Project Runway Season 4 Designers
Here are the Project Runway Season 4 Designers!
- Carmen Webber, 37 – Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.; Resides in N.Y.
- Chris March, 44 – Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.; Resides in N.Y.
- Christian Siriano, 21 – Hometown: Annapolis, Md.; Resides in N.Y.
- Elisa Jimenez, 42 – Hometown: El Paso, Texas; Resides in Santa Fe, N.M.
- Jack Mackenroth, 38 – Hometown: Seattle, Wash.; Resides in N.Y.
- Jillian Lewis, 26 – Hometown/Resides In: Selden in Long Island, N.Y.
- Kevin Christiana, 30 – Hometown: Fairfield, N.J.; Resides in N.Y.
- Kit, aka Christina Scarbo, 26 – Hometown: Los Angeles, CA; Resides in Los Angeles, C.A.
- Marion Lee, 39 – Hometown: Tyler, Texas; Resides in Dallas, Texas.
- Rami Kashou, 31 – Hometown: Ramallah, Jerusalem; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Ricky Lizalde, 35 – Hometown: Escondido, Calif.; Resides in N.Y.
- Simone LeBlanc, 32 – Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.; Resides in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Steven Rosengard, 30 – Hometown/Resides In: Chicago, Ill.
- Sweet P, aka Kathleen Vaughn, 46 – Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.; Resides in Glendale, Calif.
- Victorya Hong, 34 – Hometown: Seoul, Korea; Resides in N.Y.
Project Runway returns Wednesday, November 14 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Click inside for more pictures of the cast and the designers’ biographies! Watch video interviews with the cast here.
Project Runway Season 4 Designers Biographies
- Carmen Webber
HOMETOWN: Charlotte, N.C
EDUCATION: Architecture at Savannah College of Art & Design
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Tracy Reece, Epperson and Byron Lars
FASHION MUST: A fantastic shawl or scarf that can be worn in many different ways.
North Carolinia native, Carmen, has had a love for fashion since a young age. She was modeling in trunk shows for Alexander Julian, DKNY and Anne Klein at 16. In high school, she began taking fashion merchandising courses through the DECCA Club and competed in a regional contest for fashion marketing and branding. In 1989, she began studying architecture at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), but later went on to double major in fashion design and illustration. Completing a four-year program at SCAD, she graduated cum laude and was named as top fashion designer of her class.
After graduation, Carmen moved to Paris where she interned for Christope LeMaire, who studied under Christian LaCroix and is now the head designer for Lacoste. She also worked as a sales associate at one of Paco Rabanne’s first ready-to-wear boutiques in Paris. Carmen showcased her first ready-to-wear collection at La Couple Jazz Club in Paris in 1996. After four years in Paris, Carmen moved to the “big apple” to launch her Harlem-based clothing line in the fashion capital.
In the summer of 2001, Carmen launched the “Sistahs of Harlem” clothing line with partner Carmia Marshall, a wardrobe stylist in the film and television industry. The clothing line started in humble street fairs where she sold handbags and deconstructed
t-shirts. Carmen has done line building for a private footwear company working with top European and American brands. Marshall and Carmen co-wrote, “T-Shirt Makeovers 20 Transformations For Fabulous Fashion,” a do-it-yourself book, in stores now. Their second book will be out in 2008 with a focus on denim.
- Chris March
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Self taught
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Dior
FASHION MUST: Bright colored anything
Chris is a freelance Costume Designer in New York City with a client list that includes Cirque du Soleil, Madonna and Thierry Mugler. Originally from San Francisco, he has always kept his eye on a career in fashion.
Chris’ work on the giant trademark hats and wigs of America’s longest running show, “Beach Blanket Babylon,” earned him great acclaim. Without any formal costume or fashion education, he garnered an impressive client list. His love of costuming, fashion, and acting, led him to pursue his fashion design dreams in New York, where his achievements include a “Drama Desk Award” nomination for outstanding costume design. Chris has created looks and styles for many designers that have appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Martha Stewart,” “Rachael Ray,” “Tyra,” “Today,” E! and MTV.
Classic designers like Dior and Chanel, as well as trailblazers like Thierry Mugler, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano inspire Chris. However, he says he’s always had an unmistakably unique vision and talent that includes sculptural lines, lush fabrics, humor and an unpredictable use of materials. Chris says he designs for the woman who wants to stand out in a crowd.
- Christian Siriano
HOMETOWN: Annapolis, Maryland
EDUCATION: Baltimore School For The Arts and The American Intercontinental University, London
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: McQueen and Westwood
FASHION MUST: Amazing jacket or blazer
Christian, the youngest of the contestants in season four, is a freelance designer who travels between New York City and Los Angeles, working with designer Rosetta Getty.
Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Christian began his career in fashion at the early age of 13 working for a local trendy salon “Bubbles.” Creating costumes for the yearly hair show competition while he attended the Baltimore School For The Arts, his hunger for fashion became apparent and upon graduation he took an international leap toward his future at The American Intercontinental University, London. Quickly adapting to the fashionable European lifestyle, he showed a small collection during London Fashion Week in Fall 2005. Christian was given the opportunity to work for the queen of punk herself, Vivienne Westwood, where he gained valuable experience, leading him into a position at Alexander McQueen his senior year.
- Elisa Jimenez
HOMETOWN: El Paso, Texas
EDUCATION: Master of Fine Arts in Combined Media with an emphasis on sculpture, performance and installation from the University of Arizona, Tucson
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Erte, Jean Cocteau, Madame Gris, Zaldy, Norma Kamali
FASHION MUST: A great pair of boots
An interdisplinary artist, Elisa, 42, recently moved to back to the desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico after 13 years of thriving in New York City. She built the foundation of her work around “The Hunger World,” a psuedo-fictious world of marionettes brought to life and mythos through writing, drawing, painting, performance, installation, and fashion. However, fashion has been her predominant “accidental” career income and reputation.
Elisa’s education began with being the child of two highly respected artists, sculptor Luis Jimenez, and long time head designer for Fitz & Floyd, Vicky C. Balcou. In 1983, she graduated from the Arts Magnet High School of Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas as the Nat Foundation for The Arts most promising artist. She received a Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, with a minor in anthropology before receiving a Master of Fine Arts with a minor in classics from the University of Arizona.
Vogue discovered Elisa and has consistently acknowledged her as the forefront of the new avant-garde, as well as the top 10 American Designers in the independent realm. Additionally, she has appeared in the pages of “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Elle,” “Dutch,” “Black Book,” “Paper Mag,” “Jane” and “Trace.” Her celebrity work includes Melissa Auf Der Mar, Cher’s “Believe” album, Jennifer Connelly’s character in “Requiem for A Dream,” Marisa Tomei, Courtney Love, Sarah Jessica Parker, “Sex in the City,” Pink, Cameron Diaz, and famed art photographer, Cindy Sherman. She was invited to be in the Barabacan’s exhibit and book, “Rapture: Art and Fashion since the 1970′s,” curated by Chris Townsend of London and was represented by Holly Solomon, influential art dealer, in the last seven years of her life.
Currently, Elisa is proudly continuing her life, fashion and art with her partner and daughter in her new home in New Mexico.
- Jack Mackenroth
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
EDUCATION: University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology and Parsons School of design
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen (For Men)
FASHION MUST: A sugar daddy
Jack, 38, originally from Seattle, Washington is a swimmer, model and fashion designer. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology. In 1991, Jack moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design where he studied fashion design. Fresh out of Parsons, Jack opened a menswear store in the uber chic West Village called “Jack.” There, he showcased new designers alongside upscale brands such as Gaultier Junior, Diesel and John Richmond. In 1997, he went to work for Tommy Hilfiger and then designed for the Slates brand, which is under the Levis umbrella. For the past 4 years, Jack has been the Design Director at Weatherproof Active Wear.
Beyond his professional achievements, Jack has also received national recognition as a competitive swimmer. He has three All-American titles to his name and set a national record in the summer of 2006 in the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 50 meter medley relay. As a fitness and fashion model through the 1990’s, Jack appeared in such magazines as “Paper,” “DNR,” “Men’s Fitness,” “Men’s Journal,” “Genre,” “Blue” and several others. Jack has also always been very open about his positive HIV status. Since his diagnosis in 1990, he has tried to combat the stigma of HIV by living honestly and being a role model through professional and athletic achievements.
Currently Jack is developing his own line of men’s dress shirts and dress pants and hopes to expand into all aspects of men’s sportswear. He is also working on a memoir about his life experiences.
- Jillian Lewis
HOMETOWN: Long Island, NY
EDUCATION: Parsons School of Design
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balanciaga and Azzedine Alaia
FASHION MUST: A sweater dress (ideally with pockets hidden in the side seams) worn with opaque colored tights.
Jillian, 26, was born and raised in the small town Selden in Long Island, NY. In 2003, she graduated from Parsons School of Design to pursue her fashion dream. While there, she was honored with the CFDA scholarship award and selected to design the Perrier girl uniform, which was featured as “Parsons Design Star” on the MTV college network.
Jillian is currently working on her own label while consulting for several companies as a designer. Having worked as a concept designer and illustrator at Rugby by Ralph Lauren and as a designer at Searle, Jillian learned the skills of the fashion trade. At Searle, she experienced “the old fashioned way of tailoring” and at Rugby she became an “expert at conceptualizing a full and balanced collection.” Although her experiences have made her a very well-rounded designer, Jillian credits her own talent and personal taste level that sets her apart from the rest.
Art stimulates Jillian’s creativity, as she’s often inspired by the illustrations of Ruben Toledo and Patrick Nagel, the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava, and the art of Egon Schiele. Other sources of inspiration include military uniforms, armor, ballet and the idea of incorporating technology into clothing. Ultimately, Jillian’s designs are her visual poetry of the things she loves and a reflection of the world around her. Not satisfied with being just another name on the tag of another dress, it’s her ambition to be revolutionary, fashion forward and to one day create a fashion empire of her own.
- Kevin Christiana
HOMETOWN: Fairfield, New Jersey
EDUCATION: Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier
FASHION MUST: Cool vintage boots
Kevin, 30, is a first generation Italian-American born and raised in Fairfield, New Jersey, currently resides in New York City. Kevin’s family hails from Ciminna, Sicily and is made up of many tailors and seamstresses. He was taught to sew by his Aunt Ida Lasusa, and thinks its no surprise that his design aesthetic combines classic European tailoring with his own edgy twist. Kevin draws inspiration from daily life in Gotham city and his travels around the world.
Kevin studied at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where he won the “Menswear Designer of the Year” grant. He worked for his cousin and designer, Susana Monaco, for six years before branching off to start his own line.
Kevin is the head designer and partner of the labels KEVIN CHRISTIANA and KJEANS. Kevin’s collections have sold to approximately 200 boutiques nationwide and KJEANS debuted on the cover of the Victoria’s Secret fall 2006 catalog.
- Kit, aka Christina Scarbo
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
EDUCATION: Fashion Institute of Technology, New York and Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Italy
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Viktor & Rolf
FASHION MUST: Balenciaga fringed scarf
A freelance wardrobe stylist and designer of her own line, Kit Pistol™ in Los Angeles, Kit, 26, creates one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients and is currently working on her first ready-to-wear collection.
Kit lived in Florence, Italy for two years, attending Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in fashion design. During her second year in Italy, she worked as a trend analyst for Mauro Taliani Design Studio in Empoli. Kit had previously attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to earn her Associate in Applied Sciences degree, with honors.
Inspired by the surrounding culture in Florence, Italy she created Kit Pistol in 2004. For Kit, Kit Pistol became not only a fun new alias, but also a mantra to feminine strengths and wiles. She says Kit Pistol reflects a continual inspiration from art, travel, world affairs, textiles, and a deeply rooted passion for self-expression; ultimately translating to an aesthetic of serious fantasy.
Kit Pistol was selected as one of three design houses from the West Coast to show in the 2006 GenArt New Guarde. Other exhibitions include Redbull Ascension F05, Beautiful Fighter Gallery Instillation S06 and BoxEight Collective @ LA Theater F07.
- Marion Lee
HOMETOWN: Tyler, Texas
EDUCATION: Parson’s School of Design, New York
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Victor and Rolf and Hussein Chalayan
FASHION MUST: Thin stretch suspenders
Marion, 39, was born and raised in Tyler, Texas. He attended Parson’s School of Design in New York where he received the silver and gold thimble awards. After graduating, Marion returned to Texas and took a job as visual director of Stanley Korshak and it was there he started producing custom work for the retailer as well as producing his own line.
Marion has shown his collection for several seasons in New York City and his clothing has been featured in “Bazaar” and “Cosmopolitan.” Marion’s designs are favorites of New York stylists and used for editorial work with Nikki Taylor, Lenny Kravitz, Gisele, and Jade Jagger.
Marion has recently opened a retail store in Dallas, and he refers to his shop as an oversized curiosity cabinet, with a mad sense of whimsy. This is also the site of his new fashion and art laboratory.
- Rami Kashou
HOMETOWN: Ramallah, Jerusalem
EDUCATION: Brooks College in California.
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Alexander McQueen, Victor & Rolf, Olivier Theyskens
FASHION MUST A hot pair of leather boots.
Born in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Rami, 31, left his hometown soon after graduating from high school in 1996 and moved to the United States in pursuit of his childhood dream to one day become a fashion designer. Growing up as the son of an eclectic and fashionable mother, Rami was often commissioned by the local town socialites to design their ensembles.
In 1997, Rami began attending courses in design at Brooks College in California. After several months in the program, Rami was ready for a challenge and decided to take a different path. While keeping in the circle of fashion, Rami worked in retail for several years after his departure from design school. Retail eventually lead him to a buying and merchandising position at a well-known boutique in Los Angeles.
After a stint of traveling to Europe as a buyer, Rami bit the bullet and purchased two sewing machines. He vigorously studied pattern making from the local vintage boutiques. After three years of self-education, Rami began creating what would later be known as the “One of a Kind” collection, which was picked up by notable Los Angeles boutiques Aero & Co. and Diavolina.
Known for his dramatic red carpet gowns, Rami has draped the silhouettes of celebrities and trendsetters such as Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, Portia De Rossi, Fergie, Amy Smart, Lucy Liu, Melanie Brown, Erykah Badu, Tracee Ellis Ross and Shiva Rose. His designs have been seen on the pages of “In Style,” “Flaunt,” “Angelino,” “Interview,” “People” and “Us Weekly.”
Rami’s designs can be found at many notable boutiques including H. Lorenzo, Xin, Diavolina and Inago in Los Angeles, Paper Dolls and Girlshop in New York, Dressed in Santa Barbara, Riley James, Boru, Five Figs and Masha in San Francisco and Harrods in London.
- Ricky Lizalde
HOMETOWN: Escondido, California
EDUCATION: California State University, Long Beach
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Prada
FASHION MUST: Gloves
Born as number 12 of 14 children in Escondido, California, Ricky, 35, credits much of his fashion inspiration and success to his Mexican parents, Eloisa and Raul. At an early age, he watched his mother sew and became fascinated with what she could create from a flat piece of fabric.
Although Ricky began to create clothes at age nine, his formal training didn’t begin until he studied dance and costume design at California State University, Long Beach. Dissatisfied with the opportunities that were available to him in California, Ricky moved to New York City to become a dancer. While dancing, Ricky began designing costumes for his dance company, which prepared him for his career as a women’s lingerie designer. He started as an assistant designer for the Valentino label before fine-tuning his skills under the Oscar De La Renta lingerie line. Later, he was approached to head the launch of the Vera Wang lingerie line.
After years of working under the constraints of another label, Ricky was ready to produce his own label. He launched Lizalde in 2004 has been showcased in several trade publications and his garments are currently being sold at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom’s and lingerie specialty boutiques throughout the country. Ricky currently lives in Queens, NY with Mark, his partner of ten years, and his dog, Seven.
- Simone LeBlanc
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
EDUCATION: Parsons School of Design, Paris
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Dries Van Noten
FASHION MUST: Organic wool and cashmere
Originally from Northern California and currently living in Los Angeles, Simone, 32, has been making¬¬ clothing since she was a child. Raised in an environment of creativity where artists, designers and musicians were an integral part of daily life, she was encouraged to experiment with every type of material that she could get her hands on. Simone quickly developed an obsession with fabric, form and its natural connection to the body.
While studying at CCA in San Francisco, Simone delved into sculptural and artesianal techniques, gaining appreciation for the historical and the handcrafted traditions of eras gone by. Simone’s love for fashion and history led her to Paris, where she studied at Parsons and assisted a young and accomplished couturier. She says Paris offered a perfect experience for her with dedicated craftsmanship, high-minded fashion and many historical treasures to be discovered.
When Simone returned to the U.S., she began a career of freelance design, personal styling and creating one-of-a-kind pieces for a select clientele. In 2006, this path led her to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where she was commissioned to create a custom collection, as well as explore traditional craft and production techniques throughout the region.
Simone currently resides in Los Angeles and is designing custom pieces, as well as TS BLOOM, her collection of women’s wear using organic and surplus fabrics.
- Steven Rosengard
HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
EDUCATION: Chicago’s Columbia College
FAVORITE DESIGNER: Yves St. Laurent
FASHION MUST: A cardinal red trench coat
Working in the Exhibits and Collections Department at the world-famous Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Steven’s contributions as a Textile Preparator may be seen in exhibits such as the U-505 Submarine and Transportation Gallery.
Born and raised in Chicago, Steven, 30, is the youngest of four children. His artistic talents and enjoyment in design were first noted when he was in grade school and he spent his free time on drawing figures, designing gowns and exploring fabric. Steven’s path to fashion led him to Chicago’s Columbia College for fashion design, but left after only one year to travel abroad where fashion and fabric continued to captivate him in places such as France, England and Italy.
While Steven does not have formal design training, his passion and unique curiosity for all things fashionable have made him a rising star in Chicago’s design community. His focus, with direct inspiration from Yves St. Laurent, centers on natural fabrics that bring a simple, yet elegant, perspective to women’s day wear. Steven hopes to rid the fashion world of non-natural fabric and take day dresses to a level every woman would covet.
- Sweet P, aka Kathleen Vaughn
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
EDUCATION: Los Angeles Trade Technical College
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Prada, John Galliano, Marni, Chloe, Phillip Lim, Balenciaga
FASHION MUST: A dress
Sweet P was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up with a passion for surfing and vintage clothing. Her flare for fashion was apparent at a young age, when her favorite show was Sonny and Cher and she would sketch them new outfits during commercial breaks. Sweet P got her nickname while riding in an all girl motorcycle club called the Hells Belles.
While attending Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Sweet P started working in the underground club scene and would make her own outfits. With the growing interest in her designs, she decided to put together a small collection of club wear and sold it to a few stores in L.A. Her line “Sweet P” morphed from club wear to retro. After five years she closed her business and went to work. She worked at Bebe for four years, before being approached to do a sleepwear line and decided to take the opportunity. After two years, she realized Sleepwear is not what she wants to do.
Currently, Sweet P designs for Harkham a fashion forward, contemporary collection. Her first collection will be available in February 2008.
- Victorya Hong
HOMETOWN: Seoul, Korea
EDUCATION: University of Chicago
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Ghesquiere, Elbaz, Marc Jacobs
FASHION MUST: Patent leather ankle boots & colorful tights.
Victorya, 34, was born in Seoul, Korea and spent her childhood in Virginia. Growing up with a very fashion-minded mother, she was always sketching designs or discussing them with her mother, who was a natural maven when it came to sewing. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, she traveled to Paris to fulfill a lifelong dream to live in the fashion capital of the world. What was to be a six-month stint, turned into a six-year sojourn, working as a journalist taking her from Paris to Brussels.
Victorya says she woke up one morning and realized that she had to return to the U.S. immediately and start a career in fashion, and that’s precisely what she did. In 2002, Victorya enrolled in Parsons Associate Degree program in New York City. Since then, she has worked for several major companies in the industry, before striking out on her own.
Victorya continues to live and work in New York City, designing clothes under her label na•be, designing clothes that she and like-minded women want to wear.