Meet Hoang-Kim, a spirited women and one of Gibson's International Women's Day Collection influencers. Her blog Color & Chic is an outlet for her expansive creativity, and an opportunity to combine a career in journalism with a passion for fashion and community engagement. HK's nonprofit work with her own 501c3 called Legacy Organization of Vietnamese Enrichment (L.O.V.E.) is a tribute to America. Her family left Communist Vietnam so she could be raised in a country with freedom, justice and equality. We are thrilled to introduce Hoang-Kim as one of our Gibson International Women's Day collaborators. Enjoy her19Q!
1. What makes you laugh? My boyfriend, Johnny! We’ve been together for more than nine years and he still finds ways to make me laugh, whether it’s something he says, a video he finds on Twitter or something he’s doing.
2. What era/decade of fashion is your favorite? The 1950’s or right now!
3. Is there a consistent color palette defining your life? What is the predominant color in your closet? I absolutely love color! I wear lots of reds, pinks and yellows! Blush and gray is probably one of my favorite color combinations.
4. What is your first closet favorite you ever remember owning? When I was in 5th grade, my older sister and I were in Nordstrom at the Dallas Galleria. I grew up figure skating there so we would walk around the mall often. There were a pair of slightly distressed jeans I really really wanted because I felt so bold in them! But they were $50! That was a lot of money then! I begged and begged and my sister got them for me. I remember wearing them on picture day for the first time and got so many compliments. I felt so confident.
5. Are you married? Married at heart! A lot of life happens in nine years together but I’d say we started acting like we were married a few weeks in even though we were basically teens!
6. How did you and your boyfriend meet? I’ll give credit to Cici’s Pizza and a mutual friend’s birthday party! We both didn’t want to go but are beyond thankful we did.
7. What song would best describe your relationship? Underneath the Light by Juan Paolo
8. Is blogging your full time job or are you working somewhere else as well? I work as a freelance reporter in addition to blogging. I grew up wanting to be a reporter because my family came to America in search of freedom, democracy and human rights, something communist Vietnam doesn’t have. When they arrived, they would watch the news to stay informed. I feel like the world will always need good storytellers and I’m so thankful I’ve had the chance to share people’s stories during the best and worst of times. I’ve covered relief work for Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria, murder cases but also get the chance to share empowering stories of resilience and hope.
9. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be? What was your childhood passion? I’ve always wanted to be a reporter but when I was eight, I finally got to start figure skating. Let’s just say I was hooked from the first time I stepped on the ice. It’s a feeling of freedom and flying I can’t get anywhere else. I trained competitively for more than 11 years! I still love to dabble in it today.
10. What was your favorite subject in school? What book defines, or impacted, your childhood? Your last decade?English/Language arts or social studies! Harry Potter definitely impacted my childhood/teen years. My favorite book of all time is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I believe everyone should read it.
11.Who or what had the greatest impact on you as a child? As an adult? Sasha Cohen or Michelle Kwan when I was younger because I dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater and representing Team USA. As I got older, I looked toward my Mom. She came to America in her 30’s without friends or very much money. Yet through hard work, grit and sacrifice, she worked full time, went to school, got two Master’s Degrees, became a psychology professor… all while raising three kids. She taught me compassion, to be bold, to be strong and fearless. If I can be half the woman she is, I will have succeeded.
12. What was the inspiration for your blog? I love getting dressed – it’s my favorite part of the day! In college I wanted to be able to share my outfits with friends and since the University of Texas is such a huge campus I didn’t get to see them all the time. That’s how my blog started and when I saw other people outside of my circle were reading it, I became obsessed with posting more and growing it.
13. What do you feel is the most important aspect of your blogging work? Being able to empower women with the clothes they wear. If a woman can buy something I recommend, put it on and feel bold and confident, I’ll have succeeded.
14. Do you remember your first introduction to Gibson Look? YES! The Glam Collection was my first intro when my blogger friend Dede designed her top! It was so cute so when Gibson Look reached out to me to design my top, I was speechless!
15. Describe the Gibson X International Women's Day Collaboration in 19 words or less. A collection to empower women when it comes to their clothes and their life.
16. What nonprofit organization have you chosen to benefit from your relationship from the Gibson X IWD Collection? My family came to the US from communist Vietnam. My Dad fought in the South Vietnamese Army alongside American allies against the Viet Cong. Growing up, I was very aware freedom is not free. My family has dedicated our lives to thanking those who make sacrifices for our country, whether it’s South Vietnamese veterans or military members in the U.S. We are so blessed to live in the United States, a country full of freedom and human rights. I couldn’t think of anyone else more deserving our the donation than the men and women who have made sacrifices to protect that right.
17. Three fun facts about you? I was Miss Nebraska USA and competed at Miss USA 2015, I’m fluent in Vietnamese, which was actually my first language, I’m a Nike sneaker addict.
18. What’s your most practical fashion advice? Getting your clothes altered! I’m petite, 5’3 and always asking for the smallest size possible. Growing up, I would always think clothes could be altered to fit me, so I have a very healthy relationship with the dressing room. Instead of being frustrated about something not fitting right, I think, “I love this cut, color and know if it fit perfectly I would feel like a million dollars. So it’s worth paying ___ to get it altered.” I never thought something was wrong with my body – always with the clothes, which can always be fixed!
19. Tell us about the best trip you’ve been on. My first real International trip was to PyeongChang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics! Definitely the trip of a lifetime. I remember thinking if I can’t be on Team USA, I’ll proudly support Team USA. Watching figure skating of that level in person was breathtaking.