TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Sunday, October 5, 2008

China+Chicago+Clothing=August 27 A.M. All Year Long!

Lou Hong was born on August 27 in China. An easy way to remember her birthday, it is also the name of her clothing line and a day that reminds her of roots and beginnings. I've been trying to remember when I first met Lou- I know we were both selling at a craft fair in Evanston in the early 1980's. Lou had recently arrived from China. She had long, glossy hair all the way down her back, a brilliant smile, and a wonderful ease of self. We were both in our mid-20's, full of dreams and hopes for the future. At that time, she worked for a children's clothing design company, traveled a lot, and in her spare time, made her own clothing.

Lou Hong
Chicago Clothing Designer, August 27 A.M. Inc

Twenty years later, the hair is cropped short and Lou is a mature, efficient business woman with an established clothing line of her own. She remains one of the most positive people I have ever met. Hard work has made many of her dreams come true. Lou owns a building in Bridgeport, a South side Chicago neighborhood, which houses her and her showroom and workspace and she bought an old farm house and some acreage in Indiana which has been slowly getting a second lease on life through her creative eye.

AUG 27 A.M. INC. 1115 W 31 Street Chicago, IL 60608

Lou found the direction she would take her clothing style early on. Loose fitting, conducive to layering, raw, serged seams, contrasting fabrics and that hint of the Orient has been her stamp all along. The continuity makes her clothing timeless. A piece made ten years ago easily complements something made this year. She also keeps her business small, introducing new, comfortable fabrics with each season. This strategy makes her clothing a great investment as they are not fashion dependent and her line is always fresh and interesting.

August 27 A.M. introduces new outfits regularly. Tops and bottoms look great together, but are also sold seperately. Comfort clothing with flair, often in neutrals with a splash of accent, any one of these quickly becomes a favorite.

I especially like the skirt and top combinations. They remind me a bit of Victorian travel photos I have seen, yet without the constrictions.
A neutral set like this ivory top and pants could be worn on its own or as an under layer during the colder months.For those really cold days, imagine yourself wrapped up in one of these warm, snuggly tops:

Lou has a wonderful gift. She understands fabric: how it drapes, the texture, the ability to flatter many different body types, and ease of care. These garments are perfect travel wear. Yet, they also have the flexibility for more formal occasions, all depending on how they are accessorized.

Like it? Love it? Buy it! Visit August 27 A.M. online for direct purchases, or if in the Chicago area, visit Lou at her showroom. She also has a healthy list of stores around the country on her website which carry her line. If you have a business and would like to carry August 27 A.M., you can also visit her booth at one of the trade shows. Contact her for current schedules.

August 27 A.M.'s booth at a trade show.

It's been wonderful to witness Lou develop her skills and business. My hope is that she will continue to create these treasures for many years to come! Thank you, Lou, for all your good work and for that wonderful smile, still bright after all this time!


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“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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