From gang member to renowned fashion designer, the story of Nary Manivong offers a testament to determination, perseverance and fortuitous timing.
Members of The University of Southern Mississippi community and the Pine Belt area at large will have a chance to learn more about Nary’s incredible journey during a screening of the documentary “Dressed” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 at Bennett Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus.
The screening is sponsored by the Southern Miss Department of Marketing and Fashion Merchandising. This will mark the first time that the documentary has been shown in the southern United States.
“This is an opportunity for the campus and surrounding community to see a ‘real’ story of what it takes to make it in the fashion industry,” said Dr. Brigitte Burgess, fashion merchandising coordinator at Southern Miss. “Nary is a young man with a very troubled past who uses fashion design as a way of escape. Although Nary’s dream is to make it in the fashion industry, this film will appeal to anyone who has ever pursued a dream.”
As an added feature Nary will be in Hattiesburg for the premiere along with the film’s Director David Swajeski and Executive Producer Maryanne Grisz. Following the screening, the trio will participate in a question-and-answer session and also be available to sign memorabilia and interact with those in attendance.
“I don’t know of any other time that Southern Miss, or Hattiesburg for that matter, has had the opportunity to attend a premiere of this caliber and meet the subject, director and executive producer,” said Burgess. “For students and faculty, this is a chance for networking and for the community a chance to experience a premiere and meet a successful designer and film makers.”
Nary, the son of Laotian immigrants, found himself abandoned and homeless at age 14 in Columbus, Ohio. He ultimately joined a local street gang and therein realized his first real sense of family. But he also discovered something equally as important – that apparel symbolized belonging and acceptance.
Stumbling across a discarded issue of Vogue magazine, Nary began seeing apparel in a different light – as a source of hope, purpose and escape to a better life. Using library books and his own ingenuity, Nary found solace in teaching himself the art of fashion design.
With just $200 to his name, Nary arrived in New York committed to his goal of becoming a featured designer in New York’s Fashion Week. “Dressed” follows Nary as he draws upon his past and works tirelessly to create a stunning collection of fashions.
Following his inaugural appearance at Fashion Week, Nary was named “Designer to Watch” by Women’s Wear Daily and twice nominated by the Fashion Group International for the Rising Star Women’s Ready-to-Wear Award.
Tickets to the screening are $10 and may be purchased at The Abbey Boutique, Click Boutique, Eve Marie’s, Material Girls, Mostly Macie’s and Twelve Oaks. Tickets will also be available at the door.
To view the movie trailer, visit: http://dressedmovie.com/?page_id=23 and see the film’s Web site at http://dressedmovie.com/. For more information about the screening at Southern Miss, contact Burgess at 601.266.6392.