Project Runway' Winners: Where Are They Now?
With "Project Runway's" Season 7 finale set to air on April 22, here's a look back at the first six "Project Runway" winners. "Project Runway" has opened doors for new fashion designers who ordinarily would have no other avenue to success. These up-and-comers have launched clothing lines, made documentaries, designed lingerie and accessories, and returned to Bryant Park—more than once.
Season one winner—Jay McCarroll. Jay beat out Kara Saun, Wendy Pepper and fan favorite Austin Scarlett to win the first season of "Project Runway."
McCarroll filmed a one-hour documentary called "Project Jay," showing his attempt to establish himself in the fashion world. In 2008, he starred in another feature documentary, "11 Minutes," about making his clothing line--Transport--and his first solo show at New York's Fashion Week. That same year, Jay launched his online boutique, The Colony. McCarroll won another reality show, "Celebrity Fit Club," where he dropped a total of 40 pounds.
- Season two winner—Chloe Dao. Chloe prevailed over fashion competitors Daniel Vosovic and Santino Rice. In January 2007, Dao's designs were featured in the Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum. That same year she signed a deal with QVC. Her thirteen-piece line, Simply Chloe Dao, sold out during the first televised broadcast. She's created a line of mobile technology and travel accessories sold at Target and Office Depot and her wholesale line, "DAO Chloe DAO," is available on her Lot 8 website and in her Houston boutique. Her spring 2010 collection, called Lightness, is set to premiere in Houston on April 17.
- Season three winner—Jeffrey Sebelia. Sebelia won the competition over Laura Bennett, Uli Herzner and Mychael Knight. Sebelia used his $100,000 prize to pay off a loan he took out a few years before "Project Runway" to start his company, Cosa Nostra. It was back to business as usual designing more CN clothing. In March 2010, he debuted his new Art Deco/French military-inspired line for Fluxus at Los Angeles Fashion Week and has announced the opening of a third California Fluxus store.
- Season four winner—Christian Siriano. Siriano fiercely triumphed over his competitors, Rami Kashou and Jillian Lewis. Siriano is no doubt the most successful "Project Runway" alum to date. Since his victory, he has made numerous TV appearances, including a guest spot on "Ugly Betty." He has designed for Puma, bluefly.com, Moody Mamas, Payless and Victoria's Secret. Christian's clothing can in found in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. His next trip to the Bryant Park runway was chronicled on Bravo TV's special "Christian Siriano: Having a Moment," which premiered on April 5.
- Season five winner—Leanne Marshall. Leanne was victorious against Korto Momolu and Kenley Collins in the battle of the girls on season 5. Leanne released her first clothing line on bluefly.com and went to New York Fashion Week with her Fall 2010 collection, which she plans to sell on her website and on etsy.com. In addition, Leanne was honored in the summer of 2009 at Los Angeles' Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in their annual exhibition called "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" with an exhibit of her "Runway" collection. Her line was shown alongside TV costume designs from "Gossip Girl," "The L Word," "The Tudors," "John Adams" and "Dancing with the Stars."
- Season six winner--Irina Shabayeva. In the first season to air on Lifetime instead of Bravo and the only season to date filmed in Los Angeles, Irina conquered Althea Harper and Carol Hannah Whitfield for the title. The newest "Project Runway" winner has not had much time to amass a list of accomplishments, but she is doing quite well. Irina has already designed three lines since being crowned the winner in November 2009 and just showed her Fall 2010 collection at New York's Fashion Week.