Fashion Design major Minh ‘May’ Nguyen ’19 had no idea that her future art would be made with fabric, not pencils and paint. In fact, she didn’t know how to sew when she came to Moore.
“I was not thinking of sewing at all, I was thinking of designing,” she said.
Nguyen said it took a lot of work to become proficient, but she appreciated everything she learned from sewing.
“I was never really a detail-oriented person until I learned how to sew,” she said. “I’m terrible at math, too, and it requires a lot of geometry and skill.” The time-consuming process of sewing also made her more patient, she said, and she learned the professionalism that’s required for the industry. “It made a person out of me.”
COMING TO AMERICA
Nguyen, who prefers to be called May, is an international student, and received the Presidential Scholarship to attend Moore. “’May’ in Vietnamese means ‘cloud,’ like my head is always up with the clouds,” she said. She chose the name as a student at the American School of Vietnam in the Thao Dien district. Her idea of what America was like she learned through movies.
“The movies were dramatic, so I expected it to be like that when I got here,” she said. “Americans have a lot of emotion when they are speaking and expressing their point of view, so yes, Americans are dramatic.”
She had an inkling she’d be an artist as a child growing up in Vietnam.
“When you were forced to do many things, then there’s one thing no one forces you to do, and you keep doing it anyway? Mine was drawing and painting,” she said. Her drawing changed over time, as did her thoughts about what type of artist she would become. “I started thinking of designing when I started to draw a lot of princesses,” she said.
As for her designs, Nguyen likes clothing that is eye-catching, colorful and shiny. Her junior year collection features a jumpsuit. Her goal is to become an assistant designer, or a pattern maker.
“I want to achieve excellence at something that not everybody wants to do – not everybody chooses pattern-making,” she said.
Nguyen does get a bit homesick, being so far from relatives, but she enjoys having her space.
“Being around grownups, I never had the chance to deal with problems myself,” she said. “It is hard at first, but then you realize your potential and more things you never realized you would be able to do.”