Be Inthavong talks to VOA about his life, work and products, Be&D luxury handbags, which are sold exclusively in leading department stores throughout the US.
What made Be Inthavong different from a typical refugee boy from Laos is that Be has a strong determination and will to reach for the star. Be Inthavong came to the United States as an eight-year old boy with his family, which resettled in Texas in the 80’s. Be started learning English as second language first before going to junior and senior high schools. Be then went on to a university in Texas where he studied biology. He later attented Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in fashion and design. Be then took a modeling job, which enabled him to travel throughout Europe and America. His traveling experience and modeling background connected Be to the fashion industry.
Be moved back to Laos, his motherland, and lived there for over a year where he reconnected with his beautiful traditions and culture, which he brought back to the United States to apply into his world of creation. The 30-year old Lao-American currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he works along side his partner Steve Duman. – designing luxury hand bags under the name of Be&D.
Be&D may be a new brand name to many of us, but to a lot of Hollywood movie stars, it is known for its luxury handbags that are available exclusively in Bergdoff Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Macus stores throughout the United States, and as far as Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, London, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the Middle East.
In reply to VOA’s question whether he feels
that being a
minority is an advantage or disadvantage, Be has this to say: “It’s great to be a Laotian. I felt that being a Laotian-American
is an advantage; we have a beautiful culture and traditions which are special and unique. I don’t think that I am a minority. I think that
I am just a whole person like every one else. What different does it make whether I am French, African or Kmer? As long I have a determination and a strong will to get there, I shall make it. Only the sky is the limit.”
Listen to our audio file for more details.