A year ago, Chloe Ayissi-Etoh didn’t know how to sew. But this spring, in a school auditorium packed with more than 900 people, the teen soaked in thunderous applause as a bona fide fashion designer.
In a red dress she’d finished perfecting just minutes earlier, Chloe followed models who’d walked the stage at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda in nine looks from her first collection, under her brand chlolanà—a blend of her first name and middle name, Alana.
For Chloe, an eighth grader at the time, the fashion show was a major accomplishment. What made it even more impressive was that she’d had just four weeks to design, sew and fit the dresses, pants, shirts and corsets she’d sketched for various body types. The show was