Chloe Dao defeats Daniel Vasovic to win Bravo's 'Project Runway 2'
By Reality TV World staff, 03/09/2006
In a surprise decision, Chloe Dao, a 34-year-old aspiring designer and boutique owner from Houston, TX, was crowned Project Runway's second winner during last night's finale broadcast of the second edition of the Emmy-nominated Bravo reality fashion show.
"We loved what you did, you had very memorable pieces, we thought you did a really great job, and we believe you are the next great American designer," Project Runway host Heidi Klum told Chloe in informing her of the judges' decision.
"Are you kidding me? No way... oh my god, thank you," Chloe, appearing genuinely surprised to beaten 24-year-old recent fashion school graduate Daniel Vasovic for Project Runway 2's title, remarked after learning of her victory.
Project Runway 2's third finalist, 30-year-old Santino Rice, had been eliminated from the competition moments before the four-person judging panel, comprised of Klum, fashion designer Michael Kors, fashion editor Nina Garcia and actress Debra Messing (the finale's special guest judge) revealed their decision to name Chloe the competition's winner.
"Santino, we respect your creativity but we didn't see enough of you in this collection, I'm sorry, you're out," Klum remarked as she announced the outspoken designer's elimination.
Chloe had been considered the competition's dark horse by many viewers, with the results of a Bravo text messaging poll broadcast only minutes before the judges' decision was announced revealing that only 20% of those who voted thought she should win the competition. Voters had considered Daniel the favorite, with the 24-year-old New York City resident receiving 45% of the text votes cast in the two-day poll that closed just before the finale began its East Coast broadcast.
"We had a very tough time with this, and if you're looking for a job, definitely give me a call, I'd love to hear from you," Kors told Daniel after Chloe's victory had been announced.
As Project Runway 2's winner, Chloe will receive an ELLE magazine photo spread featuring their designs, a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster, a mentorship from the Banana Republic Design Team, and $100,000 intended to help them launch their own clothing line.
Chloe, who along with the rest of her family, immigrated to the United States from war-torn Laos when she was only 8 years old, intends to remain living in Houston, where she hopes to expand her Lot 8 boutique and begin work on her own clothing line.
"It's about me figuring out how to do this right, where I can balance having a life also," Chloe told The Associated Press. "People are going to hate me (for saying this), but I'm really happy with my life and I'm really happy I'm the winner and I'm really going to try to make something out of it, but am I going to be the next Vera Wang or Ralph Lauren? I don't know."