One fact that the fashion industry does not want to admit is its tendency to neglect people who are not considered ideal — individuals who are not thin enough and tall enough. A glance at most clothing stores will demonstrate that most articles of clothing only fit specific sizes. And for those who are not size 5, they have to put in additional effort to ask an attendant if the store has anything for their size or find an alternative shop.
Over the past few years, more and more companies dedicated to providing a wider variety of shirts, dresses, pants, and more have emerged to address the plus-size problem of the industry. And fashion company, NINA MONA, is one such institution that pushes against traditional sizing and aesthetic norms to make people feel comfortable and confident in their own skins.
As a fashion brand, NINA MONA stands not only for quality but, more importantly, equity and inclusion. Its founder, Vietnamese-American Michael Nguyen, is intimate with the reality rife with inequality and discrimination.
The creatives behind the shop strive to push themselves to bring clients and supporters the best possible goods available. And they are able to offer quality pieces because every item is a product of utmost consideration for the needs and preferences of clients.
NINA MONA heavily banks on the process of collaboration and innovation. Believing that there is power in banding together, it creates opportunities for connecting community members together. Furthermore, it acknowledges how generic today’s norms can get and how they do not inspire individuality in people. And recognizing the way fashion trends are geared toward fitting only a particular demographic, NINA MONA makes sure that their products can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of how they look like and their walk in life.
Michael’s brainchild also serves as a platform that promotes the empowerment of other artists and entrepreneurs. The heavy emphasis it gives on the upliftment of other people is grounded on the belief that with art, in particular, there is no competition other than that with one’s ego. Fellow creators, business owners, artists, and more, are not enemies to battle against to succeed in life.
Moreover, Michael hopes that through establishing NINA MONA, young creatives are reminded that not everything in life has to be a win and loss scenario. There are so many timeless brands in the industry, such as LV, Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, and Hermes, and all of these big names can, in one way or another, intimidate aspirants, making them lose steam from fear of competition and loss. But NINA MONA asserts that as long as one is pursuing their dream, sharing their vision with others, and rising to the fullest of their potential, they are already the exceptional individuals they aspire to be.
In the coming years, Michael and NINA MONA will continue to be a safe space for those who are underrepresented. It also plans to make a more substantial and more positive impact globally by utilizing the company as a platform to serve disenfranchised people who have not gotten an equal chance at sharing their talents with the world. And this fashion brand is also looking forward to collaborating with other artists and bringing their visions to life.