Celebrating a Decade of Impact at ATG’s 10th Fashion for a Passion Finale

    Photo | Paul Mai – Dia Media

Oct. 5, 2018 (DALLAS) – Dallas-based non-profit Against The Grain Productions celebrated its milestone 10th and final Fashion for a Passion presented by Audi Dallas on Saturday, September 22nd at sixty five hundred, giving longtime and new guests alike a memorable experience and intimate glimpse into how the organization has affected change for over a decade.  Through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions, a raffle and additional donations, more than 350 glamorous guests gathered together to raise more than $40,000 net to benefit ATG’s giving budget in 2019, which includes supporting orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, a scholarship fund, media projects and community outreach programs. Over the past decade, ATG has given more than a quarter of a million dollars to help these causes.

“It has been an honor to serve alongside an incredible board and tribe. This evening is the culmination of a year of hard work behind the scenes by so many devoted and committed volunteers, and it started as the simple dream made over ten years ago. The night brings many bittersweet emotions marking the end of a chapter, but we look back with so much pride in our hearts for what we have achieved together. However, the journey is not over,” said Against The Grain President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “In the next year, we will take a much-needed break to focus on finishing our current documentary-in-production, Light of Day, and to give us time to lay the groundwork to reinvent this wonderful organization and help it evolve. We have exciting plans in the works, and I can’t wait to partner with those who are ready to be a part of ATG’s future.”

ATG Tribe (Top Row): Shirley Yu, Kate Nguyen, Sarah Horne, Uyen Tran Chew, Sharon Tom, Vy Tran, Anna Hung, Annie Tran, Julianne Nguyen, Aivy Nguyen, Lisa Tran, Tammy Nguyen Lee, Teresa Vuong, George Lee, Liz Nguyen Ho, Ann Chao Sheu, Hue Pederson, Vivien Rosal, Andrea Palladino, Gauthami Vemula, Renae Virata, Nikki Koenig; (Front): Carol Nguyen, Jennifer Devany

In homage to the movie, “The Greatest Showman,” the evening featured music from the film throughout, kicking off with a “Retrospective” show that included video montage of FFAP through the last ten years created by Trevor Hyslop of Day 18 and a runway scene to “The Greatest Show” that included looks from six past “All-Star” FFAP designers, including Joanne Hong | Jolynn Kids, Ann Hoang, Cac Lam |Cacdemode Swim, Nikki Duong Koenig | Cykochik, Danh Ta and Jerry Matthews |Nine Muses. The night’s main runway show featured five Presenting Designers, including an adorable mommy-and-me collection by Theresa Pham |TP Mini Me, digital prints and feminine casual wear by Project Runway alum Shirin Askari | Askari, internationally renowned designers Yeohlee and Lie Sangbong for Betty Reiter and an unforgettable collection of couture by hometown fashion success story Khanh Nguyen | Nha Khanh.

The runway show was masterminded by Shadia Lee, a protégé of fashion icon Jan Strimple, who said, “It was such an honor to play a part in the production team of the final FFAP. For me, collaborating with people I hadn’t known before but with the same intention was both exciting and intimidating. In sharing the same mission, however, strangers quickly became friends, and an event with so many facets quickly became one great success. I am so thankful for this opportunity and to have been included in this Tribe.”

Pictured from Top Left to Bottom Right: Jolynn Kids (1&2), Ann Hoang (1), Cykochik (3), Cacdemode Swim (4), Danh Ta (5), Nine Muses (6)
Pictured from Top Left to Bottom Right: TP Mini Me, Nha Khanh, Askari, Yeohlee & Lie Sangbong for Betty Reiter













The event featured live entertainment, DJ’d music by RLF Society, a silent auction, art exhibit, fashion show with live auction, tasty bites by Chef Uno | Red Stix, delicious cocktails by Rotor Gin and cupcake treats provided by CiCi’s Cupcakes. Musical Performers included a comeback performance by R&B artist Larry g(EE),  JONAVI (whose song “Perception” is the feature song from ATG’s Light of Day Documentary) and NYC based EDM rock violinist Yut And The Hot Four. Campbell-Wagner Runway provided the stunning models, with hair and make-up styled by the team of Vivre Bell Artistry. The T-shaped runway, stage, decor and photo kiosk were created by Magic Moments. Exhibiting Artists whose works were both on display and for auction included Pham Hoai Nam, Brent Ozaeta, Van Huynh, Carol Nguyen and Color Tales by Uyen Vuong. Top art auction was a beautiful piece by Color Tales by Uyen Vuong that sold for $400.


ATG child models, nicknamed “ATG’s Little Artists,” also expressed their talents and support for the cause, contributing 100 red paper origami hearts that were displayed for donations.

In addition, ATG welcomed three pop-up shops, including Cykochik, UGauGrrl and Beads by Boo. These three female-owned and like spirited businesses owned by ATG tribe/supporters sold their creative pieces and donated 20% back to ATG’s cause.

CEO of The Smithee Group Ben Smithee, Emmy Award winning Host and style blogger Hilary Kennedy and Emmy Award winning journalist Allyn Hoang were this year’s emcees, along with The Source of Hope’s Quynh Chau Stone and Sam Liu as additional special guest emcees. The top bid for the night was for a custom gown by Nha Khanh that went for $4,000.

The 10th Fashion for a Passion was a night that came full circle in symbolism and meaning. ATG Tribe took turns sharing their words of passion for the various causes that the organization has continued to support and how lives have been changed. ATG Advisor to Cambodia (who is also an Advisory Leader for EY) Thear Suzuki reminded guests of Winston Churchill’s quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” and encouraged them to give generously. Khanh Nguyen was one FFAP’s first presenting designers, emerging onto Dallas’ fashion scene a decade ago as a graduating UNT design student. On this evening, she became the veteran giving advice to newcomer Theresa Pham on her first runway show.

Emcees Ben Smithee, Hilary Kennedy, Allyn Hoang and Quynh Chau Stone
Top: Hue Pederson, Lisa Tran, Aivy Nguyen, Thear Suzuki: Bottom: Tammy Nguyen Lee, Anna Hung, Shirley Yu, Ann Sheu, Lisa Tran, Hue Pederson
Theresa Pham with daughter Loghan; Khanh Nguyen with daughter Nha-Vy









ATG foreshadowed its future programming, presenting the inaugural Groundbreaker Awards to Quynh Chau Stone, Daniel Eng and Khanh Nguyen for excellence in their career, inspiring leadership and generous servant’s heart to give back to the community. As a special tribute, the awards were presented by ATG’s original “A-T-G” Co-Founders, Tammy Nguyen Lee, George Lee, Aileen Nguyen and Aivy Nguyen who paid tribute to each honoree and presented each with a plaque shaped like a flame with a red flare symbolic of ATG’s passion.

“I felt overwhelmed with blessings, to be given the opportunity to represent my community as a servant for God,” said Quynh Chau Stone, President/Founder of The Source of Hope. Daniel Eng, President of Sperry Engvest and Advisor to multiple civic groups, said, “The #beCAUSE movement is deep in my heart, and I’m proud of the ATG Team in their dedication. Look forward for the next chapter!” For Honoree and Presenting Designer Khanh Nguyen, “It was a bittersweet night to realize 10 years had gone by that left us with many great memories, beautiful friendships, and hopeful future ahead. I’m grateful to have been a part of the FFAP community and will forever treasure the memories and friendships that have been built throughout this journey.”


Official event photography was generously provided by:

Press Write-Ups/Media Features:

The Dallas Morning News | Asia World Media | DFW Style Daily | VieTV Dallas Interview and PSA

10th FFAP Press Releases:


About ATG Against The Grain Productions, Inc.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages and underprivileged children. In addition to hosting outreach events, it also awards annual scholarships to exemplary Asian American student artists and leaders. ATG produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at more than a dozen film festivals nationwide and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. ATG is currently in production on its second documentary, Light of Day, uncovering untold stories of domestic violence in the Asian community. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.

#ATGProds   #FFAP2018   #beCAUSE


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