Sweatshops, Trannies and $2 Labor: Fashion Week Internationale Looks at the Glamorous Side of Cambodia Fashion Week

VICE‘s acclaimed (by me) web-series Fashion Week Internationale returns with a three-part episode on Cambodia’s first ever fashion week. ? 

On the one side, there’s the crop of ? young fashionistas excited to ? take advantage of newfound ? freedoms as the country pulls itself from the devastating aftermath of the Khmer Rouge communist regime. Then there’s the sobering reality of factory workers paid $2 a day to work in grueling and unhealthy conditions in order to supply the West with its full of fast fashion. And in between the two diametrically-opposed worlds, the glorious Cambodian tranny flits unfettered.

The statuesque Charlet Duboc takes to the streets of Phnom Penh to explore what Cambodia Fashion Week has to offer and as befits a third world nation, she found more than she bargained:

?€?Culturally, Cambodia is on still on wobbly legs after the Khmer Rouge’s ruthless genocide obliterated any trace of creativity the country had. The very concept of fashion is still ‘Greek’ to most Cambodians. Modeling is frowned upon and many people just wear pajamas, which is ironic considering the country’s biggest source of export revenue is its garment industry, which produces clothes for the West, paying its workers $2 per day to do so. So, you’ll see there were plenty of things to distract me from Cambodia’s first ever fashion week.?€?

Parts 2 and 3 will debut tomorrow but for now enjoy Part 1 below: