The documentary, “Dressed” is a compelling story of a young clothing designer, Nary Manivong, who defied the odds of a broken childhood and homelessness to reach his ultimate dream, a show of his collection at New York Fashion Week. A truly inspiring story that unfolds against the backdrop of the fashion industry in New York. Woven within his story are accounts and commentary from leading fashion industry experts, students and designers who relate their own perspectives about what it takes to make it in the highly competitive world of fashion.
Nary’s parents, of Laos descent, abandoned their family of four, when he fourteen, leaving the children (Nary, his twin brother, younger brother and sister) alone to fend for themselves in a Columbus, Ohio apartment. Between looking after his brothers and sisters, often times separated from them and living on the street, he managed to work several jobs, attend night school and eventually graduate with his high school class in 2000.
Yet even under the kind of pressures many adults find daunting, Nary remained focused and determined to become a fashion designer. He worked tirelessly sketching his designs and creating garments with scraps of fabric and a sewing machine give to him by people who believed in his quest. His unrelenting spirit captured the attention of local reporter Mike Harden, who followed his story from the production of his first fashion show in Columbus at age 17, to the disappointments he faced once arriving in the “Big Apple”.
After several trips to New York, and enduring numerous challenges, he finally found a sponsor. He showed his women’s collection in 2005 and was written up by Women’s Wear Daily as “one of the young designers’ to watch”. One would have thought Nary was on his way.
Last year, shortly after his second show and with orders coming in, his investor backed out, closing all his accounts and leaving him, once again, homeless. He has spent the past year sleeping on friend’s couches while continuing to work on his designs, negotiating with fabric mills and factories and planning his return. Undaunted, Nary started over and began again.
The film is an inspiring story of determination and perseverance! Never give up!
Woven into his story are interviews and commentary from industry experts such as Fern Mallis, IMG; Nanette Lepore, Designer; Mickey Boardman, Deputy Director of Paper Magazine; Lynn Yaeger, Fashion Writer from Village Voice; Mary Gehlhar, Author “The Fashion Designer’s Survival Guide” and Vice President of Brand Strategy for Gen Art; George Furlan, Fashion Industry Consultant; Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion at Parsons, The New School for Design; and Simon Doonan, Style Commentator; who have all agreed to participate as part of an exclusive list of fashion advisors in the documentary.
February 18, 2011
The Ritz at the Bourse – Landmark Theaters
February 25, 2011
The Drexel Theater
March 1, 2011
FIT Museum, New York
Conversations with DRESSED: Director David Swajeski, Nary Manivong and Ally Hilfiger
(Picture of Nary (left) and his twin brother) at opening party