I'm Mimi Minh and welcome to my page!
Here you'll find inspiration about styling tips to assemble a well-thought-out wardrobe, insights about my life as a creative director and founder of Galerie Mode and my design philosophy.
I was born in Ho Chi Minh City. I moved to London by myself when I was 15 years old to study on an A-level scholarship, and then studied fashion design and worked in the creative field in Paris.
After working in the domain of brand identities in France for a while, I returned to Vietnam to pursue my dream of having a sustainable fashion brand, which was named Leinné.
I really love drawing (I could spend the whole day and night drawing until the next morning when I was a kid) and fashion designing since childhood. I grew up having always dreamed to work in this métier.
When I was in fashion school, I had a small blog and was invited to attend fashion weeks in Paris. A photo of me wearing a jeans dress was accidentally taken by a reporter for WWD (Women's Wear Daily) magazine and went viral on Pinterest.
Here it is:
The story of Galerie Mode shoppable fashion blog & creative agency
Galerie Mode is built on my ideas of having the most basics and the wardrobe building blocks to have endless options of outfits to wear. We have 4 themes: Daily, Business, Resort and Athleisure which feature designs that can be easily styled together and mix match to different styles.
Experiencing over a decade of blogging, working in creative fields and a designer myself, fashion for me is more of an authentic passion for a minimal approach to style than jumping on the bandwagon of trends.
In my younger years, being a shopaholic myself, I shopped a lot and realized I ended up in the same situation of having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. Many times of moving home across Paris (I've lived in almost every district: 20ème, 8ème, 9ème, 11ème, 15ème…), I was forced to give up most of my wardrobe and go towards a more minimalist, thoughtful approach of having the most basics but versatile to span through all occasions without repeating outfits.
Paris serves as a metropolitan sanctuary, providing an extensive spectrum of opportunities to immerse oneself in the dynamic world of fashion. The city is adorned with an abundance of prestigious museums and galleries, alongside diverse shops and riveting fashion shows, all presenting limitless prospects for examining this fascinating form of artistic expression.
One of the most striking realizations during my time in Paris was the cyclical nature of fashion. I discovered that trends have a tendency to resurface, reinventing themselves in a contemporary context while still paying homage to their origins. I witnessed renowned fashion houses taking inspiration from iconic designs of the past, revitalizing them through a contemporary lens. This taught me that fashion is a fluid art form, constantly evolving yet reversing its roots.
Understanding the basic codes of design was paramount in my pursuit of creativity and innovation. I delved into the principles that govern color schemes, texture selection, garment construction, and silhouettes. These codes served as the foundations on which I built my creations and curation, enabling me to interpret and adapt existing trends while infusing them with my own artistic flair.
Over time, both my minimalist approach and fashion studies have transformed my view on fashion, dressing and shopping. I only add more pieces to my wardrobe if they are truly exceptional in terms of craftsmanship, style and designer's stories. By having wardrobe building blocks from some classic and unique pieces, I enjoy having endless options of outfits with a minimal wardrobe and continuing to elevate them each season with the same system of curation.
Experiencing first hand how great a difference this approach to style has helped me, I wanted to share that with others. Therefore, Galerie Mode was born.
Galerie Mode curates modern classics and provides styling inspirations based on 4 themes: Daily, Business, Resort and Athleisure. Read Styling tips on 4 themes here.
The brands featured at Galerie Mode embody modern aesthetics while simultaneously drawing inspiration from classic wearables, making an elegant and distinct flair. We select items and come up with ideas to introduce to our clients from brands that we believe 100% in their value, design philosophy and sustainable values.
We also have a beautiful space in the center of Ho Chi Minh city where my team works and customers can visit to try on the designs.
In the store, the arts, accessories and garments are presented in a collective manner, just as they would be in your home.
My brand - Leinné
The idea of establishing Leinné came from my journeys of experiencing a multi-cultural background. The experiences from my life and voyages have motivated my dream of bringing something from Vietnam to new lands.
I founded Leinné at the end of 2016 in Paris and brought the idea back to Vietnam in December. “Leinné” is the combination of “leisure” in English and “inné” in French, with a multicultural background, a passion for living and experience. Started as an artisanal raffia hats and bags maker, we have expanded into a full sustainable wardrobe consisting of timeless, original clothes, jewelry, and evening wear.
In the beginning, I started by selecting some unsold straw hats in my parents factory and did a whole redesign & new branding system. As a travel lover, I believe that a hat is not only a vital item while traveling but also contains an indescribable feeling when recalling the memory.
At the 3rd year of having Leinné, I started to make jewelry (a trade brought to me by my Thai friend Jaa) and gradually make more clothes (what I went to school in Paris for)
Jewelry has been one of my passions since childhood, witnessing my grandmother adored sapphire, jade and pearl jewelry.
In 2020, my Thai friend Jaa found me and we collaborated on making a Leinné jewelry line. We started with designing together a line of pearls. Our first collection, named “Pur Beurre" means soft butter, a way to signify the intimate relation between the skin and pearls when worn.
Since then we have explored different materials to make fashion jewelry that infuses our heritage and passion for contemporary art.
When I first embarked on my journey back to what I learnt in fashion school: making garments, my initial focus revolved around making unique and stylish shirts.
My fascination with designing shirts emerged from the desire to merge comfort with fashion via timeless pieces. Through meticulous research, countless sketches, and numerous trial and error experiments, I gradually honed my skills in perfecting the art of shirt design and working with local artisans that share the same standards. I experimented with various fabrics, silhouettes, and patterns to craft shirts that were aesthetically pleasing, functional, and reflective of my daily wear.
As my expertise in shirt design grew, I yearned to explore the realm of evening dresses, driven by the desire to dress women for their special and glamorous occasions with minimalist, thoughtful designs that elevate their natural beauty rather than overwhelming their personality.
Dazzling fabrics that tell my Asian heritage, combined with modern and contemporary arts consumed my creative mind as I delved into the world of evening wear. From daily silk wear to cocktail dresses, my designs aimed to capture the essence of simplicity with épuré lines, allowing the wearer to exude confidence and beauty.
Starting as a small-scale operation, I poured my heart and soul into every piece I created. From meticulously choosing fabrics and threads to crafting each seam with precision, every garment was a labor of love. I threw myself into the creative process, immersing myself in the joy of transforming plain fabrics into works of art.
Over time, my brand gained recognition and garnered a loyal customer base. The satisfaction I derived from knowing that my designs brought joy and confidence to those who wore them fueled my determination to keep pushing boundaries and fueling my passion.
The humble beginnings of starting fresh in countries that I did not know about the culture or languages, and a slow start in fashion business, have given me a lot of knowledge, allowed me to develop my skills, refine my style, and connect with individuals who appreciate fine craftsmanship and unique designs.
Every day as a creative director is filled with excitement and a never-ending stream of ideas. As I sit down at my desk in the morning, my mind immediately starts racing with possibilities.
Whether it's sketching out new clothing lines or brainstorming innovative concepts for our accessories, I truly enjoy the creative flow.
In order to bring my ideas to life, I work closely with artisans and makers who bring their unique skills and expertise to the table. Collaborating with them not only adds authenticity and craftsmanship to our products but also helps support local communities.
Being a creative director is not just about designing, it's also about planning content ideas that will captivate our brand's audience. I believe that storytelling through visual imagery is a powerful medium, and I am constantly seeking new ways to engage and connect with our customers.
From making mood boards that communicate my vision to planning photoshoots and being on site, I love being able to make creative directions coming to life.
I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a creative branding agency, which has provided me with valuable insights into the complexities of brand identities. Through my work, I have deep-dived into the core essence of various brands, allowing me to effectively craft visual and written content that communicates their fundamental values.