If you want to know what a quirky, super talented illustrator, milliner and Asian streetwear designer balled up into a small petite package (85lbs and 5’1”), then look no further than Tracy Dizon.
Even as a teenager, Tracy already had a dream of taking on the New York fashion industry by aspiring to be a bold influencer. She began following her dream by applying to the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Tracy then thought her dreams would have to be deferred as she faced a big life challenges after becoming pregnant at 20. After giving birth, she almost quit fashion thinking the flamboyance of fashion didn’t fit a “single-mom” lifestyle. But remember, this is the same quirky, super talented designer. So, instead of accepting thoughts of a dream deferred, Tracy was both motivated and humbled by her situation. Instead of focusing on what she stood to lose (money, fame, friends, etc.) Tracy chose to focus on her brains and talent, the things no one can take away. She explains it best by saying, “The Universe conspired, telling me to just keep going...that this was what I was meant to do”.
Tracy got back on track by continuing college and receiving her BS in Clothing Technology at the University of the Philippines Diliman.
Tracy experienced different challenges than her classmates. She recalls times when her infant son would try crawling on the sewing machines when he tagged along with her to class, while she carried diaper bags, sewing materials, and breast-fed at the same time. During this time, her dreams were not only for herself but for her son as well, who she says has been her #1 fan, groupie and P.A.
Tracy has been hard at work making a name for herself in the Philippine and global fashion industries as a fashion stylist, TV and film costume designer and retail merchandiser. She launched her womenswear brand in her namesake, Tracy Dizon. She then followed it up by launching her millinery brand Tiara by Tracy Dizon, featuring hats and headpieces. Tracy had become a household name in the Philippines after her stint as a contestant on the popular Project Runway Philippines. She represented her country in the 47th Japan Fashion Designer Contest in Tokyo and in the People’s Choice Fashion Designer in Boardwalk Business Venture’s in 2014. She was also a finalist in the Air Asia Runway Ready Design Search and a Semi-finalist in the Vietnam Emerging Designer Contest in 2016.
As the winner of the Inaugural RiseAD (Art&Design) Designer Competition, Tracy traveled from Manila, Philippines to Brooklyn, NY (over 13,000 km) for her spot in the 11th bi-annual Fashion Week Brooklyn Show.
Tracy’s S/S 2018 collection began to take form as a young women’s heart was broken by love, and emerged into life like sketches representing Hanoi tea cup shops, flowers, dolls and emerged into what is now a vibrant 17 looks collection including garments, hats and shoes created by a young woman who refused to be defeated by the pains of unrequited love.
Her concept titled "Miss Hanoi: La Douleur Exquise" is a semi-autobiographical note from Tracy’s memories from a visit to the bustling city of Hanoi woven into an ethnographic account of Vietnam’s material culture. The collection consists of an eclectic ensemble inspired by the beautiful traditional Ao Dai Dresses and Hanoi culture, Vietnamese fabrics, military uniforms, and icons of Vietnamese history. Every girl can be a “Miss Hanoi Girl” in my clothing, Tracy expressed.
When asked how it felt to win the competition, Tracy said "conquering the international stage among a roster of featured emerging International Fashion Designers at Fashion Week Brooklyn is an achievement as Brooklyn is the emerging young art and fashion hub in NYC."
Every lay-out of Tracy’s Miss Hanoi Collection tells a story of her journey throughout Hanoi. It’s what Tracy describes as “the untainted culture and passionate fire of nationalism that runs through the spirit of the Vietnamese People,” which inspired her to create pieces with a play of colors and prints, creating her own modern interpretation of their beautiful traditional clothing and rich fabrics.
On top of her clothing and hat collections, Tracy is currently working on a RiseAD x Tracy Dizon Sunglasses Collection, which will feature prints from her collection infused into RiseAD’s frames. Tracy describes it as an East meets West collaboration.
Tracy’s vision is to see fashion icons like Anna Dello Russo and Misha Janette, artists like Bjork and Katy Perry or even the young fashion blood like Tavy Gevinson rock her “Miss Hanoi” looks too.
by Theresa Majeed