Chloe Dao Puts Women First

The Houston designer is teaming up with Pratham to support global education for girls.

By Brittanie Shey December 4, 2014

Chloe Dao takes a curtain call with a model at Fashion Houston.

Fresh off her appearance at the fifth annual Fashion Houston in November, designer Chloe Dao is curating a runway show for an entirely different event—the Pratham Houston Holiday Luncheon. Pratham is an international non-profit organization advocating for education for underprivileged children in India. One of Pratham's biggest programs, Second Chance, helps girls who've dropped out of school finish their degrees. It's a cause that's close to Dao's heart.

Pratham Houston Holiday Luncheon
Dec 5, 11:30 a.m.
Junior League Houston
1811 Briar Oaks Ln.

“I get a lot of requests to do charity events,” Dao said. “I like to work with organizations I haven't worked with before, and especially organizations that address women's and girls' issues.”

At the luncheon, Dao will be showing a mix of collections from her line, DAO Chloe DAO, including Fall ready-to-wear and some pieces from her Spring collection.

She also showed the spring collection on stage at the Wortham Center during Fashion Houston, which she said has grown a lot in five years.

DAO Chloe Dao models backstage at Fashion Houston.

“This year we had bands, which was fun,” she said. “There are events every night and shows every night now, and the audience has become a lot more diverse. It's less exclusive, and it's great to see it grow.”

Dao's support of women's issues comes in part from her own growth as a woman. Ten years after winning the second season of Project Runway, Dao's age and maturity are a major influence on her designs, she said. 

“Confidence comes with age, I think,” she said. “I'm turning 43 this year, so I was inspired to design a collection that was about ease, elegance and edge,” she said. “As women get older, we learn what works with our bodies, and I try to design something for every body, but every body is different. That's why there's always something high, something low cleavage, bare shoulders, long sleeves.”

“I call my aesthetic 'classic contemporary,'” she said. “The name of the Spring collection is 'The Building Blocks,' and my theme was 'chic, comfortable and confidence.'” She laughs at her own alliteration. “I'm all about the letters lately. But really, I just wanted to design something I didn't have to wear Spanx under.”


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