Technology means that today’s youth are able to keep up with the latest fashions faster than ever. Some are influenced by Korean styles and some by Western fashion. Others like to dress in their own, unique way. Some even use their love of fashion and sense of style to run a business.
Though not a fashion designer, Reach Sereyleapy, 23, the owner of second-hand fashion outlet Go Boy, loves expressing and sharing her style through the clothes and accessories she selects for her store.
“I am a follower of fashion, so I select the most fashionable clothes, accessories and shoes young people are looking for, and sell them at reasonable prices,” she says.
Following her passion for clothes, Sereyleapy is always on the lookout for the latest fashion trends, and she is quick to pick up on new styles.
“Even though we are a secondhand shop, all our items are good in both quality and look. Even with the slightly older fashions, I can still use my knowledge and creative ideas to redesign them and make them up to date and unique,” she says. “Because I am young, I understand youth ideas towards fashion and the styles they like.”
Khun Dy Monineath, 19, a third-year student at Pannasastra University of Cambodia, says it is interesting that as Cambodians are becoming more fashion-conscious, it’s young people who are taking advantage of the growing fashion industry. “Because they are teenagers, they understand what teenagers want,” she says.
Jasmine Lang, 22, a fashion design student at Limkokwing University as well as a freelance designer, says that when designing clothes and accessories, she uses her own style and creative ideas.
“All the clothes and other items that I have done are personal, and no one else has them. Also, each product is like my child - I put my spirit into it and so they are unique,” she says.
“There is a great feeling of pride when we use our ideas to design something and then make money from it.”
Srey Sonita, an international relations student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, points out that majoring in fashion is the best way to start in the business. “It makes you understandmore about the customer and what kind of dress would be successful in the market, increasing your potential for designing new fashions,” she says.
But she also adds that running a business is no easy feat and says that young people should be prepared to face difficulties. “I think it is good to start your own business and to create your own products because people like new, innovative creations,” she says. “But there is also some risk because if you are inexperienced, you may encounter some difficulties.”
Monineath has nothing but admiration and encouragement for young people who decide to start their own business. “They may find it hard to achieve their dreams, but they shouldn’t give up because they must always remember that it is always hardest at the beginning,” she says.
Chan Krem, 43, is quick to note that Cambodia’s difficult history has not hindered the creativity and innovation of young people. In fact, she says, she feels young people are succeeding admirably in many creative fields.
“It is so valuable when young people design and create new things because they have a chance to show their talent,” she says. “By doing this they develop themselves and produce brand new things, and not just copy from others anymore.”