After visiting Vietnam as tourists in 2004, Spanish couple Diego Cortizas and Laura Fontan fell in love with the country so much that they decided to stay and open their Hanoi-based fashion brand Chula.
“With so much inspiration from the people, the food, and the colours, we were totally amazed by the fabrics and crafts surrounding us in the city. While discovering this perfect place, we got the crazy idea to start Chula,” shared Diego.
They started designing a fashion brand reflecting their passion for the country and its culture. The particularity of their creations is about combining simple shapes with radical designs. Chula Fashion employs mostly people with physical disabilities and focuses on slowly produced and sustainable fashion while leaving zero waste.
Until now, Chula Fashion has become a popular reference in the Vietnamese fashion and art industry, with its dresses appearing in international fashion shows and winning global awards. In addition to its headquarters in Hanoi that also host live concerts and fashion shows, Chula Fashion has more shops situated in Hanoi, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City.
The brand has teamed up with the Spanish hotel brand Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to dress the resort’s staff in a runway-worthy collection of apparel, featuring a bold, contemporary layer of Vietnamese culture. The resort’s staffs put a Spanish spin on the traditional Vietnamese ao dai, a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over pants.
The ao dai has a 1000-year history and, it is said, reveals everything and shows nothing at the same time. Unsurprisingly, Meliá Ho Tram’s hostesses and waitresses attract many views wearing their iconic Vietnamese ao dai costumes designed by Chula Fashion.
As a result of guests asking after the striking creations to take home, one-off dresses by Chula Fashion are also for sale in the resort’s gift shop.
“As both our resort and Chula Fashion have a deep affection for Vietnam and our Spanish roots, it seemed only natural for Meliá Ho Tram to join forces with Chula Fashion. Together, we created a fresh, contemporary approach to what we do define as sustainable and community-minded fashion,” said the resort’s general manager Manuel Ferriol.