Article Nov 13, 2016

You are no longer passing

Christian Siriano: 'Project Runway wasn't calculated'

Christian Siriano entered Project Runway "fully blind" with no game plan.

The American designer began his fashion career at Vivienne Westwood, followed by a job at Rosetta Getty in Los Angeles then a stint as a freelance make-up artist for Marc Jacobs after moving to New York. He longed to helm his own brand though and after being encouraged to try out for the fourth series of TV show Project Runway in 2006, Christian was crowned the winner, scooping a $100,000 (£82,000) prize and a spread in Elle magazine.

However, his talent wasn’t enough to initially convince people he had won fair and square.

"Listen, I'm not Rosetta Getty.I couldn't launch a collection tomorrow, at the time. Young and struggling, I couldn't just throw it out there,” he recalled to “People think that going on that show was a calculated thing. I just went in there fully blind."

Christian’s passion for style stems back to his childhood in Annapolis, Maryland, where he spent time backstage during his sister’s ballet rehearsals and admired all the costumes and cosmetics.

After being turned down by the Fashion Institute of Technology in the City of Angels the style star was accepted to study at the American InterContinental University in London, and Europe proved to be an “inspiring place”.

"I think especially for a kid that grew up in Annapolis, it was nice to get out and do something,” he added.

Now Christian’s clients include the likes of actress Leslie Jones and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. He also dressed Kathy Bates at the Emmys in September (16), which was a personal highlight for the designer.

"It was really amazing because she said not a lot of brands make clothes for her, but she's an icon to me, and that's better to me than dressing the new it-girl,” he gushed.