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August 21, 2007 > Union City's emerging fashion star

Union City's emerging fashion star

By Jackelyn Ho

At the age of five, Cassey Ho was already designing, sketching and creating new fashion styles of her own. This Union City resident spent late nights doodling on napkins while brainstorming one minute creations from then until now, a third year student at Whittier College in Whittier, CA.

As an interesting twist, this budding fashion maven is majoring in Biology and minoring in Business/Chemistry. With her passion for fashion designing, she hopes to integrate science and technology with art and design to take fashion to the next level. Ho earned an internship at Effie's Heart, a fashion company located in San Jose, and worked her way up through the ranks to become an assistant designer. She helped develop their Spring/Summer 2008 collection - a line of cute dresses, tops, bottoms, bags and hats that will be featured at the prestigious San Francisco Fashion Week. Her artwork is also prominently featured on the clothing.

Through research and her internship, Ho learned about a contest held for aspiring fashion students called "Revolutionizing the Little Black Dress." The challenge is to design and bring to life a more modern and fresh version of the well known Little Black Dress first created by Coco Chanel in 1926. With enthusiasm and a determined attitude, Ho took her chances, competing against hundreds of design students across the Bay Area.

"My new and innovative black dress is made of knit fabric with exaggerated tulle wide sleeves, trimmed with hand sewn lace, sequins and beads. The wide sleeves are inspired by Eighth Century royal women from the Chinese palace. The dress features an elegant high neck collar with a plunging V-neckline and a zipper to pull down lower, if you dare. Shorties peek out from underneath trim with matching hand-sewn lace and beads, uniquely complementing the outfit. In addition, having shorties under the dress allows for unrestricted movement," says Ho. "It's most definitely not your typical little black dress."

Ho's extraordinary new design was chosen as one of the top thirty after a rigorous casting process. As a result, her revolutionized dress will be featured in the Emerging Stars fashion show at the prestigious San Francisco Fashion Week. Ho's dress will be worn down the runway and watched by hundreds of big industry people, press and media. Her dress will then be auctioned to the SF Bravo! Opera Club ladies who will need a glamorous ensemble to wear at their fall gala.

"I think it will be a big opportunity to showcase my work as a fashion design student," Ho states. "This will be my first time having my work on a live model going down a runway, at the Bay Area's most distinguished fashion event of the year. I hope to meet and collaborate with other talented people."

On Thursday, August 23, Ho and a select group of top fashion design students in the Bay Area will be debuting their revolutionized little black dresses at the show.

As for future fashion goals, Ho ultimately would like to have her own brand and line, featuring special occasion dresses and exquisite evening gowns. "But for now," she adds, "I'm still learning."

For more information or to buy tickets for San Francisco Fashion Week, visit

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