Media student Vann Chansopheakvatey has loved fashion all her life – and she isn’t shy about showing off to the world her personal sense of style. The 20-year-old sophomore at the Royal University of Phnom Penh once modeled for a school fashion project.
“I’ve been in love with fashion since I was young. My sisters influenced me a lot. I tend to think that dressing well and being stylish boosts your confidence,” Ms Chansopheakvatey said.
Passionate about style, Ms Chansopheakvatey started to seriously follow fashion when she was about 10, deciding she wanted to be designer.
“I did want to be a designer, but my ideas weren’t really strong enough. But I have a good eye for putting clothes together and assembling a cool outfit,” she said.
Ms Chansopheakvatey admits to being a shopaholic; she goes out and buys something at least once a week. She describes coming across a new piece of clothing she likes as having her eyes opened, or falling in love.
She likes to shop at Russian market, ESQ, Zando and many other places. She buys her own outfits, earning money to pay for her wardrobe through her work at media agencies and sometimes as an MC.
“I earn my own money to buy clothes. My family supports me spending money on such things because my sisters and my mom are fashionistas, too!” she said.
Ms Chansopheakvatey is saddened by the fact that some people who don’t know her criticize her as being a spoiled kid who spends a lot of money on clothes or is too obsessed with fashion.
Similarly, Chan Vaddhanak Sambath, 20, currently a second year student in a Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Institute of Foreign Languages, has been in love with fashion since he was in his early teens.
“I would really dress up for school and for my extra classes. I guess my fashion icon is [Korean pop idol] G-Dragon — his casual outfits.” said Mr Sambath, who works as an admin assistant at HKC Tree International School.
Mostly, Mr Sambath flips through the pages of magazines to get ideas for new looks or surfs the Web to get the latest seasonal trends and search for things that pique his interest.
Having always harbored a genuine passion for design, Mr Sambath said he aspired to be a designer but believes there are many factors to take into consideration when planning a career.
“Fashion design is a very intriguing profession, but I think people still don’t value fashion enough, especially clothes designers… I’m so into brand-name and designer clothes, but many of them are not available in Cambodia.
“I think fashion is diverse. You don’t need to wait for a special occasion just to look good; you can be stylish as part of your everyday look as well,” he continued.
Mr Sambath added that his family and friends are all opened-minded, and not one person had ever come up to him and said anything bad to him simply because he likes to dress up for class.