Max Tran Designs Futuristic Luxury Streetwear for DEBUT Collection
Born in Da Nang, Vietnam, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Max (Nhat) Tran attended Valencia High School and College of the Canyons before FIDM. As a GUESS Scholar, he earned his Advanced Fashion Design Program. The designer will be showing an inspired collection of futuristic, luxury streetwear for men and women in vegan suede fur, pleated satin, and rib knit fabrics at FIDM’s Annual DEBUT Runway Show event on March 31, 2023, at 2:30 PM PDT. We caught up with him to learn more.
Tell us a little about yourself: From a young age I was fascinated by different art forms. I ventured into the worlds of architecture, tattoo design, drawing, painting, photography, and abstract art, which ultimately led to my passion for fashion. Because my parents have low incomes, they never had enough money to afford art classes; therefore, I decided to teach myself drawing/sketching skills by watching YouTube videos at the age of five. As I grew older, I had the ambition to become an artist and a designer. I want to share my talents and inspire the world through my passion for fashion because it is something that I am exceptionally enthusiastic about.
Tell us about your DEBUT collection: My DEBUT collection theme is futuristic, luxury streetwear for men and women. My collection, ALIGNMENT, is created with the intention of giving a closer view of who I am as well as the past struggles and present efforts that help me shape myself and identify my life purpose. I want to showcase not only my success and achievements but also the struggles and obstacles throughout my journey. ALIGNMENT is about clarifying who I am—my values and priorities—and removing the noise and distraction of others’ expectations.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? The collection contains fitted and oversized silhouettes with a lot of layering that give out a classy and futuristic look. Many different fabrics are used to form this collection such as memory (polyester/nylon), vegan suede fur, pleated satin, and rib knit. The color theme is black, midnight blue, brown, and beige transits from dark to light tones that symbolize the dark and bright moments of my journey.
What is your point of view, as a designer? As a designer, I always treat every work of mine as a masterpiece and pour all of my passion and creativity into it. When I’m dedicated to something, I want to leave a piece of myself with it. I believe that your essence is forever connected to your masterpiece. I use my design as a unique way of expressing myself. I always try to be opened-minded and put myself in different angles of perspective.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? Through the ALIGNMENT collection, I hope people will have a better understanding of my life story and who I am as a designer and recognize the efforts that I invested in my designs. I hope everyone can see the passion, inspiration, and creativity that I always dedicate to what I do.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? My inspiration is driven by the arts, music, environment, and people around me. The experience that I go through on my journey is also an essential inspiration that strengthens my creativity.
What is a lesson you've learned as you've been working on your collection? These past nine months have been like an emotional rollercoaster, I experienced many phrases of emotion from happiness to stress to fear. I walked into this DEBUT program feeling thrilled and anxious from not knowing what to anticipate. Time management was the most challenging part of this program when I was only given a few months to create this 12 looks collection of 36 pieces. However, I am very grateful for all the help I received from my professors at FIDM. Of course, the process is not always filled with sunshine and roses but also challenges and hardships. A lesson I’ve learned is that life is either a daring adventure or nothing; we all get scared and want to turn away but trust the process instead of giving up. Do not fear making mistakes because those mistakes are your motivation to advance in your journey.
Tell us about your path to FIDM: After my first year of community college, I discovered the DEBUT program and that is what made me decide to transfer to FIDM. I was able to win the GUESS Scholarship which helped relieve my financial burdens. I graduated with an A.A. Degree in Fashion Design in June 2022 and joined the DEBUT program to enhance my knowledge and put it into real-life practice. Without prior knowledge of fashion design, I’m grateful to the FIDM professors that helped me learn from scratch and get to where I am now.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? FIDM has provided me with many opportunities to succeed in my career choice. They have provided me with many financial and educational supports throughout my years there. FIDM also assisted me with building my designs, resume, portfolio, and interview skills. They taught me to have a mindset of a designer and businessman in the fashion industry. I gained many connections through FIDM that will help me to break the barrier and step into the industry.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? I highly recommend the DEBUT program as it is a lifetime experience and a ticket to a successful career path. It might sound intimidating at first but this program will definitely train and enhance your skills as a fashion designer. Do not compare yourself to others as it’ll only slow you down. Everyone has their own work pace and own time to shine. The best tip I can give everyone is to set your small goals because they are the most important ones that help you build the momentum you need to chase bigger goals. It’s good to set the bar high but you have to take one small step at a time. It’s like you need to learn how to walk before you run. I want to relay my message and inspire the young generations, like myself, to keep pushing, and take risks finding their passion and goals to align with their life choices that will bring satisfying results.
Follow Max Tran on Instagram @_max.tran_.