Meet the Artisan: Tamay, a Short Film

In October last year Ellie Shipman and I made a film about Mien artisan Tamay in Ta Phin, her home village in the North of Vietnam.

By Ellen Downes
Mon 27 Jan 2020

In October last year Ellie Shipman and I visited Mien textile artisan Tamay at her home in Ta Phin, Sa Pa. Tamay welcomed us into her home and family and we spent a weekend with her in the mountains.

She told us the stories behind Mien embroidery and how all the women in her community make their own clothes.

Tamay is from a long line of Mien women who make their own clothes, passing down the skills to their daughters. Mien women spend a year making themselves a set of embroidered clothes, which they wear for the following year.

Tamay is a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. She cannot read or write yet she has taught herself English and Vietnamese and has become a figurehead of her community. As well as selling vintage textiles from her own community and others in the surrounding region, Tamay is also co-founder of Vietnamese-British sustainable fashion brand Tamay & Me.

In December we hosted a film screening with Tamay in Hanoi and an online premier through Fashion Revolution Vietnam’s Instagram during Fashion Revolution Week 2020. It will also be published with Vietnamese subtitles later this year by ELLE Vietnam. Here’s the film:

Stills from the film taken by Ellie Shipman: