Thuỷ Nguyễn graduated from the Vietnam University of Fine Art, Hanoi and gained a PhD in Fine Art from the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture, Kiev (Ukraine). Despite not receiving formal training, Thuỷ boldly embarked on her fashion journey by opening up the first Thuy Design House store on Đồng Khởi, Saigon, in 2011. What contributes to her success is the qualities of true feminine beauty found in her designs; the usage of bold colors and creative combination of different types of fabric – all of which helps to bring out and depict what it means to be a contemporary woman in today’s Vietnam. Thuỷ is committed to exploring traditional Vietnamese cultural heritage. Her collections often take inspiration from historical textiles, artistic handicrafts and ceramics, paintings by 20th century Vietnamese masters (who graduated from The École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine), and especially the áo dài – a symbol of Vietnamese culture – amongst other traditional fashion accessories.
The diverse range of Thuỷ’s creative practice can also be seen through her role as producer (and costume designer) of several films such as “The Tailor” (Cô Ba Sài Gòn) – a romantic comedy highlighting the old Saigon lifestyle through the evolution of the áo dài. Within the artistic community, she is known as ‘Tia-Thuỷ Nguyễn’, particularly in her role as the founder of ‘The Factory Contemporary Arts Center’ in Ho Chi Minh City, established in 2016 (the first purpose-built space for contemporary art in Vietnam). In 2019, Thuỷ was listed as one of the fifty most influential women by Forbes Vietnam for her work and contribution to design, visual arts and creative business.