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➔ Comfort for the Hmong community and its allies that goes beyond the softness of our material;
➔ Voice and togetherness among those passionate about cultural representation, and celebration;
➔ A bold boost of energy and inspiration you can take to the street and pass along just by passing by;
➔ That which honors all Hmong, and the creativity inspired by our community.
Our clothes alone won’t bring all the beauty of the Hmong to light, but they will help to shine it, day after day.
Our clothes, like our spirit, should be lived in and STRONG.Facing the world today is wearing, so what we wear needs to hold up. Quality is critical. Our products are made to be worn and worn again. Our designs are simple and timeless; our quality is premium.
The Hmong community is underrepresented and often stigmatized in politics, in our culture, and in everyday life. We are a people with no country and no borders who excel at whatever circumstance is thrown our way. Let the messages and actions of this humble group radiate through all.
Clothing is more than the shirt on your back. What you wear is the image you paint on the canvas that is YOU. It communicates your style and attitude to the world. A simple t-shirt can be anyone’s statement of energy, a stance, a representation.
Hmong Threads originated in 2018 as a partnership between husband and wife:
Johnny Her and Ong XiongOne of us was born-and-raised in San Diego, CA, the other in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand and Laos. Both of us are equally Hmong with a radically different Hmong experience from the other.
In our shared Hmong background is the story of our people arriving in the U.S. with nothing more than the clothing on their back. These were Hmong threads——worn threadbare after an arduous, painful journey away from home and into a new one that would deliver to its members a diverse array of loss and opportunity, rejection and welcome, tradition and stark newness.
Clothing is an important representation of a person. It reflects what its bearer desires, loves, feels, or has been through.
Researchers have identified a series of psychological changes that occur when we wear certain clothes. What we wear affects our behavior, attitude, personality, mood, confidence, the way we interact with others, and how others interact with us.
It is with that understanding—and with great respect to the stories told in the threads on the backs of our journeyed Hmong family—that we strive to create a Hmong brand of apparel that incites a sense of pride.
Hmong Threads is modern design with a touch of our tradition, culture, and history. Our garments can be dressed up or down, and worn to go out—without wearing out.
There is no other clothing brand out there that represents the Hmong people and its community in this manner.
We hope you join us in finding and staying true to yourself, creating a life you love, and wearing it proudly wherever you go.
Welcome to Hmong Threads. Stay True + Create,
-JOHNNY + ONG
The HCN, a subsidiary of Hmong Threads, LLC, gives back to the Hmong community. Its inceptive mission, “Project Fishing,” launched in 2021 and is based off the notion “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” With Project Fishing, we help third-world communities and villages establish businesses to sustain social and educational programs.
Hmong Threads Apparel distributes clothing to the local community and other communities around the world. We’re currently in the planning stages of a program that will match every garment purchase through Hmong Threads, giving a garment to a child in need in a third-world country.
Born and raised in San Diego, CA I spent my entire youth and young adult life in a bubble. Then I took a vacation that turned into something so much more. I began to understand my roots and where my community of Hmong came from. In Thailand, while on a boat ride across the Mekong River, I saw for the first time how wide it was, with fast-moving, strong current. Emotions I’d never felt before hit me like a wave as I considered the many lives that perished in those waters. Hmong people who tried to escape death, only to meet it.An entire generation, essentially, was lost to this river. A river that protected —by dividing Laos and Thailand—and killed—by taking so many bodies and souls of our Hmong. While many made it to safety, so many drowned in the pursuit of escape from prosecution and genocide.I was and always will be a product of that history—one of the lucky few that survived. I saw my family in a new light as I thought of my mother and father crossing the river with my older brother, then just a newborn, while families around them were swept away. In Laos, I visited the sites where our Hmong fought alongside the U.S. CIA in the Secret War. I walked the path my ancestors walked before me, those who sacrificed to give me the privilege of living a life of endless opportunity. My father was a soldier in this secret war, where bombs, gunfire, and the smell of death were a normal part of life. Home was wherever they stopped to rest before heading on to the next. I thought about my father’s PTSD, and the anger we never understood growing up. I thought of how newborns were drugged to silence them, so that their cries didn’t alert the enemy. How many were overdosed and never woke up. Then I visited Ban Vinai Refugee Camp, where Hmong mothers, sons, and daughters were abused, raped, and some killed by the guards. What incredible strength and relentlessness, just to survive. Unbeknownst to me, I was in the birthplace of Ong, my yet-to-be wife.The spirit of the Hmong rises from this history. The undying spirit of men and women who created a new life in a new world with just the clothes on their backs. Who stayed true to who they were and what they experienced, yet looked forward to what they could become.The sacrifices of those before us can never be repaid or forgotten. I returned to the United States from this journey to the past with an enlightened determination to honor my history by doing my part in creating its future.
Ong Xiong’s first breath in this world was a fight for life. She was born prematurely in Thailand at Ban Vinai Refugee Camp where medical care was subpar, at best. Her parents did what they could to ensure her survival, and survive she did, with a will to not give up. Her family fled Ban Vinai after years of abuse and torture of the Hmong at the hands of the guards. Ong found herself in her family’s origin country of Laos, though it was unfamiliar to her. Ong grew up a farm girl. Dirt was a kid’s best friend in Laos and still is today. She understood that you had to work hard to plant the seeds in the Spring to reap the harvest during Autumn. She saw her brother enter college. A family that didn’t have much, they had to choose who would be allowed to pursue a higher education. As a young female in Laos, Ong was not as privileged. But she didn’t sit around complaining. She knew education would open new doors and she did what she did best: work hard for what she wanted, as time waits for no one. Ong worked two jobs to help pay for her own education. During the day, she went to class, while at night she worked at local restaurants and for an organization that served people with disabilities. Ong’s entire life has been about striving and working hard for what you want. Her problem-solving skills, ability to adapt to whatever situation arises, and work ethics motivated her to co-found the Hmong Threads brand.
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