Birth Place: La Crosse, WI
Current Place: Menomonie, WI
Even though Spring has yet to sprung here in the Twin Cities, the newest Hmoodle girl was able to put a smile on my face. She is the very beautiful and equally talented Phoua Vang.
Phoua is on her way to make an impact on the fashion industry. Not only is she passionate about fashion, but music as well, as she is a very gifted musician. We definitely scored us a great one this month.
Hmoodle: I am here with the newest Hmoodle Girl, Phoua Vang. Let me be the first congratulate you.
Phoua: Thanks Ryan! And big thanks to Hmoodle for featuring me as the May girl. It’s an honor to finally be part of this wonderful website!
Hmoodle: Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Phoua: Hi everyone! My name is Phoua Vang. I’m originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin born and raised, but currently I reside in the very tiny city of Menomonie, Wisconsin. I’m going on my fourth year in Apparel Design and Development at the University of Wisconsin-Stout with concentrations in both design and development. While juggling my part-time job and my enormous load of school work. I often find myself doing nothing, but work and homework, sadly. I’m such a hermit! But as busy as my major keeps me, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else in the world. I’ve big dreams in being part of the apparel industry. I love everything about it from the first few design sketches to pattern making to sewing to the final product!
Straying away from that fact, I also share a lot of my passion for music. Writing new songs, doing acoustic covers, performing for open mics, for events; music plays as a huge stress reliever for me. And that’s about all there is to know.
Hmoodle: Why don’t you tell readers more about your schooling and what you are majoring in.
Phoua: That’s actually funny that you say that, Ryan, because when I tell people I’m majoring in Apparel Design and Development they always follow up with, “What’s that?” For easier understanding I really should just start saying that I’m a fashion major (there’s always such a negative connotation to it for some people though and I don’t understand why). I go to school for fashion design learning everything in the industry from taking correct body measurements to creating my own pattern pieces to learning about different textiles to specking garments. There’s a lot to know in the production process of creating garments which isn’t something a lot of people think about. Especially in the program that I’m enrolled in right now, everything is very technical. As a matter of fact, the Apparel Design and Development program is part of the Science and Mathematics department at UW-Stout, NOT Art! Usually comes as a surprise to people. Yes, we sketch and make pretty fashion figures but we also definitely focus more on the technical aspects of garment design.
Hmoodle: Why made you choose this path?
Phoua: I think I knew I wanted to be part of this industry for a very long time now. I’d have to say my mum definitely played a huge role in me deciding this major. She’s very fashionable when it comes to styling traditional Hmong attire and I very much admire that about her. I remember her always bringing back buckets of beautiful fabrics from her trips to Thailand. I stole a few pieces a while ago and she got super upset. It was really funny. My mum has a lot of influence on me when it comes to fashion. I should also mentioned how excited she got when I learned how to draft original pattern pieces. She still wants me to make her a pair of custom designed dress pants..or at least teach her how to. Haha. My pops, not so much into the whole fashion thing but he’s definitely been my biggest supporter. They are both very dear to my heart.
Hmoodle: If you could design an outfit for any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Phoua: Ouu, tough question. Can it be a celebrity couple? Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr and even baby Flynn! I mean just look at them!
It’s unfair how beautiful their family is.
Hmoodle: What designers influence you?
Phoua: I have a lot of love and admiration for Alexander Wang. That’s as far as I’ll go into answering that question for reasons.
Hmoodle: Tell us more about your love of music. Do you play instruments as well as writing and singing?
Phoua: All of the above! Or used to I should say. I attempted the guitar for a few years but never got past the basic chords and strumming. I have a beautiful guitar (he’s still still nameless) that hides inside its case and sits against my wall. He’s probably depressed from the lack of my love. But singing is my main hobby. I’ve been performing since the seventh grade and I don’t plan to stop any time soon! Last year I had the most honorable, ,memorable, life changing, moving performance experience I’ve ever encountered thus far in life in Fresno, California. Being able to be part of the first Hmong Music Festival hosted by AZNLIVE was such an amazing event and I can’t wait to go back and experience the whole concert again but instead be part of the audience next time. Hearing people sing along to an original song is a really great feeling I can’t explain. Awesome would be an understatement. I’ve just been so privileged in being able to travel with an amazing band, Ordinary Day, and make unforgettable memories with them on our performance trips. Thanks guys! You’re all wonderful and talented artists. Much, much love to all of you!
Hmoodle: Here in the Twin Cities we are once again getting with snow and are waiting for Summer to get here. Do you have any big plans for the summer?
Phoua: Yeah, mother nature decided to skip out on Spring this year or something. Sad season. This weather is getting extremely depressing.
But on the other hand it’s funny that you ask because I indeed have huge plans for the summer! I actually was just hired as an intern for Tommy Hilfiger in New York City today! I’ll be part of their visual merchandising team this summer. I’m beyond excited for this amazing opportunity in working for a timeless company such as Tommy and being an official New York City girl for the summer! It still surreal because this is all that I’ve been working so hard for. It’s just a really rewarding feeling to know that hard work and lack of sleep eventually pays off. Wish me luck!
Hmoodle: Congratulations on that. Thats very awesome to here. Now moving on, if you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
Phoua: My family because they are my everything (and they do too count as one thing), my phone (not because I’d need it for contacting people or anything) because it holds my music life, and a life time’s worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because they’re delicious.
Hmoodle: If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
Phoua: Teleportation. Definitely teleportation. I may be a small town girl but I’ve got a big city heart contained inside of me. There’s so much to see in the world!
Hmoodle: What would our readers be surprised to learn about you?
Phoua: These are always difficult for me to answer. I don’t know if I’d consider this surprising but I’m such a sucker for romantic/corny gestures. Write me a love letter on notebook paper and fold it up all fancy and whatnot. Put it in a place I’d never expect to find it and let me find it unexpectedly. Deliver me home baked cookies. I love that stuff. Haha. Chivalry should still exist, guys! Some girls can still appreciate it! Hint, hint.
Hmoodle: Do you have any last words for our readers?
Phoua: I feel like I talked a novel but thank you to all whom took the time to read through this interview! Thank you, Ryan, for this super fun questionnaire and thank you to Jabb for asking me to be Hmoodle’s May girl and driving all the way to Menomonie to snap mediocre photos of me. I appreciate your time very much!
To those whom are subscribers to my Youtube channel or just listeners of my music, you all are the most inspiring to me and I would be absolutely nothing without your support. Thanks for all your kind words and messages of encouragement! I couldn’t be anymore grateful for your time! Please continue to write to me because I DO read them!
You know where to find me:
www.rantingoutlet.tumblr.com <–follow my personal blog for I’ll be constantly updating it with my summer adventures in NYC!
And lastly, I just want to give a big thanks to the most amazing people on earth–my greatest friends and family. You guys already know. Love you!
Thanks again for this feature! I had a lot of fun! Let’s all pray for a hot, hot summer because god knows we all need it!
We want to once again thank Phoua for being apart of Hmoodle. I, myself, see very big things for her in the near future. She is very passionate and driven, which leads to success. Congrats again Phoua and good luck at Tommy Hilfiger this summer.