For Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, ao dai is like the spirit of Vietnam and she wants to uphold its value. She recently donated two of her favourite “ao dai”, which she wore at critical diplomatic events, to the Vietnam Women’s Museum.
Given there have been several cases of foreign designers copying the designs of ao dai without giving credit, the cultural sector has become aware of the need to preserve the traditional outfit, recognise it as an intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam and seek UNESCO recognition.
The sector has therefore conducted studies and established collections relating to the outfits, and has also worked with designers to further promote the image of ao dai.
Though lacking any official recognition, “ao dai” has long been considered Vietnam’s national outfit. It has become more common in daily life thanks to the efforts of fashion designers and is warmly welcomed by Vietnamese people.
Indeed, ao dai is familiar among both Vietnamese and the country’s international friends. Official recognition is still needed, however, in order to better preserve, protect, and promote the outfit./.