Not many designers make the leap from creating ready-to-wear attire to intricately detailed couture gowns, but WA’s Betty Tran took on the challenge.

Betty Tran's namesake label is gaining attention around the globe. Next stop? New York Fashion Week.

Betty Tran is one determined young woman. The local designer came from Vietnam to Australia with her mum (a tailor) when she was just a teenager who couldn’t speak a word of English. Today, she runs successful label Betty Tran (previously Betty Sugar), with prosperous stores in the city and Claremont, and recently came into national headlines after her first solo show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney. Her collection Le Fleur Atelier saw divine gowns in French lace and opulent silk paraded on the festival catwalk.

“Some of the dresses took 120 hours to hand-bead,” says the designer. “I decided to launch the couture collection so I could cater for a larger group of women for a number of different occasions.”

Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart, and international model Nicole Trunfio are just two influential celebrities who have donned the designer’s garments.

Now, Betty is off to New York where she will be displaying her creations before the global market at Fashion Palette, part of the International Fashion Week and the perfect platform for a number of independent designers. Betty will also host an intimate dinner with a private showcase for 40 VIP guests.

Betty and her dresses are not heading to New York by themselves, though. As a mentor for the IF Foundation’s International Leadership Program, she will be joined by eight young women (aged between 14-25) from regional Western Australia, who are travelling to the US to participate in the shows and other events.

It’s a good fit, given that Betty’s collection Metamorphosis is inspired by the idea that dreams can come true no matter where you come from.

“The whole point of the project is to empower the girls and improve their self esteem,” she says. “No matter their skin colour, nationality, size or shape, every woman deserves a chance to be the best they can be, and feel like a supermodel.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity for them. They have all been working so hard in the program and they have transformed into strong, independent women. It’s so nice to watch them grow and gain self-esteem.”

The IF International Leadership Program focuses on educating and supporting regional women. The eight women heading to New York are selected from four Pilbara regional areas: Shire of Roebourne, Town of Hedland, Shire of Ashburton, and Shire of East Pilbara.

And it doesn’t stop there for the busy designer. When Betty returns from New York, she has a number of projects in the works, one being the debut of a children’s line. “I know, I’m crazy, I can’t believe I’m doing it, but I have so many requests from women who want dresses for their girls, especially for weddings and christenings.”


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