Jenny K Tran
BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Technology
"It is challenging to be creative and run a business at the same time. The key to keeping things balanced is having a connection with people, customers and a belief in what you do. Never stop learning and exploring."
Jenny K Tran, an International student originally from Vietnam graduated in 2014 from the BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Technology programme. During her time at Manchester Fashion Institute she was the winner of both the prestigious Debenhams Menswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week and the CFDA+ Menswear Award before securing a position with the Burberry Menswear design team in London where she spent a few years after graduating. She has since returned to Vietnam where she runs an extremely successful womenswear line JENNYKTRAN, which takes great inspiration from her experience working with Menswear and tailoring. Here she tells us a little about her experience at University and life beyond.
What was your favourite thing about the Fashion Design & Technology course and studying at Manchester Fashion Institute?
Studying at Manchester Met was a great opportunity for me to learn, practice and work in Fashion. My favourite thing about my course was the people that I’ve met: my friends and my tutors. We had a great time studying and supporting each other. I’ve made some lifelong friends and still stay in contact with my tutors. Also the course gave me a very strong base for my career in Fashion. I enjoyed absolutely everything here!
What job did you go into after graduating from Manchester Fashion Institute?
In my third year of Uni, I secured my internship at Bench. That’s where I found my big interest in Menswear. With all the experience that I’ve got through working with Bench and my studies it led me to the opportunity to be employed by Burberry. During Graduate Fashion Week, I was selected by the Burberry recruiting team and invited to interview with the Creative Director. I have always felt so lucky to be offered the position and work for Burberry London as a menswear designer.
Can you share the details of your current work as a business owner, what led you to this route?
In 2016-2017, womenswear tailoring was still quite new in the Vietnamese market. At that time, women’s suits were still considered rigid outfits, losing the inherent femininity and attraction of women. With my experience in the Menswear field, I wanted to change that perception. Because suits can not only honour the female body, but after World War II, this is also a symbol of affirming the role and position of women in society. I wanted my products to help Vietnamese women assert themselves, help them express their confidence and position through a fashion statement.
Therefore, I started JENNYKTRAN in 2017. It is challenging to be creative and run a business at the same time. The key to keeping things balanced is having a connection with people, customers and a belief in what you do. Never stop learning and exploring.
How did the skills you learnt at Manchester Fashion Institute help prepare you to start your own business?
The main skill I learnt is to think diversely before I start doing anything. Thanks to my tutors who have guided and supported me all the way.
If you could share one piece of advice to a student thinking of studying fashion or wanting to work in the fashion industry, what would you say?
Don’t give up, or underestimate how many jobs there are in design. Collect experience at every chance you get. Believe, and always show passion in what you do, it might take a year or two but you’ll get there.