Tu-Anh Love Nguyen 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.
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 15, tu-anh had moved nearly 30 times, hiding from 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.
At the age of 12, 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 and handled all administrative duties while assigning her young family members 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!
By age 13, tu-anh was altering, designing, and reconstructing fashion finds from flea markets, Goodwill stores, and The Salvation Army for herself, her siblings, cousins, and schoolmates. She also cut, permed, and colored her siblings’ and cousins’ hair and even gave her own father bowl haircuts, the only style she knew for men because the family still could not afford such luxury as professional haircuts.
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.
On vacation in Mexico
tu-anh is a professional businesswoman, entrepreneur, artist, visionary, teacher, writer, and a person 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. Find her most days with her voluptuous Chihuahua Nini at tu-anh Boutique, a sanctuary for the modern day goddess.
tu-anh Boutique is a breathtaking goddess sanctuary for the modern day woman which offers a soothing, magical world of mystery, beauty and light. It is an intimate, poetic retreat for the feminine soul, a special place to recharge and rejuvenate the energy from within and let your inner goddess emerge and liberate you. The mesmerizing natural scents of the bath and body luxury collection will soothe you into a state of total relaxation, where you will no longer know what ails you, and you will feel completely enlightened.
In this alluring space, your senses are awakened, and your heart will crave everything you see, touch and experience forevermore. tu-anh has passionately embraced the art of all things beautiful, feminine, stylish, and artisan-crafted with a unique story from her world travels.
When you enter tu-anh sanctuary for the modern day goddess, it is all about releasing your inhibitions and allowing tu-anh and her nurturing staff to take you away into a world of total pampering and self-love. Kindly request a tour of the sanctuary to get the full experience. Immerse yourself into the relaxing, soft lull of tender surroundings which garner the spirit into a state of pure marvel and bliss. It is such a pretty place and the only destination in the Washington DC Area your heart needs and desires. Book your appointment today for a tantalizing experience of sensuality and beauty… and allow us the honor to escort you through your journey of self-love. After a visit with us, you will be touched by the love of tu-anh… your life, too, will become a love affair, and you will never be the same after meeting this true pilgrim of beauty and love.
To schedule a private consultation with tu-anh, send an email to contact tu-ahn or just stop by the sanctuary and meet with tu-anh in person to discuss fashion, beauty, love, life…and so much more!