Knanh Model wearing Nha-Knanh. photography courtesy of Knanh Nguyen

Switching majors proved to be a life-changing decision for Dallas designer Knanh (pronounced kuh-awn) Nguyen. While attending the University of North Texas, she made the switch from biology to fashion and never looked back. “I felt so discontented with my studies in science,” she says. “Since then, the whole fashion world has opened up for me.” After finishing her degree, Nguyen won the Top Achievement from the Fashion Group International of Dallas, and she shipped off to Paris for three months to study haute couture sewing techniques. “I came back to the States with that knowledge and couldn’t wait to use it,” she says. Since then, Nguyen has created couture clothing line Nha-Knanh, available for custom order at www.nhakhanh.com. Her fall collection, Ocean of Beauty, is inspired by water. “Water is associated with the quality of emotion and intuition of a woman,” she says. Nguyen is inspired by nature, and she usually leans toward neutral or muted colors, and the Dallas heat plays a part in her design aesthetic. “I love dresses! I want to wear them every day and everywhere,” she says. Blending in with the crowd is not part of Nguyen’s philosophy. “It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed,” she says. “Find a way to stand out in a room full of chic people.” Next up: a ready-to-wear line she hopes to have in local boutiques next year.