Best Local Clothing Designer - 2009
Houston watched proudly in 2006 as fashion designer Chloe Dao went on Bravo's hit series Project Runway and, beating out 15 other designers, emerged as the winner. (One guy had rudely dismissed her as a "pattern-maker, not a designer." He later took home third place for his trouble.) Soft-spoken and mild mannered in a horde of drama queens, Dao let her work do her talking. It seems the judges liked what they heard. Dao came home and sunk her $100,000 in prize money into her shop, Lot 8. In the three years since Project Runway, her Simply Chloe Dao line has become a big hit on QVC.com, she's partnered with Nuo Tech to design mobile technology and travel accessories, and she launched the Dao Chloe Dao collection for nationwide retail distribution. So what does the fashion maven like to wear when she's making the rounds in Houston? A pair of shorts, of course.