Khuyen Do

Fashion Intern + College StudentPhotography by Andrea PosadasStory by Andrea Posadas

For many of us, finding a path to our passions can be a windy and sometimes unclear road. While it is normal to change the course by trial and error as we grow and learn about ourselves, many times the answers to who we are and where we are suppose to be are evident from a young age and if we stop to see ourselves authentically, these answers are clearly mapped out from the beginning. Khuyen Do had all the makings of a fashion maven from the beginning, and as she has learned to tap into her natural talents and vision, her purpose became more clear and her opportunities more abundant. The journey of this soon-to-be college graduate is just the beginning…


My name is Khuyen Do and I’m about to try my hand at freelancing as I transition from interning to taking on a real career in the fashion industry. This is all happening while I  finish up my last semester of college.

I think that generally those in the fashion crowd answer the question of “Have you always known you wanted to be in the fashion industry”  with a “Yes- I have loved fashion ever since I was a little girl and played dress up in my mom’s closet” from an early age on. I however, never really gave fashion a standing chance until about the time I started college, and so no, I most definitely didn’t know I wanted to be a part of fashion until rather recently. I actually find my story to be quite  comical. Growing up I wanted to be everything from a tomboy to a screamo rocker (actively fighting against skirts and dresses),  and I definitely hated heels until I was 18. Hot Topic was my jam. I didn’t grow up playing dress-up and flipping through Vogue issues dreaming of when I’d become the next “it” designer. In fact, I thought that anyone who wanted to go to fashion school or be a part of the industry was a joke. So being this very practical girl that actually looked down on the fashion industry (all while having a penchant for Betsey Johnson), I started college as a double major in Political Science and French. Halfway through the year, after having heard from so many different people about my supposed “style” and eye for it, I sat down with my rhetoric professor Vincent Chandler- the one who had been encouraging me to step into fashion since day one.

So there it was, my “moment”. We had our talk and I decided it was going to be fashion or bust. It happened all at once and it was a very confusing time for me as I didn’t know what the next steps were, if I was making the right choice, or why I was even making this directionless and seemingly catastrophic change in my career path at all. But low and behold,  I stuck to my guns and four years later,  I’ve never once looked back. 

Maybe it was the fact that I felt like I had to work that much harder to play catch up with all of the people who had known more or less their whole life that they wanted to be in the industry but regardless, I did it and here I am now just as informed and determined as someone who picked up their first issue of Vogue at age 3. I think that my biggest “journey” was getting to the fashion industry in the first place, but in terms of just recently, this whole year has truly been the journey of a lifetime. Within just one year, I moved 3 times and worked with 3 luxury fashion brands whom happen to be some of my favorites. So in short, my dreams came true this past year—again, and again, and again. I first moved to Paris in January for a study abroad program that really had nothing to do with fashion but I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I really lucked out because my host family was linked to fashion and so thanks to them, I attended Haute Couture fashion week in Paris and shortly after by another stroke of luck, I landed an internship at Chloé HQ just in time to catch their FW14 show. After finishing up in Paris, I came back to SF for a few weeks before moving again to unknown territory in NYC for an internship at Stella McCartney. As summer was coming to an end, I was headed back home to San Francisco to move into my first apartment but not before interviewing with Dior for yet another internship opportunity there. Not too long after all of this, I started my senior year of college and have been working  to get my life back in order and figure out what it’s like to  have a routine day and not constantly  be on the move, relatively speaking. So really, in terms of how I got here, it’s been a series of hard work, luck, and really just knowing the right people and for these experiences and the relationships I’ve made from them, I am forever grateful.


Growing up and even now, I’ve always been told that I’m very mature for my age. Because of this characteristic, I feel that the people in my life have always taken me very seriously. I don’t feel that I’ve ever been handed anything because I’ve worked so incredibly hard for everything that I’ve achieved and I find myself extremely lucky because everyone around me has been able to recognize my hard work and not just the outcome of it. All in all, my early accomplishments have always been met with much support from everyone around me and for that, I am thankful.

My Mom and my Aunty are the two MVP’s when it comes to my support system. Together, they have both shaped my outlook on life, in addition to,  being everything from the all-star coaches to the cheerleaders that just don’t quit (Don’t let the sports analogies fool you, I know nothing about sports.).  Their technique is somewhat unconventional and can be very “hands off” at times but I know for a fact that it’s what has made me so strong. What I’m most appreciative of though, is the fact that they don’t sugarcoat things. The best way that my Mom and Aunty have supported me and continue to do so is by dishing out honesty, all while still being there for me through thick or through thin.

“Don’t think, just do” 

is one of the mottos I find myself turning to the most.

I apply it mostly to work situations but I find that it’s actually an amazing guideline for life. How I see it, is you can either waste time thinking about what you’re gonna do, how you’re gonna do it, what the outcomes are  or you can just do it and deal with it as you would have anyway with less time wasted on potential scenarios that may or may not have happened. I think that this goes hand in hand with following your authentic self because if you spend too much time thinking about how you present yourself to others or if what you’re doing is the “right” thing, you’re going to end up losing time actually being your authentic self. So if you ask me, I’d say just be your authentic self, do what you need to do, and the rest will follow suit.

In five years from now, I want to be in the thick of the fashion industry. I imagine an unforgiving and demanding schedule that utilizes my French speaking skills, whether it be with a fashion PR agency such as KCD or Karla Otto, in-house with any one of the luxury brands, or with a major publication. I thrive under pressure and live for the challenge so I can’t imagine doing anything that’s not of the high-risk, high-reward variety. But most of all, whatever I’m doing and wherever I’m doing it, I want to be entirely successful at it while working alongside the fashion titans and learning from them every step of the way. Wow, thinking about all of this already makes my blood run wild with excitement. Oh, and in five years time, I would also like to be best friends with Katy Perry.


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