Designer, mixing revolution and humility.
started a personal revolution, like a few other young Vietnamese people willing to
liberate themselves from traditional society.
Lâm has started a personal revolution, like a few other young Vietnamese people willing to liberate themselves from traditional society.
Against the will of his parents, Lâm started industrial design school in 2011. Like many young people, he was and still is subject to a strong pressure from his family, where independence is not really a key word. Parents expect their children to have a flawless scholarship, to find a “serious” corporate job in a big company and then to get married, start a family and move in next to the parents.
Like others, Lâm has started a revolution against this preordained destiny. In 2011, he knew he wanted to be a designer, even if his parents didn’t recognize this new profession in Vietnam.
“I want to
prove my family that designer is a serious profession that can lead in a great
direction with a lot of work. I want to show them that work is a concept that
can be mixed with the concept of passion.”
Lâm was and is still willing to experiment. He wants to mix work and passion to develop objects that make sense for him and for consumers.
Unfortunately, he quickly found out during his study that the Vietnamese educational system was waiting for a revolution… Experiments were not on the agenda. Teaching methods were centered on the professor, who asked students a passive listening to learn theoretical concepts, far from a dynamic modernity.
So, Lâm started to get busy outside school. He created a brand for the bag he designed, aware of the fact that it was the first step towards his ambition: to create a design agency.
2015 : creation of the Roll bag
2016 : time to think, necessary break for every project that needs to mature
2017 : starting again with an improvement of the concept, a change of suppliers and the opening of a shop. Dam bags and stuff is born.
Bags “and stuff”: because the brand won’t always be about bags. Lâm has in mind the sweet dream of designing sneakers one day. Humble, he considers that he is still lacking some skills to do it now. He takes the time to learn: each step, once mastered, can lead to the next one. He proves to others and to himself that he can always make better things, without flying too close to the sun.
Lâm is making his revolution with a flawless humility, and even gives back to its customers the credits of his achievements with his baseline:
“Thanks for choosing
me, I’m nobody until I meet you guys.”
“ For each product, I look for the balance between technical and emotional, between natural and resistant, city-dweller and tourist…”
When he creates products, Lâm finds an object or a shape that inspires him. For example, he saw the roll of Roll bag pack on French soldiers on old pictures.
Then, he thinks about function. What do people need to carry? He has to answer the question to make the perfect size, the right number and position of pockets and the best shape for comfort.
After function, Lâm thinks about the materials. It is without hesitation that he chooses 100% cotton canvas. He selects cotton threads outside of Vietnam. Weaving, dying and stitching are made in a workshop in Saigon.
For Lâm, canvas is all about natural and sensorial pleasure. It is a lot nicer than a technical material for the sense of touch. And the canvas ages well by telling a story, like white sneakers that we wouldn’t want that white for too long. Each bag becomes an object that accompanies oneself daily, capable of telling memories.
“ I would like to express myself freely through Dam BNS. One should be able to feel the evolution of the brand and the products along with my character and my new skills.”
Beyond function and material, Lâm is willing to express himself throughout his brand and products. He sees his objects as references for his experimentations and new skills, as he likes looking at how far his design has come since 2015.
Yellow color is actually a good indicator for his personality! It brings charisma and is comparable to sun and light. Lâm sees the sun as a vital element to unveil the beauty of a landscape.
Now, Lâm has his own Dam BNS shop in Saigon and sells to a few resellers in Vietnam. Lâm celebrates Dam’s first anniversary this month, enjoying the feeling of having built his project in the correct order, as well as enjoying the perspective of diversifying his activities.