Chloe Dao is channel surfing from "Project Runway" to QVC.
The winner of "Project Runway," season two, hopes to make the move from small designer to dressing America in May when her Simply Chloe Dao line makes its debut on QVC.
"People don't realize I am such a small designer still — I am still literally producing in my living room," Dao said. "This is an opportunity to sell mass market without producing it all myself."
Part of Dao's prize for winning "Project Runway" was a year of representation by Designers Management Agency, which approached QVC about a collaboration.
"QVC liked the idea of working with me because they are trying to reach the younger market, and 'Project Runway' does have a huge following in the younger generation," said Dao, 34. "The line is made of some of my classic pieces that have done really well for years, plus some new pieces that reach a contemporary audience. It's for girls in Middle America who want to be a little more fashionable, but it's nothing that would scare them."
The line of moderately priced tops, dresses and pants will sell for about $30 for a T-shirt to as much as $75 for a dress. The highlight is a replica of a dress Dao designed for the final challenge of "Project Runway" at fashion week in New York.
After winning the reality TV show competition last year, Dao, who immigrated to the U.S. from Laos as a child, returned to Houston and her boutique there, Lot 8, named for her and her seven sisters. In addition to the QVC partnership and her business in Texas, Dao is doing a line with Varsity Spirits and is working with LensCrafters to do an eyewear fashion show with Tim Gunn.
"The main reason I did QVC is to let more people see my work and to help Middle America be better dressed," Dao said. "I am a normal girl. The reason I moved back to Houston is I want to dress normal people."
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