‘Project Runway’ Winners: Where Are They Now? (PHOTOS)

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Project Runway - Jay McCarroll
Craig Blankenhorn/Bravo

Jay McCarroll (Season 1)

Then: McCarroll infamously won the first season of Project Runway, only to turn down the $100,000 prize because of all the strings attached to his contract. He eventually moved back to his hometown in Philadelphia to teach at a university and start a fashion line for QVC.

Now: In 2009, McCarroll appeared in the documentary Eleven Minutes, chronicling the lead up to his first runway show at New York’s Fashion Week. He continued to explore his penchant for reality TV when he competed on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club and won by losing 40 pounds. He was formerly running an online fashion boutique, but the site hasn’t been active since 2014.

Project Runway Fall 2006 - Runway
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Chloe Dao (Season 2)

Then: After winning the second season, Dao debuted her own line in 2008, called DAO Chloe DAO.

Now: Dao has a boutique in Houston and went on to executive produce and judge the first season of Project Runway: Vietnam, which premiered in 2013. She’s a philanthropist who has used her designs for charitable donations (such as a limited edition silk scarf for the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s Think Pink Foundation) and commissioned a gown for the Salvation Army Houston Area Command’s silent auction in 2016. She also hosts benefit shopping events for not-for-profit organizations.

Project Runway Spring 2007 - Jeffrey Sebelia
Mark Mainz/Getty Images For IMG

Jeffrey Sebelia (Season 3)

Then: Fans were upset when Sebelia won Season 3 because he became the “villain” of the season.

He has designed a number of kids clothing lines and in 2013 appeared on Project Runway: All Stars.

PROJECT RUNWAY - Christian Siriano
Mitch Haaseth/Bravo

Christian Siriano (Season 4)

Then: Out of all the contestants on PR, Siriano is probably the most famous and successful. He was just 20 years old when he competed and is now a more mature and experienced designer.

Now: Siriano has presented at New York Fashion Week numerous times and has styled Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian West, Michelle Obama, Rihanna, and Angelina Jolie just to name a few huge names. He doesn’t just cater to the uber rich and famous, though; he has his own shoe line at Payless and has designed a collaboration collection for Lane Bryant. To further cement his celeb status he’s even launched a fragrance titled Silhouette. He also now serves as a mentor on Project Runway.

Leanne Marshall - Front Row - September 2017 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows
Theo Wargo/Getty Images For NYFW: The Shows

Leanne Marshall (Season 5)

Then: Marshall won over the judges in 2008 with her collection inspired by waves.

Now: She launched her bridal collection in 2011, which is carried both internationally and online in over 35 boutiques. Marshall has also shown at New York Fashion Week multiple times.

David M. Russell/AETN

Irina Shabayeva (Season 6)

Then: Shabayeva has designed collections of both evening gowns and wedding dresses. Plus, she’s known for a lingerie line.

Now: In 2011, she launched a bridal line at Kleinfeld’s and competed in Project Runway: All Stars in 2013. She is also a designer for celebrities including Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Madonna, Kelly Rippa, and Kelly Clarkson.

David M. Russell/AETN

Seth Aaron Henderson (Season 7)

Then: He’s known for using organic fabrics and recyclable material in his designs.

Now: He won regular PR and Project Runway: All Stars in 2014. Henderson has designed a line of iPad covers for Maroo and made 3D printed shows for Feetz. He also competed in Project Runway: All Stars Season 7.

Gretchen Jones - Presentation - Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Gretchen Jones (Season 8)

Then: After getting into an argument with the judges, she still won over fan favorite Mondo Guerra.

Now: Jones took a step back from designing and got her MBA in fashion from the University of London College of Fashion. She calls herself now a creative and a business advisor and has spoken at SXSW, Columbia School of Business and Princeton University.

Project Runway - Anya Ayoung-Chee

Anya Ayoung-Chee (Season 9)

Then: Ayoung-Chee won Season 9, which was notable because she didn’t even know how to sew at the time. After winning she showcased her collection at Jamaica Fashion Weekend.

Now: She now lives at home in Trinidad, where she works out of her boutique. She also founded the online store cANYAval, which sells clothing inspired by Trinidad’s carnival. Anya recently accepted a yearlong position as travel ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago.


Dmitry Sholokhov (Season 10)

Then: He won PR and Season 4 of Project Runway: All Stars.

Now: He’s an instructor at the Parsons School of Design and designs his own label.


Michelle Lesniak (Season 11)

Then: She’s a Native Portlandian and thrift store junkie and surprised everyone on the series with her skill despite her lack of formal fashion training.

Now: She’s still designing and has her own boutique in Portland.


Dom Streater (Season 12)

Then: Her prints were stunning on the series and she won both Season 12 of Project Runway and season five of Project Runway: All Stars.

Now: She lives in Philadelphia and still designs, launching an online-only brand.


Sean Kelly (Season 13)

Then: Who could forget the breathtaking dress he made for the “Rain” challenge? Tim Gunn even called Kelly his favorite contestant.

Now: The New Zealand-born designer resides in New York City and counts Heidi Klum as a client.

Project Runway - Ashley Nell Tiptom

Ashley Nell Tipton (Season 14)

Then: When we last saw Tipton, she was making history as the first designer to win Project Runway with a plus-size collection. Her purple hair, flirty aesthetic, and sweet demeanor dazzled the judges—and viewers.

Now: Since winning the show two years ago, Tipton has been hard at work churning out collections.
She has created a collection of wide-fit jewelry, debuted a feminine plus-size collection for J.C. Penney, and sells cute tees and buttons bearing her likeness on her website, ashleynelltipton.com.


Erin Robertson (Season 15)

Then: The winner, who many felt wasn’t the strongest designer on the show, loves fun prints and holds a degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Now: Robertson is back in Boston and still designing.


Kentaro Kameyama (Season 16)

Then: Zac Posen said that Kameyama “knocked his socks off” in the finale. He’s known for his tailoring.

Now: After showing at Fashion Week, he’s living in LA and working on more designs.

Project Runway - Season 17
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Sebastian Grey (Season 17)

Then: The fan-favorite and frontrunner for the season left Colombia to pursue his dream in fashion and wowed judges with his Colombian-inspired collection.

Now: He continues to design and will be showing how to sew like a professional in a class, Fashion Sewing, through Bluprint.

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Project Runway has been a fixture in pop culture since the reality competition series premiered in 2004 and it remains one of the most addictive shows in the genre.

A few Project Runway winners have gone on to have substantially successful careers — Christian Siriano, Leanne Marshall — dressing the glitterati of Hollywood. Thankfully, social media allows us to keep up with all of the designers and track their progress.

And what’s more exciting is that the fashion show returned to its home network Bravo for Season 17 after 10 years on Lifetime! While original hosts and design experts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn left the long-running fashion series, some exciting new blood entered the ring.

Supermodel Karlie Kloss took over as host and the new panel of judges included Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia, top designer Brandon Maxwell and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth. Plus, PR alum Christian Siriano mentored the contestants.

In honor of the 15th anniversary and ahead of Season 18, flip through the gallery above to check in on what some of our favorite fashion designers from past seasons are up to now.

ProjectRunway, Thursdays, 9:30/8:30c, Bravo