By Maki NISHIDA, Beauty Pageant Media (Media Partner of VJBFS), Tokyo, Japan

In a splendid affair held on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at the Tokyo American Club (Minato-ku, Tokyo), a momentous event unfolded to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam- the “Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show 2023 (VJBFS) – Sun Of Love”. Symbolizing a radiant future connecting Japan and Vietnam, the runway was graced by 61 models including 20 kids, presenting the dazzling collections by renowned Japanese wedding designer Yumi Katsura, and 3 distinguished designers from both countries.(日本語記事はコチラ)

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan, this year marked the hosting of the second season of the Vietnam-X Nation Bridal Fashion Show Series, titled “Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show 2023 (VJBFS) – Sun Of Love” orchestrated by the collaborative efforts of Colina Dreamcatcher Entertainment & Media, KOI Media, and Maico Enterprise.

Satsuki Katayama, a politician serving in Japan’s House of Councillors gave a congratulatory address.

VJBFS, the first-ever joint bridal show for business networking between Japan and Vietnam, showcased a splendid and elegant collection Yumi Katsura (Japan), Vu Viet Ha (Vietnam), Japanese Yuna Hattori (Japan), and Vietnamese brand AnBie by Nhung Bong Hoa Nho (Vietnam). Yumi Katsura’s innovative contributions have paved the way for a new era in bridal aesthetics.

The event drew the presence of notable figures from both countries to celebrate this significant fashion show including Akie Abe, the wife of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Satsuki Katayama, a politician serving in Japan’s House of councillors, artists, entrepreneurs, models, influencers, and many other prominent personalities.

Miss Universe® Japan 2023, Rio Miyazaki, Leslie Kee, Colina Tran, National Director of Miss Universe® Japan, Hiroko Mima

VJBFS was to feature the esteemed photographer Leslie Kee, known for his legendary work, as “Featuring Artist”. In alignment with VJBFS’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and introduced Leslie Kee’s captivating photobook, “WE ARE THE LOVE,” a visual masterpiece encompassing 500 global artists including luminaries such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Madonna, and many more during the event. Part of the sales of this book will be donated to Seibi Home (LINK), Children’s home located in Tokyo, supported by Leslie.

*We Are The Love Project (LINK) :Art project to spin to the future of children bringing up energy to live.

As the runway came alive with radiant designs, the atmosphere was imbued with an air of sophistication and celebration. The event not only paid homage to the longstanding diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan but also served as a testament to the power of fashion in fostering cultural connections and understanding.

Ms. Katsura Yumi expressed in her speech just before the show, ‘My connection with Vietnam dates back to 1996 when we held the first bridal show in Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve been impressed by the incredible craftsmanship of the people in Vietnam. Today, I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the creations of the talented Vietnamese designers’.

Adding to the international flair of the event, renowned Vietnamese modeling master, Ms. Trang Pham, graced the occasion by joining as the catwalk director. The runway also featured the presence of Mr. CAO, a key opinion leader (KOL) among the Japanese-Vietnamese community, who walked as a model.

Yumi Katsura Collection

Vu Viet Ha Collection

Yuna Hattori Collection

AnBie By Nhung Bong Hoa Nho Collection

The Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show 2023 – Sun Of Love stands as a beacon of elegance and collaboration, symbolizing the enduring friendship between two nations through the artistry of bridal fashion. The evening left an indelible mark, echoing the sentiment that love knows no borders and that, in the realm of fashion, every thread weaves a tale of unity and beauty.

【Special Interview】 Ms. Colina Q Tran, Executive Producer of “Sun of Love”, CEO of Colina Dreamcatcher Entertainment & Media

BPM: What are your overall impressions after “Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show 2023”? Any standout moments or themes that left an impact?

Colina: As in my opening speech before the show, I was so touched why so many people worked on this show as their life mission, my team from Vietnam and in Japan, many sponsors and partners whom we met only 3 months ago. There were many up and down moments but we went through all together. The moments that left myself a big impact are even though there are so many moments I was crying or close to tears.

BPM: Any standout moments or themes that left an impact?

Colina: We prepared a room for Katsura Sensei to rest as we knew that it’s going to be a long day for her, yet she came early with her team, watched over rehearsal, joined the VVIP lounge talk and attended the whole show! It’s Katsura sensei’s idea to have Vietnamese + Japanese flags on stage! We appreciate this support for the relationship between Vietnam and Japan.

My Vietnamese team first time came to Tokyo, only 7-10 days before the show, facing obstacles of cold weather, not being able to speak Japanese, not familiar with the city especially train/bus system… We have never organized an event in Japan before, so many differences in working style, cultures, technical system, together we overcame all. I admire them a lot, they inspire me everyday, that when people unite together, with courage and consistency, nothing is impossible!

For the last and the most, I sincerely appreciate Jane Yamano san. All come together at VJBFS thanks to Jane Yamano – the President of YAMANO BEAUTY COLLEGE which was established in 1934 as a prestigious beauty teaching place in Japan. The college’s leadership is committed to continuously improving and passing on advanced and quality technologies to future generations. Turn each individual’s dream when studying at YAMANO into reality!

Yamano Beauty College Campus in Yoyogi, Shibuya City is also where VJBFS organized casting day on 13th December and training sessions on 15th December. Jane san introduced me to many amazing individuals, including the team of Katsuyoshi Yumi-sensei. I am truly grateful for this. Thank you very much. All connected by heart!

BPM: How do you see the future relationship between Vietnam and Japan in the fashion industry? Any expected collaborations or influences?

Colina: There is a reason why we had to do Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show in Tokyo this year 2023, it’s not only the 50th year friendship between Japan and Vietnam but also 50th friendship between Japan and ASEAN. On 16 December, 2023, on the same day that H.E. Mr. Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam arrived in Japan for The Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, along with other ASEAN countries.

When I was a student, I joined The Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) , welcoming delegates from Japan and other ASEAN countries, many of us are becoming leaders in different fields, I was happy to involve many people from different countries such as LESLIE KEE (originally from Singapore). Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show is a part of Vietnam-X Nation Bridal Fashion Show Series, my mission is to enhance trade promotion, diplomacy, bilateral and multilateral relationship between Vietnam and all nations around the world. Please wait for our official announcement the next country where we will host our show next year.

BPM: Are there specific initiatives you’d like to pursue for the fashion scenes in Japan and Vietnam? Any projects or ideas to enhance creative collaboration between the two countries?

Colina: As you could see that I am promoting 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and D.E.I (Diversity – Equity – Inclusivity), our concept is to have 1 legendary, well-known fashion designer along with 1 new face fashion designer representing one country side, so that we could show respect to the sempai (senior), inspire and give opportunities to kohai (junior). I am not an expert in fashion industry, I would simply like to create playground for talented artists, not only in fashion but in other kind of creative arts. There are plenty of business collaborations going on between Japan and Vietnam like:

  • Importing Japanese products to Vietnam mostly cosmetic, skincare, and supplements
  • Bringing students or labours from Vietnam to Japan

BPM: BPM would like to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to write articles in English and Japanese as a media partner. It was truly an honor. Spending time with Ms. Colina was a delightful experience, and we were genuinely thankful. We sincerely wish for continued success in the future.

Designers who graced the runway in this exceptional show

Vietnamese designers

Vu Viet Ha

Vu Viet Ha is considered one of the leading designers in Vietnam. He is also known as a lecturer in the Faculty of Applied Arts, majoring in fashion design at Hanoi College of Arts. With nearly 20 years working in the fashion industry, his unique style and fashion thinking and personality always make a good impression on the public. He is famous for his Ao Dai collections made from traditional fabrics but with diverse designs. The costumes he designs are a combination of youthfulness and modernity in style and color while still retaining the sophistication of traditional values.

AnBie by Nhung Bong Hoa Nho

AnBie by Nhung Bong Hoa Nho is a children’s fashion brand launched in 2016. Nhung Bong Hoa Nho’s designs are always carefully invested with a variety of materials such as chiffon, satin, and high-quality silk. Each design of Nhung Bong Hoa Nho is studded with crystals and sequins completely by hand. With the desire to always meet all children’s needs, Nhung Bong Hoa Nho is constantly changing and developing a variety of products suitable for children, with many segments and suitable accessories.

Japanese designers

Yumi Katsura

Yumi Katsura is a Japanese fashion designer famous for designing wedding dresses in Japan. The designs of YUMI KATSURA COUTURE – the brand she owns – are a unique and ingenious combination of traditional Japanese techniques and French savoir-faire techniques. She has been active in the fashion industry for over 5 decades and her designs have been featured in many different fashion shows and events in many countries.

Yuna Hattori

Yuna Hattori has been a professional Kimono designer for about 7 years. All of her Kimono collections convey many traditional values of Japanese culture, creating a breakthrough for Kimono. She is also the owner of KANON – a Kimono dress brand she designed herself that has attracted a lot of attention not only from fashion lovers in Japan in particular but also internationally in general.

Tran Thu An & Nguyen Kim Khoa – Producers

Trang Pham – Model , Catwalk Director of Vietnam-Japan Bridal Fashion Show 2023

CAO – Vietnamese KOL in Japan

Image: Hình

Partners and supporters as below:

Tokyo American Club, Sunshine Global, Honto TV, Beauty Pageant Media, Yamano Beauty College, Miko Sea, Leslie Kee Super, AREME, Nagai Sake Inc., Japan Vietnam Business Association(JVBA), DCOM Money Exchange, Tuan Phong Media, Erra Agency, VNBC LTD Business Center, Le Voeux De Tout Le, Monde, We Are The Love, Tabi Show, Vietnam 151A, Indie Freaks, Booze, BRAVO Models, Club Rosarance, Colorfully, Indie Freaks, and Ohana.

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