Dr. John B. Tsu (1924 – 2005)


Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)



Arts & Entertainment: Ms. Kieu Chinh, “The Joy Luck Club”
Business: Mr. Binh Nguyen, Pho Hoa
Community Services: Mr. Nguyen Nam Loc, Catholics Charities
Education & Medicine: Dr. Chi Van Dang, Johns Hopkins University
Government: Mr. Tony Quang Lam, City of Westminster (Ret.)
Science & Technology: Mr.Hau Thai-Tang, Ford Motor Company

Vang 2005

March 20, 2007


  • Kim-Thu Bui, CNN
  • Cao Son, Tin Viet News
  • Bao-Anh Do, Nguoi Viet Daily News
  • Diep Doan, Multi-media Presentation
  • Duc Ha, Viet Mercury News
  • Truc Ho, Asia Entertainment
  • Christal Jones, CNN
  • Thanh Le, Galerie Brigitte
  • Tuy Le, Vietscape
  • Betty Nguyen, CNN
  • Dat Nguyen, Dallas Cowboys
  • Dat Nguyen, Viet-Am Council
  • Nguyen Qui Duc, KQED/Pacific Times
  • Henry Minh Nguyen, VN Printing
  • Jim Chinh Nguyen, Viet Mercury News
  • Kim Nguyen, Viet Mercury News
  • Liem Nguyen, ShyDevil.com
  • Richard Nguyen, Richard Graphics
  • Sonny Nguyen, Nha Magazine
  • Quan Q. Nguyen, Johns Hopkins
  • Thanh Nguyen, NVT Technologies
  • Josie Onciano, Golden Bay Investments
  • Quang X. Pham, Author
  • Bich-Van Phan, Webmaster
  • Lorrie Platt, Cincinnati Reds
  • Wesley Sherwood, Ford Motor Company
  • RC Staab, Mercury News Agency
  • Ban Tran, Merrill Lynch – Private Client Group
  • De Tran, Viet Mercury News
  • Monica Thao Tran, Trust Fund Baby
  • Pamela Tranpark, Victory Lending/ReMAX
  • Duy B. Vo & The VAPRI Team
  • Cindy Vu, Hoang & Vu Families
  • Vu Hoi, Vu Hoi Studio
  • Tyler Vu, ShyDevil.com
  • Vietnamese Professional Society – Dallas, TX
  • Thien-Huong Bach (Arlington, VA)
  • Thinh Dao (Arlington, TX)
  • Denise Do (Irvine, CA)
  • Isabel Do (Irvine, CA)
  • Dung Duong (Dallas, TX)
  • Sandra Nguyen Hardin (San Jose, CA)
  • Cuong Huynh (Washington, DC)
  • Cynthia Huynh (Dallas, TX)
  • Michelle Le (McLean, VA)
  • Tram-Anh Le (San Jose, CA)
  • Janice Lin (Foster City, CA)
  • Janny Ly (Dallas, TX)
  • Ky H. Ninh (Dallas, TX)
  • The-My Ngo (Dallas, TX)
  • Cam Nguyen (McLean, VA)
  • Carl Nguyen (Arlington, VA)
  • Giao Nguyen (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Hang Nguyen (San Francisco, CA)
  • Hien Nguyen (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Irina Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
  • Jennifer Nguyen (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Kim Nguyen (Washington, DC)
  • Lan Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
  • Olympia Nguyen (New York, NY)
  • Phu-Thanh Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
  • Ryan Nguyen (Allen, TX)
  • Thai Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
  • Thy Nguyen (New York, NY)
  • Tuy-Tam Nguyen (Dallas, TX)
  • Jesse Ortiz (San Jose, CA)
  • Ai-Chan Pham (Dallas, TX)
  • Lysabelle Pham (Dallas, TX)
  • Hai Tran Tran (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Nguyen Tran (San Jose, CA)
  • Gai-Kaitlin Truong (Dallas, TX)
  • Jules Vo (Dallas, TX)

Monica Tran

March 20, 2007

After making her way up the Giorgio Armani corporate ladder from merchandiser to vp of merchandising in just seven short years, Monica Tran decided to leave it all behind for her own venture. While at Armani, Tran specialized in knits, and in her spare time made her nieces and nephews sweaters of her own design. As family, friends and acquaintances began to express how much they liked her knit creations, Tran realized she was onto something. Thus, Trust Fund Baby was born.

A self-proclaimed TFB, Tran dabbled in the kids’ wholesale arena for one season before deciding to switch …

Vietnam’s ao dai go on display in US museum


The ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese costume, will be put on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in the US for nearly three months starting Tuesday.

The Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age exhibition, which will run until July 9, features creations from prominent Vietnamese ao dai designer Minh Hanh, young fashion designer Le Minh Khoa, and Si Hoang, an artist and educator turned ao dai designer.

Also on display are works by Le Phuong Thao, a Vietnamese-American designer who combines traditional and modern techniques, Trinh Bach, a collector and restorer of royal ao dai from the 19th and 20th centuries, and collector Ngo Viet Nam Son.

The show, organized by the museum in partnership with the Association for Viet Arts, also traces the ups and downs in the history of the ao dai during the past decades.

It looks at the past and present and the exhibits combine traditional techniques with new global influences that embody both functional and artistic designs.

It will also include forums chaired by famous academics and designers in the US on the ao dai in the past and at present.

Dr Ann Marie Leshkowich will deliver a lecture on April 26 on Making Modernity Appropriate and Tradition Fashionable: Debates About Dress, Gender, and Identity in Ho Chi Minh City in the 1990s.

The professor will analyze why during a time of rapid modernization and development the ao dai experienced a resurgence.

On May 11 Caroline Kieu Linh Valverde, Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California at Davis, will talk about the history of ao dai with focus on its revival in the 1990s, its value as a national symbol, and its rise as an aesthetic art object.

On June 3 Dr. Susan B. Kaiser will inscribe the ao dai in time and place, addressing issues of national identity, gender, ethnicity and class, as well as the social meaning of a national costume.

Monica Tran, owner of the Trust Fund Baby Boutique, will address the fashion industry and explain how she incorporated the ao dai into her mainstream designs at a lecture on June 4.

Versatile and graceful

The ao dai (pronounced ‘ow yai’ in the south, but ‘ow zai’ in the north) is a garment of ancient Vietnamese origin acknowledged for its beauty and grace.

Considered a cultural symbol of Vietnam, the ao dai, worn by both women and men, is a close-fitting tunic over long, loose-fitting pants. 

Though the national costume for both genders since the mid 18th century, the modern form of ao dai only emerged in the 1930s.

In recent years it has made its way into the Hollywood mainstream as well as on the haute couture runways of Paris.

The museum’s official website said top fashion designers including Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Claude Montana, and Richard Tyler have all at one time or the other featured the garment.

Founded in 1977, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles is the oldest museum of its kind in the US and in 2005 became one of the top 10 attractions in San Jose in California state.

Founded in 1991, the Association for Viet Arts (AVA) is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts organization serving San Jose and the Bay Area.

AVA’s goals are to provide opportunities for Vietnamese American artists to present their work, open dialogues for cultural understanding, bridge Vietnamese and American cultures, and sustain the arts through arts education for youth in the community.

Reported by Dang Ngoc Khoa – Translated by Thu Thuy

Million Dollar Baby

March 20, 2007

ebruary 25, 2005

Million Dollar Baby

Ah, what to do if you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth?

A. Become a dilettante.
B. Star in your own reality TV show.
C. Find a passion, something you have a talent for, and go for it.

In Monica Tran’s case, the calling was fashion. A former Armani executive and self-proclaimed child of privilege, Tran recently opened Trust Fund Baby, a NoHo-based boutique to outfit mini scions and the rest of us. The shop’s Asian-inspired décor and tranquil setting is a welcome relief for busy parents, as are special touches such as Apple & Eve juice boxes for tots and a changing area and bottle warmer for babies. All proving that you don’t have to have an offshore account to enjoy the finer things here.

Snubbing the conventional pink-and-blue fare, Tran’s newborn and toddler collection aspires for unique, heirloom-quality clothing and accessories with a modern edge. Her high-style holdings include a cashmere hoodie with fur trim and camouflage-print lining, one-of-a-kind mommy and me bracelets handcrafted by an artisan in Hawaii, and kimono knit tunics perfect for expecting moms. The luxurious sweaters include bold stripes, argyles and zip-front styles.

Even if you’re not rearing the next generation of socialites or future Forbes 500s, there’s no reason your little ones can’t look like a million.

Trust Fund Baby, 239 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince), 212.219.3600; Hours: Sun.-Wed. noon-6pm, Thurs.-Sat. noon-7pm.

2006 Graduating Student Fashion Show
Professor Barbara Seggio

Industry Critic: Monica Tran of Trust Fund Baby

Critic Award Winner: Stephanie Spangler

Gold sweater with embroidered peacock feather and velvet sailor pants

Style Makers

Best of 2006: Style Makers

By Ana La O

APA looks back on some of the biggest Asian faces and fads to hit the fashion world this year.

In no particular order:

1. Du Juan: With looks that range from sweetly innocent to fiercely sultry, it’s no surprise that Du Juan was declared one of the top ten new models of fall 2006 by Style.com. The former Miss China (2003) got her big break when she became the first Asian model to grace the cover of French Vogue in 2005. Since then, she has appeared on the Olympus Fashion Week runway, modeling collections from Anna Sui, Versace, and Carolina Herrera. Juan’s entry into the mainstream fashion world is extremely rare since she is the only model of Chinese descent among other Asian models like Anna Bayle (Filipina) Kimora Lee (African-American, Korean, and Japanese), and Irina Pantaeva (Siberian), who paved the way before her.

2. Geisha Glamour: Whether you loved or hated Memoirs of a Geisha, you can’t deny that the costumes were fabulous. They were so fabulous in fact, that Western courtiers and retailers couldn’t seem to get enough of obi belts, kimono sleeves, and large Japanese floral prints in 2006. In addition to Banana Republic and Fresh cosmetics releasing their own Memoirs lines at the tail end of 2005, modern Geisha-inspired wear popped up on the Spring 2006 runways of Hermes, Dries Van Noten, and Lanvin.

3. Doo-Ri Chung: Korean designer Doo-Ri Chung became high fashion’s newest it-designer when she won the top prize at the third annual CFDA/Vogue fashion award in November and the Swarovski Perris Ellis award for Emerging Talent in June. Chung started her clothing collection in her parents’ New Jersey dry cleaning shop after graduating from Parson’s. She debuted her line Doo.Ri at New York Fashion Week in 2003. This year, Chung impressed audiences with her spring 2007 collection, which delved beyond her usual jersey knit draping and added sophisticated satins and sequined detailing to the mix.

4. Bollywood Basics: India showed transcontinental appeal this year. Olympus Fashion Week welcomed India-inspired collections from Indian-born designers like Anand Jon (Jeanisis), Ashish Soni (Ashish N Soni), and newcomer Sabyasachi, who debuted his modernized take on traditionally garish Bollywood style in September 2006. In fact, Indian style is so hot right now that spring 2007 collections from Lanvin, Carolina Herrera, and Michael Kors are also offering Eastern-influenced pieces like silk kameezes (Indian tunics) and opulent brocade skirts.

5. Shu Uemura: Japanese makeup brand Shu Uemura loves to push artistic boundaries and last year was no different. Known for their lash products — particularly their eyelash curler (a fashion industry favorite) and their outrageous fake lashes — Shu Uemura stunned us in 2006 with perhaps their most indulgent lashes yet: a custom pair of mink lashes adorned with diamonds, created for quintessential material girl Madonna. For those who can’t shell out ten grand for mink lashes, 2006 also marked the opening of two new Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash bars in Boston and Costa Mesa, where clients try everything from natural lashes to funky neon colored lashes fit for a Harajuku girl.

6. Chloe Dao: This past spring, Vietnamese designer Chloe Dao became the first Asian woman and the least dramatic contestant to win Bravo’s Project Runway (fans can attest to the catty attitudes of season one winner Jay McCarroll and season three winner Jeffrey Sebelia). Dao played it nice off and on the runway during the show, often creating minimalist and classically tailored clothing. Since winning Project Runway’s $100,000 prize, Dao has been expanding her contemporary women’s line Lot 8, which she established in 2000.

7. Don and Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21: Before Sweden’s H&M invaded the U.S., American girls and recently guys, looking for a quick fashion fix, turned to Los Angeles’s original fast fashion couturier, Forever 21. Established in 1984 by Korean immigrants Don and Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21 releases up to 200 trendy new designs into its stores on any given week and in spite of its European competition, seems to be doing stronger than ever: Forever 21 expanded into menswear in 2006 and is the top-earning privately owned fashion company in L.A., according to Los Angeles Magazine.

8. Thakoon Panichgul: Thakoon Panichgul hit it big with the stylish elite and masses alike in 2006. The Thai-born designer was a runner-up for the CFDA/ Vogue fashion award, thanks to a show-stopping spring 2007 collection inspired by peonies at New York Fashion Week. Far from the Olympus Runway, Panichgul also reached a more mainstream audience with a capsule collection of affordable shoes for Nine West’s 2006 Project Front Row. He joined designers Sophia Kokosalaki and Vivienne Westwood.

9. The Asian Mullet: It’s not exactly a “style maker,” but the mullet has been so widespread among Asian youth that Asia Times actually published a satirical article about it three years ago. And today, I still see the mullet being rocked by hordes of Asians, boys and girls, in trendy neighborhoods and Indie and Emo concerts everywhere. Perhaps, an even greater testament to the mullet’s unwavering grasp on Asian heartstrings is Josie, the only Asian contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef, who made a statement with her Vietnamese inspired dishes as well as her badass faux-hawk mullet. Call it kitschy, but the mullet proved it still had its cool in 2006.

10. Rinko Kikuchi: It’s not often that we see Asians working the red carpets and if we do, it’s usually Zhang Ziyi in a classic gown from Armani. This year, however, breakthrough Babel actress Rinko Kikuchi decided to shake things up. At the Cannes Film Festival, Kikuchi clashed modern punk with Japanese tradition, wearing a lilac kimono and her hair pulled into frizzy, orange-tinted bouffant. Kikuchi took her punk-aesthetic even further at the Los Angeles Premiere of Babel, where she rocked the same lightened hair and a funky black and white dress over skinny jeans. Now that Kikuchi’s been named one of Variety’s Ten Actors to watch, it’s likely that we’ll see more of Kikuchi’s funky fashion in 2007.

Back to APA’s “Best of 2006” issue

Chloe Dao

March 20, 2007

6. Chloe Dao: This past spring, Vietnamese designer Chloe Dao became the first Asian woman and the least dramatic contestant to win Bravo’s Project Runway (fans can attest to the catty attitudes of season one winner Jay McCarroll and season three winner Jeffrey Sebelia). Dao played it nice off and on the runway during the show, often creating minimalist and classically tailored clothing. Since winning Project Runway’s $100,000 prize, Dao has been expanding her contemporary women’s line Lot 8, which she established in 2000.

You know Chloe Dao from her designs on Project Runway — now see a side of her you didn’t know and be inspired!  

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Are you a fan of Project Runway? Chloe Dao, the winner from season two, sat down with our own visual stylist, Audrey Mansfield, for a candid conversation about her career, her experience on the show, and how she’s following her dreams. For more information on the Lot 8 boutique: www.lot8online.com

For more information on Chloe Dao’s work on Project Runway: www.bravotv.com/Project_Runway_2/

About Chloe Dao: At the age of 10, Chloe Dao got her first taste of fashion from watching Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN. Fashion, of course, was not in the future plans for this Vietnamese immigrant family. Chloe’s hard working parents, Thu Thien Dao and Hue Thuc Luong brought their eight daughters to the United States from Pakse, Laos in 1979 seeking a better life for the family. Like typical parents, they wanted Chloe — the sixth child — and the other daughters to pursue careers in law or medicine. Instead, Chloe and her two younger sisters devoted every Sunday morning to watching the latest runway shows from around the world. Each episode inspired and evoked her passion for design. Chloe’s creative mind and fingers found its way into her father’s garage where she made jewelry out of screws and washers. As her passion grew, she started to redesign her own clothes and special finds from vintages shops. Sewing came naturally as Mrs. Luong was a seasoned tailor. By her senior year of high school, she sewed her first garment from scratch, a royal blue satin strapless gown with beads and lace trim for prom. Driven by discipline, determination and talent, Chloe, opened Lot 8 in the summer of 2000; this time with much help and support from her family. The boutique, appropriately named after the eight daughters, showcases Chloe’s diverse collection of cocktail dresses, evening gowns, and occasional sportswear pieces. Today, Lot 8 is one of Houston’s premiere boutiques and is regularly featured in Lucky magazine and local media.

CHLOE DAO and her year

March 20, 2007


This is Chloe Dao’s lucky year. Being born a Boar, Chloe’s destined to succeed beyond her goals in the year marked for great wealth and social status. But it didn’t start out that way.

Chloe didn’t have connections when she landed in New York City, but she did rack up six years of hands-on experience on NYC’s Seventh Avenue. In 2000, Chloe, who is Vietnamese American, returned home to Houston, Texas, and pooled enough cash to start Lot8 boutique. Then, she won the hearts of viewers and castmates by landing the prize for Season 2 of Project Runway.

I bumped into former Parsons School of Design chair Tim Gunn on the red carpet last year, and the dapper Project Runway den father was still reeling over Chloe Dao’s win. “She’s an incredibly talented young woman,” Tim said, gushing over the “leaf gown” that Chloe finished literally seconds before judging, “and she really astounded everyone on set with her great patience, but even greater determination. In this business, it takes hard work to succeed, not just a big personality.”

“I’ve always loved fashion,” Chloe said, decked out in a black cocktail dress of her own design at the 2006 Vietnamese American National Gala. “It’s really about just showing who you are, and doing it well.” Chloe recently added men’s designer Adam Vuong, and his line, Adam’s Apple, to her boutique collection.