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'Project Runway' Fan Favorite Andy South Now Living as a Woman

The Hawaii-born designer has adopted the name Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong, and identifies as female on her Facebook profile.

Andy South Sex Change Split - P 2012

A former Project Runway finalist and fan favorite has left her old gender behind.

On Season 8 of Project Runway -- a strong year that introduced the world to Mondo Guerro, Gretchen Jones and Michael Costello, among others -- Andy South more than held his own.

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Then 23, the Hawaii-born fashion designer with the wicked wit, striking looks and out-there hairstyles impressed judges and viewers alike with his edgy designs, eventually earning a spot at the Fashion Week finale and taking third-place in the competition.

Now 25, South has begun living life as a woman.

The transformation includes a new name -- Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong -- and a bold new look in makeup, evening gowns and shoulder-length hair.

Photos of Nong began appearing on her Facebook page of early as last March, where her profile lists her sex as "female."

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Southiphong first acknowledged the transformation in an interview in Hawaii's Expression magazine from last February.

"People who are close to me know who I am and I have continued to receive support," she told the magazine, adding, "especially from my mom who is still by my side every step of the way."

On June 3, Southiphong addressed her fans in a message left on her Facebook page.

"Thank you to my fans and friends who have supported me all the way," she wrote. "Much has changed in a year. I am blessed to be accepted and welcomed just the way I am. May that love flow through me and onto many others. Live in love for the world needs it."