The next time you think to yourself, as everyone does, that your workload is overwhelming, consider Lisa Hoang. In one week, the emerging designer and fourth-year Fashion and Textile Design (FTD) student at NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles, will be presenting on the Main Stage at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) alongside designers like Christian Siriano, Jenny Packham, Marchesa and Vera Wang. She’s also taking a full-course load of classes so that she can graduate next spring. And she holds the assistant designer position at Cheryl King Couture, a Wendell, N.C. company.
As you might expect, the 22-year-old is sleeping no more than four hours a night right now while she continues to finish her collection, complete class assignments and learn the ins and outs of showing her work in what is arguably one of the world’s biggest fashion stages. Since finding out in early August that she was accepted into NYFW, she’s been working tirelessly on creating her collection while also meeting regularly with the event’s organizers and production teams (IMG and LDJ Productions) to sure up her venue, plan her show, cast her models, work on her media presence and more. Once NC State started classes again, she had to schedule her NYC trips in a way that didn’t interfere with her studies, often leaving on a 6 a.m. flight out of Raleigh and returning from Manhattan later that day just in time for class.
But, she insists, it will be worth every minute of lost sleep when she watches models hit the runway Friday, Sept. 9 wearing “The Debutante”, her women’s ready-to-wear staple collection. “The thing I look forward to most about showing in NYFW is seeing people’s reactions to my clothes and seeing who ends up buying the line. I’m really looking forward to being able to sleep afterwards as well,” she said.
Hoang’s collection features romantic detailing with day-to-night transitional pieces. “LNH is taking a new approach to couture fashion and sustainability by creating a fluid collection. Wear one smart style during the day, and then layer another piece at night for a fresh look. Thus increasing wearability while decreasing the impact on landfills,” she said.
Maximizing social media’s power to drive commerce, the 2 p.m. show will be livestreamed at www.lisanhoang.com and the collection will be available for purchase through the app Project September immediately following the show.
Hoang is no stranger to the challenges of runway shows. In spring 2016, she was one of 16 emerging designers featured at Charleston Fashion Week. It was there that NYFW creator and international consultant Fern Mallis encouraged her to apply for NYFW. She’s also shown at Redress Raleigh, Couture for a Cause, Art2Wear at NC State and other shows. But certainly none have been on quite the same production scale as NYFW or brought the level of exposure that comes with it. How has Hoang adapted to the magnification? She’s rolled with the punches.
“Anything and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. I have learned to be prepared for everything and to keep moving forward,” she said. “The one thing I really struggled with at the beginning was putting my team together. I’ve had to make tough calls and learn what it really takes to run my own brand. Every day I have to fight for my vision but still be realistic about the business side of it.”
Hoang also credits the Wilson College of Textiles FTD program with preparing her well to be a NYFW designer.
“All of my classes played a significant part in developing me as a designer both technically and aesthetically. My studio classes really helped. We had short deadlines and demanding projects. It helped that we also take some business classes as part of the curriculum. Those help me understand in a sense what my buyers want and, as a designer looking to make a profit, what I need to do,” she said.
For more information about Hoang’s collection and other textile and design work, visit www.lisanhoang.com. You can also find @lisanhoang on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Hoang’s debut is sponsored in part by Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology.