HOUSTON – The pandemic has hit many families very hard, but luckily the giving spirit is alive and well. Local fashion designer Chloe Dao shares insight into why she loves Houston and the creative way she’s giving back to the city.
“My family and I came to Houston in 1979. I actually went to Aldine Junior High, and it was the most diverse most open culture,” said Dao.
Dao explained that her time in middle school was like a strange utopia in the 80s because the environment was welcoming and inclusive in a very conservative time.
“I mean, I actually saw a girl that was Asian that was a cheerleader, and she inspired me to be one,” said Dao.
According to Dao, these experiences had a positive impact on her future success, as she later went on to become the Season 2 winner of the hit fashion show “Project Runway.”
“I think when you grow up in an environment where you see that any possibility is available to anyone, doesn’t matter where you come from, anybody can be anything that they want as long as they aim for it and work for it,” said Dao.
And it turns out, her multicultural school was not an isolated bubble within the city of Houston, which Dao later found out was one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. In 2020, with events like the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and the 2020 presidential election causing major divisions throughout the country, Dao was even more impressed with how Houston handled all the major happenings of the year.
“I was super proud after the election how the city dealt with the difference. So, I just wanted to do something to reflect our diversity and our shared humanity,” said Dao.
She quickly got to work with her team on a new design to represent all the love she had for the city of Houston.
“I just wanted to do something to reflect Houston,” said Dao. “It took a lot of design editing and input between the staff and everyone.”
The end result was a stylish t-shirt that includes 28 different representations of humanity to encompass the diverse spirit of the city. During the process though, Dao realized that she could do even more with this project; she could also give back to the community she loves.
“I realized the need, that we really needed to help our community,” said Dao. “So ten percent of the sale goes to the Houston Food Bank, and what’s great is ten dollars actually helps serve thirty people.”
Dao says she will run the campaign through the month of December, and may continue it next year depending on the need.
UPDATE: Dao is now giving ten percent of her sales back to Houston Meals on Wheels.
“I think my biggest takeaway is to be grateful for what you have, but also if you can share your skill or give something back to your community you should,” said Dao.
To connect with Chloe Dao or to learn more, visit the Chloe Dao website.