A year into medical school and Hanh Tran knew the truth: it just wasn’t for her. Growing up in a family that valued studying over studio time, she had settled for life in a lab coat. It worked out in theory, but she just couldn’t shake the feeling she was meant for something else.

“It’s taboo to be an artist in my culture,” said Tran. “I wasn’t encouraged to paint—I was encouraged to study, [but] I didn’t love it. I had to do what I love.”

Twelve years later, Tran is a well regarded painter known for her heavy, textural brush strokes and bold use of color. After creating a clutch version of one of her paintings for a gala, a woman approached her and offered to buy it right off her arm. She soon branched out into creating one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art. Business is booming. 

Hanh Collection preview 
April 8th, 6-8 p.m.
David Peck USA
3200 Kirby Dr.

“It’s turning into a cool movement—with new lines of clothing and other wearable art,” Tran said. “The handbags have been so much fun for me—it’s not a bag anymore, it’s an original piece of art. They’re carrying the only one. A lot of folks don’t want to spend $250 for a handbags, but some appreciate the art and the colors, and wear it as a handbag.” 

Tran is previewing her new line of handbags on April 8th to kick off the upcoming Heroes and Handbags luncheon. The luncheon serves as a fundraiser for Heroes for Children, a charity that provides financial and social assistance to children battling cancer. During the preview, 20% of sales will benefit the organization.

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