'Project Runway' Contestants: Where Are They Now?
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.
Dom Streater - Season 12
Then: Streater was another designer who made Project Runway history as both the first African-American champion and the winner of the largest prize (a whopping $500,000 package). On the show she was celebrated for staying above the the drama and for being a whiz at mixing prints.
Now: After winning Season 12, the fan favorite scored another victory on Project Runway All Stars Season 5. Since then she’s built a website that caters to women over 40 and has designed everything from headphones to pocket squares. LaTanya Richardson, actress and wife of Samuel L. Jackson, is one of her most noteworthy clients. Streater is now a designer for Urban Outfitters.
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. We haven’t heard much about his fashion career since.
Kenley Collins - Season 5
Then: Collins was quite the drama queen on Project Runway, and her post-show escapades have only gotten juicier.
Now: Since her stint on Project Runway, she’s done everything from from teaching sewing to releasing her own music. Within the fashion realm she’s also created her own website and dresses pop star Ariana Grande. Not all press has been good for Kenley, though; she’s notorious for getting into a very public catfight with PR All Stars host Alyssa Milano and a literal one with her boyfriend when she reportedly threw a cat at his head after an argument. Yikes. The altercation landed her two days in the slammer, but she has since claimed she has reformed.
Christian Siriano - Season 4
Then: Out of all the contestants on PR, Christian Siriano is probably the most famous and successful. He was just 20 years old when he competed and is now a (hopefully) more mature and experienced designer.
Now: Christian presents at New York Fashion Week every year and has styled Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie and dozens more A-listers. 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. The fierce designer is also a newlywed, having tied the knot with partner Brad Walsh last year.
Mila Hermanovski - Season 7
Then: Before Mila appeared on Project Runway, her passion was designing costumes.
Now: Since competing, Mila has gone full circle, and some of her work has been featured on productions like X-Men and Star Trek. Mila currently lives in L.A. and works on her clothing line. She’s appeared on PR All Stars and Lifetime's Little Women LA to start a line for the women. Mila was even invited by the U.S. State Department to represent the United States in Russia. She also keeps up to date with Project Runway by blogging about the show for Lifetime, and is even involved in casting for the upcoming season.
Austin Scarlett - Season 1
Then: If there’s one thing Austin will be remembered for eternally, it's his iconic corn husk dress he created in Season 1.
Now: Since then, he’s designed couture garments that are considerably more upscale, though no less creative. The designer has had quite a run after being named the youngest creative director of Kenneth Pool, and then going on to create his own label in 2012. He now has a beautiful bridal collection that appeals to both traditional and more avant-garde clients. Austin’s also been on the reality circuit, starring in his own series, On the Road with Austin and Santino, and appearing on the first season of Project Runway All Stars. He’s been involved in numerous projects such as writing his own book, lecturing at Yale and Parsons, and designing theatrical costumes. The guy’s even been spoofed on SNL, and that’s when you know you’ve really made it big.
Anya Ayoung-Chee -
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.
Amanda Valentine - Seasons 11 and 13
Then: Amanda competed on Season 11 of Project Runway and was soon voted back by fans to compete on Season 13. She was famed for her fringe obsession and funky bohemian threads.
Now: Since then, Amanda has designed custom pieces for rock duo Twenty One Pilots and runs her clothing line from a converted factory space in Nashville. She’s continued to stay involved with TV, helping with the casting of Project Runway Season 14 and also making a cameo on the show Nashville, playing herself. While her brother is the lead guitarist for Maroon 5, Amanda says she’ll start a band of her own someday.
While Project Runway has yet to produce as many big name talents as American Idol, the reality competition series still remains one of the most addictive shows in the genre.
A few Project Runway contestants have gone on to have substantially successful careers (see: Christian Siriano, Michael Costello and Ashley Nell Tipton), dressing the glitterati of Hollywood. Thankfully, social media allows us to keep up with all of the designers and track their progress. Flip through the gallery above to check in on what some of our favorite contestants from past seasons are up to now.
Project Runway, Thursdays, 8/7c, Lifetime
'Project Runway' is nothing if not dramatic, but these contestants take the cake when it comes to theatrics.