Project Runway Designer Korina Emmerich: Our Exclusive Editorial Shoot and Interview


We have spent the last year interviewing numerous designers from various seasons of Project Runway, and from their testimonials, we have learned a lot about the PR experience.  Designers are chosen for a plethora of reasons to participate on this show, and it is an unforgiving and tough process.  We would not expect it to be anything less, of course.  If you are fortunate and talented enough make it onto Project Runway–  you are then sent to the location to live with strangers, not allowed to view any type of media, not allowed contact with loved ones or friends, and you shoot ALL of the challenges over the course of about 4 weeks, wherein your days are somewhere between 12-20 hours long.  It is a DREAM opportunity, but we assume it is not a DREAM process to endure.  It is true, though, that some of life’s hardest experiences are the most memorable, and the most life-changing.

Photo by Ben Trivett

Project Runway Season 13 Designer Korina Emmerich

Before you decide anything permanent about any one of the designers on this season of Project Runway, or any other season up till now, we’d like to remind you a little about the conditions these designers are working under while you watch them in your living room.  We’d like you to think about how you might react being in this type of environment, and to think about how you would feel getting closer and closer with each challenge, to a dream you’ve had your whole life.  Now, we’d like you to think about whether in the most extreme moment of stress, you might not give a shit if the cameras are on you or not.  You just might need to let out some steam.  Some people handle stress quietly, others vocally, or by lashing out, and even others by crying.  We’ve definitely seen it all in every season of Project Runway.

Photo by Ben Trivett

Korina Emmerich in one of her own leather designs. Click image to link to our EXCLUSIVE video interview.

HOW KORINA EMMERICH MAKES IT WORK

We said “Auf Wiedersehen” to Designer Korina Emmerich on last week’s episode of Project Runway, Season 13.  We have to say as viewers, that this was the most angering episode we’ve encountered this season.  We noticed other online fans angry about the decision, surprised about the choice to let Korina go, and keep other designers who may or may not have already been saved multiple times, and who from our point of view, have not demonstrated the construction skills needed to continue to this level of the competition.  It was a hard episode for Korina especially, as the show’s editing did not help to paint her in a positive light at all.  She was clearly venting steam and stress in the one-hour final elimination challenge, and unfortunately, the cameras caught a moment of negativity that also seemed to anger some of the fans vocal on the internets.

Designer Korina Emmerich in a jacket from her Raven Collection

Designer Korina Emmerich in a jacket from her Raven Collection

Recently, when this season had just begun, we got in touch with Korina about doing an editorial shoot, using some of her own designs, and playing with a little vintage as well.  We spent the morning together styling makeup and hair, coordinating different looks, and asking questions for our exclusive video interview.

Not only are we happy with the final images and video, but we had a fantastic time collaborating with Korina, who in our minds was one of the front runners in this season of Project Runway.

Designer Korina Emmerich in Vintage from Tattoo Girl Lingerie

Designer Korina Emmerich in Vintage from Tattoo Girl Lingerie

Well, we know now that Korina’s runway show at New York Fashion Week will not be featured on Project Runway, but you can see some of it from Designer Helen’s Instagram feed here.  (Often the last 6 or 7 designers left on the series do show at fashion week.)  Little did we know, we shot one of the leather jackets featured in that very same collection. (See the collection on Korina’s site Here)  Needless to say, the whole experience was a pleasure, and Korina was both a pro and a joy to work with.  We hope to do it again in the future.

Designer Korina in one of her new SS15 Ephemeral Collection Jackets

Designer Korina in one of her new SS15 Ephemeral Collection Jackets

There you have it Project Runway fandom.  We ask you to take everything you see on tv with a grain of salt, and we remind you to see the work of all the designers up close and personal, if ever you get the chance.  Project Runway is a vehicle that can launch the career of a designer, but if these designers strive to be part of this industry for life, Project Runway cannot and should not define them forever.

Special thanks to Korina for her time, her patience, and her professionalism.  Keep up with her on Twitter @EmmerichNY, and on her site at www.emmerichny.com.

Photos by Ben Trivett (Copyright Ben Trivett). Hair, makeup, and styling by Coleen Scott.- C. Scott

A note about comments:  We will approve comments from legitimate email addresses only, and we welcome all to share their thoughts and opinions.

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59 comments

  1. I think this space on your site for Korina Emmerich could have been used on a better human being and designer. We watched the episodes and Korina’s wrath did not only happen when she was getting kicked off. She was trashing people from the get go only showing us her deep insecurities about her abilities. She is not at the level that she thinks she is and even if she were, it didn’t give her the right to treat people so poorly. She bordered on evil. I met some amazingly talented designers at Fashion school whose talents exceeded Korina’s, and they were also among the most humble people. There’s no excuse Korina. I believe she needed that piece of humble pie by getting let go of the show. It is unfortunate that Korina’s outer beauty and skills are overshadowed by her inner ugliness. What arrogance.

  2. OK, I just watched Korina’s “apology” on the reunion show. I think she is young and self-centered. She can’t see herself dispassionately. But she is young. I think most of us were young and self-centered, and didn’t have the disadvantage of having cameras capture it all.
    I am seeing Char forgive her. Now THAT is a big person. I admire her immensely.
    On the bright side, it gave me the opportunity to talk to my teenager about a sincere, heartfelt apology and a lame one.

  3. Korina is on the reunion show right now, weeping, apologizing, and trying to rewrite what we all saw. Phony, blubbering, cow. She just yelled out, “We LOVE you!!” to Sandhya. She spent all the time Sandhya was there running her down. Liar. HATE her.

    1. At least she has the guts to say sorry. She is a passionate person and I prefer her passion than fake people who tell you how nice your stuff are and says bad stuff on your back. And you know what? She didn’t say a single lie. Char just made to the finale because she had the Tim Gunn save and the judges could not alow her elimination or the great mentor would be wrong.

  4. I love Korina’s SS15 show. So awesome! Obviously she did not need the project runway win if she could produce it anyway. And obviously the show did not need her beyond shitty attitude. That is the real reason she got eliminated. Girls gotta get that shit in check. But also she the outfit she got eliminated in was from Urban Outfitter, and yes it was totally the weak look hands down and Char did get the better redesign. So I just find it such a waste to expend all this energy on “getting back” at them. Good Luck Korina~ I’m sure you will do great.

  5. I love project runway and never miss an episode. In fact it got me back into sewing.
    Their have been angry designers in the past, In fact two last season, but they apologized,
    One even admitted to the audience he had anger issues.
    From the first Korina was a “mean” girl, with her catty asides, but she had some pieces that kind of
    backed up her remarks, although the best doesn’t come into mind.
    The very first episode, she was in the corner making fun of someone. But the worst was
    when she was pared with Char, Char gave her an applause. Korina gave her the knife in the back.
    No one is that SPECIAL, the design that got her out was her own fault not Char’s not Tim’s not the judges. She was mean spirited and a nasty piece of goods from the very start.

  6. This is an absolutely ridiculous site, dedicated,it seems, to trying to redeem a totally unlikeable and unredeemable, whiney, backstabbing, narcissistic, unkind, rude, and spoiled woman. She started out as a bitchy mean girl, and got worse from there. First she denigrated sweet Sandhya, then, going after Amanda, and especially Char. How many times do you need to say that Char was saved? Korina bad-mouthed EVERY designer. Editing? They can’t edit sound and video well enough to make all that crap come out of your mouth. Korina said it all. Over and over and over. Spoiled, bad sport, nasty.

    From reading your responses to these letters, I must agree with another reader, this is just online ti try and white-wash a total coe. Or is rhis Koeina herself writing this? Her father? Her lover? This is not a “project runway site” This is a korina reputation wash, and I do not think it’s working.

    Did you not notice how much happier everyyone was when she was gone?

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinions. We have to say, this site has been around a lot longer than just writing this article, though it is Project Runway centric. Our one exclusive feature on Korina is not our only work, and we would appreciate it if you would take a look at our PR Exclusive Archive and check out our features on numerous other wonderful PR designers.

  7. I find it interesting that there was no verbal “stab” at Amanda Valentine who was given a 2nd chance to return to Project Runway (after being the 8th designer eliminated from Season 11). Amanda never made it to the final four! One could say that she had an advantage returning because she had prior experience being on the show. She knew the drill, the pressure & had plenty of time to improve her skill and bring greater voice to her design aesthetic. Amanda (who is a fab designer) was welcomed by her colleagues without the pressure of being belittled for being brought back. In my opinion, I believe the judges believe in Char’s eye for design & creativity. Skill can be developed, but natural talent is innate. Remember, Char did not save herself – Tim Gunn & the judges gave her the opportunity to continue. Also, the “zipper” situation was not about Char’s work – if you listen carefully to the episode, the client screwed up the zipper. Overall, my disappointment was with Korina’s verbal belittling of Char and self-exaltation of herself. Also, her disrespect for the “Tim Gunn save.” I must commend Char for enduring the heat & remaining professional through it all. So, was it fair to be angry at Char or should Korina’s fury be towards Tim and the judges? While I agree that the cameras didn’t show everything, I judged what came out of Korina’s mouth and her actions. I felt that Korina’s time to show Tim & the judges who was worthy to be in the finale, was the extra hour they were given to create that final look. Instead of seizing the moment, Korina went on bashing Char & exalting herself – and ultimately, made a bit of a mess of her dress. Char proved that she is also a deserving designer, resilient and handled the pressure with grace. I believe that Korina, Char, Amanda and all of the other designers earned their place as contestants on Project Runway. But part of being a great designer is letting your work and point-of-view speak for itself. It’s being fabulously secure enough to celebrate the creativity of someone else’s design perspective while remaining true to your own. Conceit has no place among true artistry – it’s like an ink stain on white linen.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful comments. We will say that there was some shade thrown Amanda’s way at the beginning of the show when she was brought back, but she has proven herself worthy to be there. Additionally, she was voted back by fans, so her presence didn’t have much to do with how far she made it before. We also agree that Char has handled herself with professionalism and grace throughout the season.

      1. Thank you for responding to my post. I stand corrected in my hypothesis that Amanda joined the team free of shade – I had to go back & watch the earlier shows. I’m digging Amanda’s work and was very much aware that she was voted back by fans. However, I support my view that having the previous experience on PR has enabled Amanda to return and prove herself worthy. Clearly, she embraced her previous experience & feedback and is a stronger designer because of it. Kudos to Amanda!

        Wow, Korina started out early waving her own banner and slinging mud at several designers! It’s cool to have an opinion, but her words were laced with backhanded insults.

        Earlier & midway the season, Char was flowing forward. I like her design point of view. So I will say, let’s not sleep on Char Glover! Along with her grace, I believe this young designer has much more to say on the runway.

    2. It wasn’t just Char that Corinna went after. I specifically remember her telling Amanda, right to her face, that she thought she was a fake, or poser or something to that effect. I can’t remember her exact words, but basically what she was saying is that Amanda had no talent and shouldn’t be there. I would be very surprised if Corinna is ever able to find someone to work with after her behavior. She needs an attitude adjustment.

  8. A lot of people should of gone home before they did and Korina could of said no about fixing the zipper I would of said in a nice way. But Korina sent herself home she had a hour to make something an pick something she could not do in a hour. Char did something simple that could be done in a hour. Simple is sometimes better. An I understand being stressed and upset. But Korina should of acted like a professional and not like a poor sport. An stop blaming other for her mistake. She was out designed. Do I think Korina should of went to the final no and I don’t think Char should of went. But I’m not a judge and if designing fashion was easy and stress less then everyone would do it and make it to fashion week.

  9. This is the second time I saw an African American get disrespected and NOTHING done about it…Korina clearly had a problem with an African American woman getting more shine than she does…I do not expect this comment to make it far because this is the Racist Denial that America is submersed in …It is just so sad to watch it play out on TV ..we have to work twice as hard to gain respect

      1. What a stupid thing to say. Korina’s hatefulness had nothing to do with the color of Char’s skin. No racism here other than your own racism.

  10. I cheered when Korina was eliminated, and wished for it weeks earlier. She was a snipe from the start, degrading every other designer, but saving her most bile-filled vitriol for Char and Sandhya, both lovely women.
    Everyone on PR is under the same stress, the same pressure, so she does not get a pass on that score. I really do not remember a kind word about anyone from Korina, she is a self-satisfied, rude, bitchy cow. She not only showed her bitchiness toward Heidi on twitter, but also to Nina on the runway, to Tim, to Amanda’s face, and behind every other designer’s back. She deserved to be out much earlier.
    You are surprised she was nice to you and yours during this interview? Really? Getting a personal puff piece and to be the center of attention? Do you think she would burn that bridge? What idiot would?

  11. “OUR exclusive editorial shoot and interview”? Whose would that be? Until I see interviews of other PR designers, my guess is that this site is exclusively ProjectKorinaStilltryingToJustifyHerRudeBehaviour.com.

    1. This is an exclusive with Project: Make It Work. If you look at our archives, you will see the other 13 exclusive interviews we’ve done with past contestants, and there are many more coming up in the next couple of months.

    2. I’ve never been on this website before and never will be again. To charachterise the inexcusable words and behavior of this most unpleasant and unlikable young woman as just a matter of deceptive editing is beyond the pale. Projectmakeitwork and darling Korina richly deserve one another. As the marvelous and gentlemanly Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work!”

  12. Many fans, blogs and articles are blaming PR production for contrived drama, shooting schedule, persuasive editing, etc. This PR season has more controversy than I’ve seen since season 1. The PR spin-off, Under The Gunn, also had controversy in their first season earlier this year, which was related to perceived bullying by the judges. In both cases, bullying, or perceived bullying, is the problem; in my opinion Korina exhibited a few bully traits unrelated to editing. If the producers are allowing a hostile work environment to exist to generate drama, they are playing with fire and the results will be a “hot mess.” Usually hostile work environments are not confined to one office within a company, and are a symptom of a dysfunctional work culture determined by the owners. Not sure if Weinstein still owns PR, but coincidentally they produced the movie “The Bully.” The owners can choose to get back to the roots of the show, showcase talented designers and their work, and create a fun exciting show that continues to excite public interest in the fashion industry. To do this they will need to change the culture of the hostile work environment, or they can continue to play with fire and burn some designers and fans along the way.

      1. First love the show and Mr Gunn. I did not like Amanda’s behavior but I get that she was in a pressure cooker and that we need to be more grateful that our low moments aren’t on blast. The person most hurt was Amanda by her meltdown. So because I have acted at least that badly (and worse) I can forgive it. shrug it it off and hope she is taking care of herself emotionally. At the point that you reach perfection then and only then should you judge and throw those stones.

  13. Despite the transparency of the “find the bad guy” ploy, I wonder how producers handle people to create a bond strong enough for a contestant to unhinge their professional reputation so easily. From being tense, confused and unsure of why she wasn’t doing well, she became a narcissistic, at a level that one must wonder about considering her thin idea base. And, had it been merely that, it would have been fine, however she exacerbated the audiences antipathy by just behaving in about as base a fashion as possible.
    Char may not have the developed (and
    thankfully not as shallow) aesthetic, but
    the whole verbal abuse Korina was allowed to spew transcended the usual bitchfests that occur.

  14. “We noticed other online fans angry about the decision, surprised about the choice to let Korina go, and keep other designers who may or may not have already been saved multiple times,” – what is it about the Tim Gunn Save that is suddenly controversial?
    AND – Char should have been eliminated because a ZiPPER broke as the models left for the show? There was no revision of the design – just a failed construction item.
    It seems to me that you have drunk the Korina Koolaid here. And it smacks of poor sportsmanship, just as it did when Korina (sulkily and then angrily) shared the same sentiments.
    I understand that it is an artificial environment, with the pressure purposely ramped up. But Korina did not show her character in the best light.

  15. I understand that the show puts each designer in a very stressful situation and asks them to complete a masterpiece that is sewn with excellent construction skills within 24 hours (it’s ridiculous). I also understand that it is a television show and drama helps increase the ratings. What I do not understand is in every season of the show (not just this one), there is always someone talking sh*t about their co-designers. NYC fashion industry is a small place where everyone knows someone who knows everyone, I know because I used to be apart of it. Nobody wants to work with someone who talks trash or disrespects other people. I saw Korina do this from the very first episode in regards to Sandhya and then it was Char and it was just tacky. Now I can’t imagine how upsetting her last episode must have been for her but she should have been smarter than to say hateful comments about others and making fun of them. I do hope that her customer base hasn’t lessened due to her portrayal on Project Runway but, I also hope that she will see how each episodes showed her saying hateful things and in turn will think before she talks. I wish her all the luck in the world.

  16. Thanks for sharing this information and for allowing comments. I have a question. I am confused by something you mention in your article. You stated the photo shoot and interview were at the early stages of the PR Season 13, however one of the jackets in the shoot is from Korina’s NY Fashion Week show. Aren’t all the fashion designs supposed to be new items that each designer creates after they are done filming the season? This is not meant to be combative, I am simply trying to understand the process and rules of what PR expects for NY Fashion Week shows. Thank you for any clarification you can provide.

    1. Thank you for your question. The photo shoot was at the beginning of the show’s airing, which was actually just after the entire month of shooting had happened. All designers that were building fashion week collections were already home when we got in touch with Korina, as they have no access to the internet or any media before they are eliminated. I believe it was just after episode three or so that we met up, so she had already been working on building her collection. At the time, she mentioned she had brought a couple of “new pieces” but she hadn’t mentioned any more than that, so when we shot them, we actually didn’t know that they were part of her runway show.

  17. I find it quite interesting how this article defends her appalling attitude. It’s not like she’s the first designer to ever be eliminated… And oh wait, the Tim G. save is nothing new. Other designers handled themselves with dignity and kindness. I’m pretty sure I can actually see a dark cloud around her as she enters a room. Anyway, I will say I’ve never seen karma displayed so beautifully on TV.

    1. Do not EVER bring Korina back! She may not ‘respect’ Shar but VIEWERS do not respect her or her snotty, snide attitude. She was a one-note designer and lost on her own lack of real designing talent. On attitude alone she should have been rejected along with her designs. She does not merit even a slight opportunity to be allowed to come back for another season. Hopefully her ‘clients’ have re-looked at her designing (lack of) skills and look elsewhere and let her grow up and grow as a ‘real’ designer.

      1. You are entitled to your opinion and we thank you for sharing. To clarify, we are not sure where there was a suggestion by anyone to ask Korina back for future seasons, though we wouldn’t be opposed to it.

  18. I understand that Project Runway is a pressured, intense environment. (FYI- This is the environment that the contestants are WELL aware of from previous seasons and willingly sign up for.) Despite the difficult environment, NONE of the other designers displayed Korina’s CONSISTENT levels of nastiness, bitterness, and unprofessionalism. There was a lot of general ugliness, but I’m particularly referencing her treatment of her fellow designers Amanda and Char and her toddler-esque tantrum when she was asked to assist current contestants revive a losing look and she stormed off the set. A few weeks back, an NFL player gave an interview about how he made it to the Pros. He told his story- NFL agents came to his college to scout his then quarterback and he was asked to be the nobody that caught the football during the quarterback’s audition. He decided that he would give it 100% and turn it into his opportunity. The scouts- not there to see him- were so impressed by his professionalism, talent, and drive that, at the end of the practice, they told him, “Today, you’ve made it to the NFL.” (By the way, the college quarterback that they came to see NEVER made it into the league). Project Runway is one BIG OPPORTUNITY and in the way that she presented herself during the show and when asked to return after elimination, she BLEW it. What the world saw was an inflated sense of ego, an unwillingness to work on a team (which is mandatory in both the real world and fashion industry), and (in Emily’s words during Korina’s elimination episode) someone who would rather focus on hatred than putting energy into making her design better. People ARE talking TONS about Korina, but the bulk of it hasn’t been good. Zac Posen is applauding Char’s professionalism on Twitter, other designers made statements about how hard it was to work with Korina, and MOST PR fans and POTENTIAL Emmlich NY clients are openly saying that, even though they liked some of Korina’s work, they would never spend a dime supporting her or her business. That is the legacy that SHE BUILT and blaming producers and the difficult environment is a cop-out. Ugly is as ugly does.

  19. While I watch the show aware that the designers are working under extraordinarily difficult circumstances (emotionally and physically) and give them leeway (it IS a situation that encompasses such stress in such a short period of time beyond what most of us have experienced), the point is – every designer on the show is working under these same circumstances. Every, if not most, designers on this show are working toward their life-long dream. Nonethless, not every designer has reacted the way Korina did. Even prior to her elimination episode, I saw Korina ragging on other designers (not just designs, but designers themselves) instead of focusing on her own work. First it was Amanda, then it was Sandhya, and finally it was Char. That behavior is inexcusable and there was no remorse for her lashing out and hurting others. Whatever the reason there was for this, whatever contributed, Korina had no excuse to hurt others on the show. None. She is responsible for her own actions.

    Now, I understand editing plays a huge part in how designers are portrayed but still, Korina said those things and nobody forced her to. Other designers have managed to act with grace and decorum in these same situations. Whatever anger I see in reaction to Korina’s elimination episode comes from (what I have observed) Korina’s atrocious behavior towards Char. While I can’t even imagine Korina’s devastation to being eliminated when she was so close to Fashion Week (I could feel it through my screen and felt for her), I also felt incredibly horrible for Char due to how she was being treated by Korina. Char has that same dream to make a career for herself in fashion and that gave Korina no right to hurt her. In addition to working in the same conditions Korina was, Char was facing bullying and verbal degradation from another designer. Anyone who has been bullied knows how destructive that is.

    That being said, I will say it was absolutely crappy of the show to bring Korina back into that situation with Char so soon after. That was wrong and felt like 100% drama bait. It was right of Korina to immediately step back, for both her sake the sake of other designers.

    Finally, I did like most of Korina’s designs from the start and do think she’s talented. However, I hope she reflects on this experience and uses it to better her life. She’ll always have a chance at fashion and she can make it.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Natasha. We agree that everyone is responsible for their own actions, we don’t condone bad behavior, and we hope that Project Runway is a learning experience for all involved. We have been surprised as the season unfolded to watch how the stories developed, and we took this opportunity to explain more to the general public as best we could what the environment must be like for all of the designers. We also agree that everyone makes different decisions in how they handle the pressure, and that some people handle the whole situation gracefully and professionally, no matter what happens.

      Our hope in combining our feature on Korina and this general information about the PR process is to show that tv can show people in a different light than others might experience with them in reality. Before most of this show had aired, we had a really wonderful personal and professional experience with Korina, and we were going to share that no matter what happened on the show. Because of this “dual” experience, we’re taking the opportunity to remind people that this “five minutes of fame” isn’t necessarily everything, and people can redeem themselves, learn and grow.

  20. Dude, you need to get better sound!! That’s my only critique. Don’t use on board sound unless it sounds REALLY, REALLY clean.

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