What’s Happening with “Project Runway” Alumni?

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“Project Runway” is returning home to where it all started. The fashion competition reality television series is being rebooted on its original home network, Bravo, with a new cast of judges that includes Christian Siriano, media personality and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, Supermodel Karlie Gloss, and fashion designer Brandon Maxwell. Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia will continue as a judge on the show.As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Bravo acquired “Project Runway” again through an agreement with Bravo Media LLC and Lantern Entertainment LLC, whose bid to acquire the assets of The Weinstein Co. was approved by Delaware bankruptcy court on May 8. From 2004 until the present season, a plethora of contestants have appeared on the sixteen seasons of the show. While some found fashion design success, others have moved on to other things.

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Christian Siriano

Siriano is easily the greatest success story of all Project Runway contestants. The Season 4 winner has gone on to become a red-carpet favorite at awards show from the Golden Globes to the Academy Awards. His roster of star-studded clients has included Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Leslie Jones, Alicia Silverstone, Kathy Bates, and Meg Ryan. The designer’s runway show is one of the most coveted seats at New York Fashion Week: The Shows, and his front row is known to feature his A-list Hollywood clientele. His fashion star will continue to burn bright.

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Leanne Marshall

The Season 5 winner of “Project Runway” had a tough act to follow with Season 4 Christian Siriano’s win and market saturation, but she’s managed to make a name for herself as both a ready-to-wear and bridal designer. She’s the founder of her own eponymous label that has shown consistently at New York Fashion Week, with her bridal collection currently carried in over 18 boutiques internationally.

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Alexandra Vidal

Vidal came to “Project Runway” Season 1, well known for her swimwear and Miami causal wear aesthetic, but oh, how she has evolved from that. The designer is now best known for her cocktail dresses and evening wear, which has been worn by Naomi Watts, Joan Small, Faith Hill, and Coco Rocha. The collection is currently carried at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

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Carol Hanna Whitfield

The Season six “Project Runway” contestant now has a studio in the heart of the garment district where she sells wedding gowns, wedding accessories, and dresses with a modern twist. Her pieces are also available on her Etsy shop. Dubbed “The People’s Designer” on her season, Carol Hanna Whitfield is a favorite in the bridal market.

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Austin Scarlett

The flamboyant fashionista is one of the most memorable and biggest fan-favorite in “Project Runway” history. Audiences couldn’t get enough of him, and he returned to “Project Runway” for “Project Runway: All Stars,” and his own series with Santino Rice, “On the Road with “Austin & Santino.” His bridal collections are sold at Neiman Marcus and other retail stores globally.

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Chloe Dao

Chloe Dao was the dark horse on “Project Runway” Season 2, where she was up against fan favorite Santino Rice and Daniel Vosovic. Since her “Project Runway” days, she has a very popular boutique in Houston, Texas, finding a local following in the city.

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Jay McCarroll

Jay McCarroll was the winner of the first season of “Project Runway but became even more famous for notorious turning down the $100,000 cash prize due to all the stipulations attached to the prize money. Since “Project Runway” Season 1, he was the protagonist of the 2009 documentary, “Eleven Minutes,” which chronicled his first runway show at New York Fashion Week. In 2010 he appeared on “Celebrity Fit Club.” McCarroll has had a clothing line on QVC and is currently an adjunct fashion professor at Philadelphia University.

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Santino Rice

Santino Rice came to the spotlight on Season 2 of “Project Runway,” and was a fan favorite making it all the way to the top three to show at New York Fashion Week “Project Runway” show. He ultimately lost to Chloe Dao, but his charisma and reality star personality helped him eventually land his own television show on Lifetime with fellow Project Runway alumni Austin Scarlett. He was also a judge for seasons 1–6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He is now involved in Los Angeles–based restaurant Wild Living Foods where he is the Remedy Bar Captain. Organic plant-based casual food is his new calling.

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Mondo Guerra

Mondo Guerra was a runner-up on season 8 of “Project Runway” and later became the winner of the first season of “Project Runway: All Stars.” After announcing his HIV positive status on the show, Guerra became deeply involved in HIV education and awareness and was the spokesperson for two national HIV campaigns. On season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” contestant Blair St. Clair wore a gown designed by Guerra which set the fashion blogs ablaze. He’s still designing women’s clothing and accessories under his Mondo Guerra label.

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Michael Costello

Costello is also one of the more successful “Project Runway” alumnae with a list of celebrity clients that include Jennifer Lopez, Bebe Rexha, Beyoncé, and Alyssa Milano. The designer, who appeared on season 8 where he finished fourth and on the first season of “Project Runway: All Stars” where he was runner-up, Costello has not only dressed A-list actresses, but has also collaborated with Lou Eyrich to design gowns for Lady Gaga when she appeared on American Horror story. This styling effort resulted in a Primetime Emmy Award win for Outstanding Costume for a Contemporary Series, Limited Series or Movie.

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Emilio Sosa

Following his runner-up status on “Project Runway” Season 7, Emilio Sosa has designed costumes for “Porgy and Bess” (2012), “Motown the Musical” (2013), and most recently, “On Your Feet: the Emilio and Gloria Estefan Story” (2015). For the Off-Broadway production of “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark” (2012).a Sosa won a Lucille Lortel Award, awards which recognize excellence in New York Off-Broadway theatre.

—Kristopher Fraser

 

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