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Laotian-American Designs Inauguration Gowns for ABC 7-Chicago News Reporter


Kevin Thammavong was born in a small farming and fishing village around Savannakhet, Laos. He migrated to the United States in his late teen years in the 80’s and resettled in Wisconsin.

Kevin loves drawing and started to draw when he was just a boy. He loved drawing dresses from the early American period that he saw in American western movies, and dreamed of making beautiful dresses for movie stars. Kevin never gave up his lifelong dream of becoming a designer. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York to further his education in fashion design at FIT(Fashion Institute of Technology). Kevin did extremely well there, and was a Presidential Scholar two years in a row. He graduated with honors in 1999 and went to work for a local fashion designer, and eventually was able to work on his own.

August 1, 2001 was the grand opening of his own boutique at the corner of East 26 Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. In 2003, he relocated his studio to Chicago, Illinois, where he currently resides in the newly fashionable South Loop neighborhood. Kevin also sold his dresses and outfits which he designs under the label “Kevin Vong” to other retail establishments, but Kevin felt he still had not brought out his full creativity and talent. He was still not completely happy because he has not yet realized his dream to design dresses for movie stars, especially evening gowns for women to wear to special occasions. But that has come true in part and will eventually materialize in full in less than 10 days.

Kevin’s designing style caught the eyes of a star in the daytime soap opera “As the World Turns.” The actress was shopping at a boutique store that carries Kevin Vong dresses. Kevin told VOA he was so excited and thrilled to see one of his dresses worn by the actress in one of the episodes. And later a New York news reporter wore a Kevin Vong dress to a White House reception.

The highlight of Kevin’s dream: he told VOA that he has been approached by Linda Yu, a local reporter for ABC 7-Chicago, to design three gowns for her to wear to President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2009.

“I am very proud and honored to represent the Laotian-American designer community although I am representing only a small minority group. And I want Lao people to know that …yes, we can become somebody special if we keep going at it and never give up. I want everyone to think that we all can make it, if we are determined and really want to make it, want to become that someone. Me, I will continue to work hard and will not give up," said Kevin.

Listen to our interview with Kevin for more details.

For additional info please contact Kevin@kevinvong.com or www.kevinvong.com

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