We previously featured an interview with Tai Le, a truly talented designer from Parsons School of Design. As prefaced in that article, “We’re not featuring him just because he’s my favorite former student, but be- cause of his immense talent, drive and fortitude that’s gotten him very far quickly.”
Le is the wunderkind who founded his eponymous luxury brand Taile while still a student at Parsons in 2016, with quite an eclectic educational mashup, studying piano as well as business administration and marketing at Boston University, international business at Suffolk University and astronomy at Harvard University. Fast forward to 2021, not only did his brand survive COVID-19 in 2020, but it has gained even more notoriety in recent years. We are thrilled to follow up on the brand’s continual progress during such a challenging climate to survive and thrive.
It’s amazing how time flies, because in just a short time Taile has gained global prominence. Literally, directly following graduation in 2017 we attended the U.S. launch in New York City, which caught the eye of Harper’s Bazaar and Elle Vietnam, followed by showing his genius at Vietnam Fashion Week. We were blown away by his luxury women’s ready- to-wear collection, and so was the press. Might we also mention that Hong Kong pop singer Lung Siu Kwan wore Taile’s signature dress to perform at her live show this past March in Hong Kong. Her hit song is topping on YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
Not only has Taile survived the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has expanded into a recognized luxury brand that has the makings of a household name. How, you ask? The brand focused on creating partnerships with luxury retailers and opened its namesake boutique, Taile Caravelle Saigon, which is perched atop the Caravelle Saigon Hotel in Viet- nam. In addition, Taile’s loyal clientele stuck by the brand through the pandemic and did not stop shopping, solidify- ing a strong foothold for the brand as a rising star. While a vast number of retailers and major brands have suffered and even closed during the pandemic, Taile has continued to flourish.
There are many global high-end hotel chains in Saigon, but Caravelle is the one and only five-star hotel with such a long-established history in Saigon. The inspiration be- hind the brand’s flagship showroom came from the idea to merge high fashion with an international luxury five- star hotel experience. Le wanted to bring his customers an experience with a sense of privacy and comfort that feels like home, from enjoying afternoon tea or a glass of champagne to savoring Caravelle’s specialty desserts while shopping Taile’s latest collections. This shopping concept feels very new to the local market, which is exactly the clear vision and plan that Le intended.
The showroom design was conceptualized by ZYCC, a 200-year-old corporation based in Tokyo, with a list of international fashion clients including Hermès, Burberry, Globe-Trotter and Max Mara. The showroom was inspired by Japanese contemporary architecture, following the style of architect Kengo Kuma to embody elegance with the use of white and gray as the color scheme. The show- room’s construction was an equally intentional process, spearheaded by Singapore-established Kingsmen, whose clients have included iconic brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Mercedes Benz and Ferrari. All of the showroom’s interior materials, such as Carrara White marble, curtain fabrics, mannequins and scented candles were imported from leading Italian furniture suppliers such as Mariotti, Frette and Hans Boodt. With the launch of the showroom meeting international standards, Taile affirmed its long- term strategic direction for an international fashion brand that is “made in Vietnam,”aspiring to make a name in the fashion scene with top-notch product quality.
This is the only flagship showroom Le wants to fully invest in. Apart from the showroom, Taile also has concept store collaborations in New York City (Greenwich Club); Hong Kong, China (Novelty Lane and Fashion Walk Kingston); Milan, Italy (Modern Showroom); Kuwait (Nass Boutique); Dubai, UAE (1422 Ready Couture Arab Fashion Council); Berlin, Germany (Studio 183); Hanoi, Vietnam (Tammy Design) and in London, England (58 Farriers Street). Le paid close attention to selecting the best team of interior designers to realize his goal of bringing a perfect shop- ping experience to his customers.
The building of fierce personal relationships with its clien- tele seems to be one of the major keys to Taile’s success. The brand’s luxury women’s ready-to-wear collections embody the shift toward what its clients want and reflects the times that we live in, as well as a deep commitment to excellent quality, innovative construction and fit. Delivering what the Taile woman wants is the catalyst that continues to push this young talent into more stores.
Another highlight of the Taile experience is the “Made in Italy” handbag line, which offers limited collections specifically designed to complement the brand’s clothing collections each season. Currently, there are three silver leather handbag designs that can be mixed and matched with three different versions of the straps. The handbags are designed and manufactured in Florence, Italy, which is known for its pristine craftsmanship, and are made from sheepskin proven to be of top-notch quality. This is the biggest difference that distinguishes the Taile “Made in Italy” handbag line from other local competitors. Inside each bag is a membership card with full information on the origin of the product and a stamp from the Ministry of Public Security as proof of authenticity to protect the brand and the customers from fake products.
Taile’s success in such a short time can certainly be attributed to design excellence, strategic planning, immense understanding of one’s customer and capital investment. There is no mistake as to why the brand’s subtle, complex, intricate, easy and chic designs stand out even in the hardest of times. Every move is calculated, immaculate and precise.
Tai Le is able to achieve a quiet brilliance, and he is certainly one to watch. We look forward to checking back to see even more of the brand’s astounding work. And may you all persevere through this new round of COVID-19 that seems to be locking down Vietnam and its neighbors as we speak.
Michelle Alleyne Supply Chain Strategist & Professor, IG @mshopnyc
Sandra Roy Social Work Grad Candidate IG @altruistic9