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Designer Vivienne Tam Wants Your Help to Find Her Next Runway Model

 New York's culture of collaboration is why it's still a top city for fashion designers, according to Vivienne Tam
Vivenne Tam
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NEW YORK CITY — Fashion designer Vivienne Tam has many irons in the fire.

Along with churning out regular collections for her clothing line, Tam has illustrated the aesthetic of her Hong-Kong heritage in a lifestyle book, designed covers for Hewlett-Packard laptops, tried her hand at dressing Mickey and Minnie Mouse for Disneyland.

And now she has joined forces with a social media smart phone app WeChat to sift through a raft of online submissions to pick an undiscovered model for her upcoming New York Fashion Week runway in September. The contest, which is now closed to entrants, asks the public to vote on Tam's top three choices for female runway model through the WeChat app at Thursday at 3 p.m.

The winner of the contest will be announced in late August and will walk the runway in Tam's Spring New York Fashion Week show in September.

Tam, who has lived in New York for more than 20 years, said the social media project is just one of the many cutting-edge collaborations that makes this city one of the world's top for fashion designers. And she says it's why she's glad to call NYC home.

"It has become more competitive and mass market, but most importantly, it has incorporated more technology in terms of design, production and marketing," she wrote in an email to DNAinfo New York, adding that just a few examples include 3D printing, wearable technologies, e-commerce and social media.

What area of the city do you live in?

What is your favorite restaurant?
ABC Kitchen. They use fresh, organic, local ingredients. [ABC Kitchen is located on on East 18th Street above Union Square].

Your favorite place for coffee?
I don't drink coffee, but I would go to [international cafe chain] Le Pain Quotidien for a cup of tea or light lunch. It's simple and unpretentious.

When you get a moment off, what do you do to relax in the city?
I meditate and do yoga. If I venture outside, I’d like to go to vintage shops and galleries such as Lehmann Maupin Gallery (on West 26th Street in Chelsea), Pace Gallery (on East 57th St. in Midtown East) and the International Center for Photography (on Sixth Avenue in Midtown).

Why the partnership with WeChat?
Fashion and technology have increasingly become one and the same. WeChat is an all-inclusive platform that allows me to communicate with my co-workers, business partners and fans.  At my fashion show, I can share the experience of front of house activities and backstage excitement with a global audience from my phone through WeChat.