'Fashion Is Not for Sissies': An Oral History of 'Project Runway's' First 10 Years

Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Tim Gunn, Harvey Weinstein and more share memories of the addictive reality show that brings the drama of high fashion to the masses.
'Fashion Is Not for Sissies': An Oral History of 'Project Runway's' First 10 Years
'Fashion Is Not for Sissies': An Oral History of 'Project Runway's' First 10 Years
Miller Mobley

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The path of a fashion star is far from certain, as Project Runway's winners have proven

Jay McCarroll (Season 1): The debut winner recently launched an online fabric house ( showcasing his textiles. McCarroll says he's also working on "continuing to expand my brand into multiple retail channels." The Pennsylvania native teaches fashion at Philadelphia University.

Chloe Dao (Season 2): The business-savvy winner (who opened her Houston-based boutique Lot 8 in 2000) recently partnered with Nuo Tech to create a line of travel accessories, available at 1,200 Staples stores nationwide. Last year, the designer launched her first bridal collection at

Jeffrey Sebelia (Season 3): Last year, Sebelia launched La Miniatura, an edgy children's apparel brand with entrepreneur Melissa Bochco. The line sold out in two days at the March 2011 ENK Children's Club show and is now available at Barneys, Fred Segal, Bloomingdale's and Kitson.

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Christian Siriano (Season 4): Far and away Runway's most successful alum, Siriano has his collection at Neiman Marcus and high-end retailers nationwide. In addition to an exclusive bridal line for Nordstrom, the designer (who dresses Rihanna and Victoria Beckham) recently opened his first New York boutique.

Leanne Marshall (Season 5): In spring 2010, the designer launched the sustainable clothing collection Basic Math, which she showed during New York's 2012 spring/summer Fashion Week. Marshall also has a bridal collection and continues to work on one-of-a-kind designs with private clients such as Paula Abdul.

Irina Shabayeva (Season 6): In addition to routinely dressing such celebrities as Lady Gaga, True Blood's Rutina Wesley, Mad Men's Alison Brie and Selena Gomez, in spring 2012 the designer show-cased a 48-piece, brightly colored dress collection, which also included evening gowns.

Seth Aaron Henderson (Season 7): Along with such fellow Project Runway alums as Michael Costello and Gordana Gehlhausen, the designer travels from city to city doing trunk shows while focusing on finding a suitable retail partner and manufacturer. He is working on his 2013 collections.

Gretchen Jones (Season 8): "It's been a very exciting spring," says the controversial winner (the judges were split on whether to crown Jones or Mondo Guerra). Jones is preparing her spring/summer 2013 campaign, which she plans to show at New York Fashion Week and Vancouver's Eco Fashion Week.

Anya Ayoung-Chee (Season 9): Caribbean-based designer Ayoung-Chee is working on her spring 2013 collection as well as her pre-Runway women's label, Pilar, and her lingerie  collection, Anya de Rogue. She recently revisited the show for a season-10 challenge.

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Mondo Guerra (All-Star Season): After finishing season eight as first runner-up, the popular contestant dominated the All-Star season. The designer (who blogs Runway recaps for hopes to debut his collection at Neiman Marcus this year and is launching an exclusive eyewear collection at See in the spring.