“When I was little I loved to dress up,” Thu (pronounced “Too”) says smiling. “I wanted to create my own designs, so I learned to sew and then followed my heart. I moved to Italy and got my fashion degree and tried to break in there. Then, because of family we suddenly moved to Portland. I could not find a job because I did not speak English. I had two little children.”
Thu would not be denied. She eventually found work at Pendleton Woolen Mills where she learned the tricks of the trade and how to produce high quality apparel. But she felt compelled to create her own designs, so in 1994 she left Pendleton and opened Thu Fashion in a small storefront where she could show her creations and offer her couture skills to the public. She’s still there today. Still full of spunk and spirit. Energy and passion pour out of her.
“We need a more colorful Portland– more fashion! Like a runway on the street.”
“People need to dress up more,” she says, leaning forward in her gold gator-leather sandals. “When you look good you feel so much better. More confident. More energy!” She goes on in lively fashion, using words like “super cool” and “awesome”, expressing her feelings in no uncertain terms. “We need a more colorful Portland – more fashion! Like a runway on the street.”
Today, Thu serves customers of almost every age and ethnicity. Word of mouth brings people from all over Portland. She serves each customer personally and takes great pride in her work. Carpal tunnel causes problems but she will not stop. “I have amazing customers – I can’t let them down!”