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Lao Diaspora: Lao-American Designer Eyes Asia as New Market for His Be&D Signature Bags


In this final report on the success story of Be&D luxury handbags, designer Be Inthavong discusses his plan to expand the market for his brand name bags all over the world. VOA also talks to two other people who are the driving force behind the success.

One of them, Steve Dumain, is Be&D co-designer. Steve was born and raised in Upstate New York and later moved to Vermont. Currently Steve resides in New York City where He met Be Inthavong and partnered up with the Lao-American to create the Be&D trademark. Steve has visited and lived in many different places all over the world. But as much as he loves to travel, Steve has not yet had a chance to visit any Asian country. Steve says he plans to visit Asia soon, particular Laos, the country where Be Inthavong was born. He would love to experience the authentic and unique Lao culture and bring it back to incorporate into Be&D concepts.

Steve says he and Be Inthavong have different
astatic personalities. Whereas Be is into fashion and luxury things, Steve is more into Punk rock and vintage clothing. The two met through a friend. Steve observes that Be&D was born, probably out of their opposite personalities.

Be’s mother, Muan Inthavong, is another person behind this Be&D trade mark. Mrs. Muan is one who cares a lot about her children and wants to see them succeed in life. She encouraged them to excel in school, and also told them that they must work hard to get where they want to be.

Muan and her family resettled in Texas when they first arrived in the United States. She talked proudly about Be Inthavong, the oldest of her three boys. “I’m very proud and couldn’t even describe into words. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought my son would have come this far. We were just typical refugees who came to this country to start a new life all over again. I have to admit Be is a hard working young man. He would work two jobs to earn extra money to support himself in modeling school. He is very determined and industrious, and I’m very proud of him.”

Although Be&D designer handbags are
popular particularly in the United States, among celebrities - singers and stars. Be Inthavong told us his bags are sold in many different countries in the world as well. And still he would love to expand his market to Asia in the near future, especially Singapore and Malaysia. Currently, Be&D is trying to get its products into Russia where Be thinks they will sell well because Russia is a big country and, like the United States, has interesting culture and traditions and a diverse population.

Be Inthanvong and his co-designer Steve Dumain are working hard to continue to perfect their products to live up to their trademark and keep up with the demands of the market.

Listen to our Lao Diaspora report for more details.

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