashion moguls attempt to innovate by experimenting with new designs and textiles, Tiep has taken a more sensational approach – every June, he hosts the “Night of Long Legs,” where Vietnam’s most beautiful models parade the catwalk in alluring apparel. By doing so, Tiep gives a facelift to an industry historically stereotyped by traditional tunics and scarves.
Tiep’s unconventional avenue of branding echoes the maneuver of another successful innovator – VietJet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong, who made a ruckus when she staffed her planes with bikini-clad flight attendants several years ago. This makes the “Night of Long Legs” the latest in a sequence of events that have tackled the conservative perception of Vietnam. The success of both aforementioned disruptions could be signals that ideas and products that were deemed controversial years ago may soon have the potential to evolve into large markets.
Every June, Tiep’s Venus Modeling Agency hosts its “Night of Long Legs,” a star-studded event where top models strut the catwalk in a manner mirroring Victoria’s Secret’s Fashion Show. The tradition first stated in 2007, when he caused a commotion by tackling Vietnam’s then more conservative entertainment culture. In the 10 years that followed, “Night of Long Legs” has evolved into one of the biggest fashion shows in Vietnam – with its budget quintupling from an initial 1.5 billion dong ($67,000 USD) in 2007 to 5 billion dong ($224,000 USD) in 2015. The nights, which regularly feature Vietnam’s most high profile models and entertainers, have seen performers sport outfits ranging from near-nude lingerie to elegant dresses. The average show hosts 1,500 guests, and has been lauded as an “Outstanding Performance” event by Vietnam’s fashion industry for three years.
Every year’s event has a theme that guides what the models wear. In 2011, it was “Venusian Night,” when the models showcased Asia’s hottest lingerie. This year, it is “New Era,” which places a stronger emphasis on style and elegance. Of course, regardless of theme, sex appeal is always prevalent. When guests arrive, they are escorted into the stadium and treated to an explosive spectacle of performances that range from Vietnam’s largest pop acts to dance pieces reminiscent of Cirques du Solei. Then the models enter the stage, and they dazzle in one outfit after another to the crowd’s thunderous cheering. A galleria of previous shows can be viewed below.
Khac Tiep, owner of Venus Modeling Agency
Khac’s creation has often been compared to its western counterpart: Victoria’s Secret. In response, he says that he “finds it normal and is even slightly proud.” He explains that he has always found value in learning from international shows, and Victoria’s Secret is a tremendous success. This year’s “Night of Long Legs” will mark the show’s 10th run, and will take place on June 16th, 2016.