Vivienne Tam

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Vivienne Tam
Vivienne Tam 2011 Shanbone.JPG
Tam at the 2011 Time 100 gala.
Tam Yin Yok

(1957-11-28) November 28, 1957 (age 61)
ResidenceNew York City
EducationHong Kong Polytechnic University
OccupationFashion designer

Vivienne Tam (simplified Chinese: 谭燕玉; traditional Chinese: 譚燕玉; pinyin: Tán Yànyù) is a fashion designer based in New York City. She was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, and moved to Hong Kong at the age of three. She attended the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Tam's fashion brand is named after her and is inspired by Chinese culture, design and modern fashion, and East-West fusion. The theme of her first collection was EAST WIND CODE. She authored China Chic, a book on Chinese style meeting Western style. She has worked with Hewlett Packard on a special Vivienne Tam range of designer netbook computers, such as a version of the HP Mini 1000 and the HP Mini 210. Tam also appeared on dressup site Stardoll where she has her own suite and brand name. She has also designed dresses for the characters in the Animax movie LaMB.

The designer debuted her collaboration with Chinese jewelry brand TSL at her Spring 2013 fashion show.[1]

Early life[edit]

Vivienne Tam was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, and moved to Hong Kong at the age of three. Vivienne discovered her love of fashion at an early age. She was inspired by watching her mother making clothes for her family. By the age of 8, she was making her own outfits and dressing herself and her siblings, even for Chinese New Year.[2] She attended a Roman Catholic school, where she learned English, even though she still spoke Chinese at home with her family. She then went to study fashion design in Hong Kong Polytechnic University where she received her degree.[3]


After finishing her degree she relocated and settled down in New York City to launch her business. Her company, East Wind Code, was established in March 1982. (East Wind Code means "good luck and prosperity" in Chinese)[3] Her clothes were being made in Hong Kong, however she had a work space on West 38th Street, NYC. After a decade, she ended up changing the name of her business to "Vivienne Tam" before her first runway show at New York Fashion Week.[3]

Works and Collections.[edit]

Her first few collections were heavily influenced by traditional Chinese prints, fabrics, and designs. Her clothes were popular among fashion-forward women interested in Asian influence designs.[3]


In 1995, she teamed up with artist Zhang Hongtu for her collection "MAO." This collection, including clothing with humorous images of Mao on T-shirts and jackets showing him with pigtails, or cross eyed with a bee on his nose. In the Asian American community this created some controversy as they felt it was in poor taste, since many had died under his power. She even had difficulty finding a manufacturer in Hong Kong that would take the job, and even several minor protests by her store. Despite the controversy in the launching of this collection, some of the pieces became permanent artworks in the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and even in the museum of NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology.[3]

Year Of The Dragon[3][edit]

This following collection was inspired from Asian Culture, and released in Spring of 2001, featuring images of Buddha. She explained that "The Buddha image has always been in the temple, and I wanted to make it more accessible to the people."[3]

Expansion of her business[edit]

In 1996, she expanded her clothing empire and created a soe line for Candie's, and the year after she opened her first store in NYC, then a branch in LA, Tokyo, and Kobe, Japan.[3]

2017 Spring Collection[edit]

In Fall of 2016, Tam debuted her Spring and Summer collection at New York Fashion Week featuring iconic Houston logos. Tam partnered with Visit Houston and Asian Wives Club to promote a new perspective on the city of Houston.[4]

2018 Fall/Winter Collection[edit]

In February 2018, Tam presented her Fall/Winter 2018 collection, inspired by a "spiritual journey" through the Himalayas to Tibet, in Gallery I of Spring Studios.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leung, Marana (22 October 2012). "Vivienne Tame Spring 2013". Ms Fabulous. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013.
  2. ^ White, Renee Minus (2006). "New York Amsterdam News". Vivienne Tam's Shanghai styles. Retrieved 8 April 2016 – via Academic Search Premier.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Vivienne Tam Facts, information, pictures | articles about Vivienne Tam". Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Fashion Figures". Houstonia. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  5. ^ { Fall 2018 Ready-To-Wear Vivienne Tam}

Further reading[edit]

  • Eng, Victoria (31 March 1995). "Vivienne Tam". Asian Magazine.
  • Gordon, Maryellen (29 March 1993). "East Wind Code by Vivienne Tam". Women's Wear Daily.
  • Ländler, Mark (31 December 2000). "An Empire Built on China Chic". New York Times.
  • Ma, Fiona; Heather, Harlan (25 March 1999). "Fusion Fashion". Asian Weekly.
  • Parnes, Frances (29 March 1996). "Vivienne Tam's SoHo Splash". Women's Wear Daily.
  • "Vivienne Tam Defines China Chic as Fashions with a Western Twist". Associated Press. 6 January 2001.
  • Leung, Mariana (13 February 2013). "Vivienne Tam Makes Obama a Fashion Icon". Ms. Fabulous.
  • Tam, Vivienne; Huang, Martha (2000). China Chic. New York: Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-039268-1.

External links[edit]