My family in New Orleans during the Autumn season of 1981.

tu-anh:  Fashion Designer – Men’s Personal Style Goddess and Image Consultant – Divine Teacher of  the Feminine and Sensual Arts 

Tu-Anh’s Troubled Start

tu-anh Love was born in Nha Trang, Vietnam on May 15, 1972, into an educated upper middle class family with four older siblings. tu-anh’s father was an educator of philosophy, photography, and the beautiful French language. Her mother, on the other hand, was a creative, smart, and shrewd businesswoman known for her beauty and sense of style at the time. Her parents claim that since the age of two, she was already bossy, had her own personality, and knew what she wanted and when she wanted it. She was expressive and already had an admiration for all things beautiful as well as a zest for life and the unknown, just like her mother.

Everything changed on April 30, 1975 with the Fall of Saigon.  A life full of laughter, love, riches, harmony, and beauty all ended, as did tu-anh’s childhood. It was then that her adulthood life journey began.  The entire Nguyen family – father, mother, and by that time, six children – headed to the South on an American ship, leaving their home, riches, and everything behind – all that her parents possessed and had worked for.

singapore 1981
Singapore Refugee Camp 1981 (Tu-Anh on the left in pink dress with girlfriends)

Shortly after, tu-anh’s father and older brothers escaped to the U.S., leaving her mother to work long hours to provide for her three young daughters. Out of necessity, at age six, tu-anh, as the oldest girl, had already taken on a motherly role for her two younger sisters. She had no choice. This left her no time for any formal education or friends. She was, however, greatly influenced by her mother. From her mother, tu-anh learned how to survive with little means – to be quick on her feet, to persevere, and keep her head high and thoughts positive.  In addition to that, her mother made sure that she never left home without her manners. This had a profound effect on developing her unique appealing style and grace into adulthood.

After several risky and failed attempts to escape Vietnam and serving jail time – tu-anh, her mother, and sisters reunited with her father and brothers in the U.S in 1982.  Today, she credits her sense of spontaneity, adaptability, and well-rounded tastes to this period of great upheaval and transition.  Between the ages of five and 14,  tu-anh had moved more than 20 times, hiding from Communist authorities and staying with a steady stream of relatives, friends, and strangers along the way.  She became skilled at adapting to change, meeting new people, and being thrown into new and unknown environments, both positive and negative.  To this day, change does not frighten her, it actually motivates and excites her. She simply lives life in the moment and each day with much gratitude.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

At the age of 13, tu-anh started a miniature babysitting service in her neighborhood, employing her little sisters and cousin, who was staying with her family at the time.  Teenage tu-anh brought in the business, took care of customer service and handled all administrative duties while assigning her younger sisters and cousins to do the actual babysitting.When it came to fun and excitement with her young charges, tu-anh excelled. When it came to changing diapers and putting fussy little ones to bed, however, she decided those tasks were best left to someone else!

Around the same time, tu-anh was altering, designing, and reconstructing church donations and fashion finds from flea markets, Goodwill stores, and The Salvation Army for herself, her siblings, cousins, and schoolmates. She was also her family’s personal hairstylist since professional haircuts were luxuries that her family could not afford.

At age 15, she was already considered a fashionista among her peers at school.  By 16, she had already choreographed and directed several professional fashion shows, and was hired by Macy’s to design their Junior Department displays and style their fashion shows.  She also served as Teen Director for Macy’s Fashion Board under the direction of one of her mentors, Thomasa Burton, who later advised her to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and pursue a Fashion Design career.

Following her high school graduation, tu-anh spent the next 15 years working for multi-national brands such as Anna Sui, Adrienne Vittadini, Ava Forsythe for Arnold Scaasi, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Victoria’s Secret, Admerasia, MCI, Aura Science, Shiseido, Prescriptives, Stila, and many others.  (These various positions included Creative Consultant, Make-up Artist, Account Executive, Stylist, and Visual Display Artist.)

A Return to Vietnam Inspired the “tu-anh” Collection

In 1997, tu-anh returned to Vietnam for the first time since her escape in 1981.  Moved by the French-inspired elegance and the exotic culture and richness of colors and textures of her homeland, she launched her own accessories collection, mixing and harmonizing traditional Vietnamese arts and materials into a unique, feminine, and timeless collection with a Western flair.  The colors in tu-anh collections represent specific moods, and the meanings further add character and beauty to her collection. Today, her collection has expanded into clothing, cosmetics, body luxury, and jewelry. You can find all this at tu-anh Boutique, located at 113 South Washington Street, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, where her Polished by tu-anh lifestyle and creative marketing agency is also located.

tu-anh is a professional businesswoman, entrepreneur, artist, visionary, divine teacher, and truly a modern day goddess with many deep and rich life experiences who is motivated and dedicated to helping others to live their lives full of  love, beauty, health, peace, and community responsibility.  Her life’s mission is to bring love, beauty, harmony, health, and creativity in her community and everywhere she goes and into everything that she does. She believes that the best gift a person can give to the world to bring peace and love is the gift of self-improvement.  When you are happy with yourself, you help make everyone around you happy- and that feeling is contagious!

tu-anh currently resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and has her Fashion Boutique and Lifestyle Sanctuary in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. She only sees clients by private appointment and through introductions. But on Fridays are open to the public from 1-7 PM where you can meet her and her adorable little pet Chihuahua, Star Angel at tu-anh Boutique, a Sanctuary for the Awakened Goddess and Titan. 

tu-anh and her Star Angel Chihuahua love on July 4, 2020

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