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How Suede Makes It Work

Designer Suede of Project Runway and All Stars

Designer Suede of Project Runway and All Stars (Photo Credit Springs Creative Group)

From the moment he stepped into the Project Runway workroom, Suede made his mark.  He was destined to be a PR legend.  He knew how to brand himself, and he even referred to himself in third person when doing his on-camera interviews.  We think this was just his brilliant way to make sure you never forgot who he was.  Suede definitely has a punk rock vibe, but he doesn’t shy away from color or print.  His runway collection from Season 5 demonstrates his love of texture, sparkle, and feminine silhouettes.  Suede recently took some time away from his extremely busy schedule to interview with us, and we’re so excited to share what he’s been up to with all of you!

HOW SUEDE MAKES IT WORK

1. Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in?

Suede – Project Runway Season 5, the show’s final Season on Bravo, and Project Runway All*Stars Season 2, on Lifetime.

2)  Please give a brief description of your design style.

Suede created the SUEDEsays™ Brand after appearing on Season 5 of Project Runway.  Our design aesthetic ranges from Classic, Edgy, & Flirty for young ladies, to Prep, Sport, and Rock for young men.  We are international and in over 4,000 stores in the United States alone.   Our mission statement is to bring affordable, timely, trend right products to market.

Suede Says Menswear Looks

Suede Says Menswear Looks (Photo Credit Tom Contrino)

Suede Says Brand "Rock Your Prom" Designs

Suede Says Brand “Rock Your Prom” Designs (Photo Credit Tom Contrino)

4)  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

Our biggest accomplishment has certainly been launching the SUEDEsays™ brand, and being able to work with the everyday consumer internationally and in over 4,000 stores in the United States.  We have an exclusive line of Special Occasion Fabrics with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, which is beyond thrilling for us.  While it’s always fun to dress celebs, our biggest joy comes from working with the all the home fashionistas out there and providing inspiration.

Suede Says "Rock Your Prom" Fabrics for JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores

Suede Says “Rock Your Prom” Fabrics for JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores (Photo Credit Springs Creative Group)

3)  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

Besides the obvious, the most challenging thing about being on Project Runway was stepping into the great unknown – no family, no friends, no contact with the outside world while on set – not knowing how you would place, and being sequestered in a bubble with so many other talented designers.

5)  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

We work about a year in advance, so we are working on product assortment for 2015, coming up with new concepts, all the while managing current assortments with our various retailers  Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, Wal*Mart, Hobby Lobby, and Hancock Fabrics to mention a few.

Suede Says for Simplicity Patterns

Suede Says for Simplicity Patterns (Photo Credit Tom Contrino)

6) How has Social Media impacted your life after Project Runway?

After appearing on Project Runway, our door to social media became fully open.  We live in the age of Social Media, so it’s paramount to connect with your fan base and consumers.  We get e-mails on a daily basis from people all over the world.  We love hearing from everyone, and we get back to all who do reach out to us.  Be sure to visit us at SUEDEsays.com and feel free to shoot us a message through the website, or directly to uROCKit@SUEDEsays.com

Suede Says Design

Suede Says Design

7)  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

The tool we can’t live without remains a secret for now <wink>, as we are working with our partners to bring this new tool to market.   Promise, once it comes out it will have all of you buzzing and totally excited – stay tuned kittens!!

8)  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

To keep up with all things Suede be sure to check us out at SUEDEsays.com.

For the full line of SUEDEsays patterns visit: SUEDEsays™ Patterns 

For the full line of SUEDEsays fabrics visit: SUEDEsays™ Fabrics  

Suede Says for Simplicity Patterns

Suede Says for Simplicity Patterns

Special Thanks to Suede for taking the time to answer our questions.  Suede, we wish you all the best and we commend you for your business savvy! – C.Scott

How Jack Mackenroth Makes It Work

We’re going old school this week with our Project Runway interview series!  Back in the day, when Project Runway was just peaking in popularity, and still on the Bravo network, a very handsome young designer, Jack Mackenroth, was making his mark from week to week.  It has been seven years since the airing of the series, and Jack has made his way in the world, not best known for his sportswear design, but for his work as a model and an HIV+ spokesperson.  We recently got in touch with Jack, and he shared some of his PR memories, but also let us know about the important work he is doing right now.

Project Runway Designer Jack Mackenroth

Project Runway Designer Jack Mackenroth

HOW JACK MACKENROTH MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in?

 I was on season 4.  I was doing well–never in the bottom 3, and won a challenge, but I had to leave the competition early because I got a very serious staph infection in my face, and had to go to the hospital.

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

I was always a sportswear designer–primarily menswear.  I design clothes that real people wear.  I like subtle, special design details that make a piece original without saying “LOOK AT ME!”

Jack Mackenroth modeling the "Love Across Barriers" T-shirt he designed for Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM).

Jack Mackenroth modeling the “Love Across Barriers” T-shirt he designed for Clothing of the American Mind (COTAM).

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

Instafame is pretty crazy.  Season 3 and 4 were at the height of the show’s popularity, so after the show aired I was inundated with emails and Facebook messages, and people stopped me on the street constantly.  That took a lot of getting used to.  But it also faded away pretty quickly.  It still happens from time to time even 7 years later.  It’s such a weird concept to think that people you don’t know know who you are.

The other thing that was incredibly challenging is the schedule. I don’t think viewers realize that we film the whole season in about 5 weeks. There are no days off and we sleep about 4-5 hours per night. It’s insanity.

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

Well I am a bit of an anomaly compared to most of the other Runway Alumni.  I decided to take my 15 minutes of fame and go in a different direction.  In the year after the show I filmed 4 TV pilots (that never aired), and did a lot of red carpet hosting gigs.  I had a cameo in the Sex and the City movie with SJP and all the girls.  

Jack Mackenroth in the Sex and The City Movie

Jack Mackenroth’s cameo in the Sex and The City Movie

I was also the first Runway designer to be open about my positive HIV status so that brought some amazing opportunities as well.  I toured around the country for 4 years as the HIV spokesperson for Merck Pharmaceuticals, and I worked on an amazing HIV testing initiative, and photo campaign. We photographed TONS of celebrities–Sandra Bernhard, Billy Porter of Kinky Boots, Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, Senators and Congressmen, and on and on. 

5.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

Definitely a seam ripper.

Pink Seam Ripper

Pink Seam Ripper

6.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

PLEASE follow me on Twitter! I’m an addict. www.Twitter.com/jackmackenroth

You can also find more about Jack at: www.jackemackenroth.com!

Special thanks to Jack for taking the time to talk with us!  We wish you all the best and commend you for your positive work and for being a role model to the HIV positive community! -C.S.

How Leanne Marshall Makes It Work

Leanne Marshall carries herself with quiet elegance.  In season 5 of Project Runway, Leanne consistently produced beautiful work, and stayed true to her style, which is a challenge for many designers.  With confidence in her skills, and the ability to deliver results, Leanne deservingly won the season. She has her own flagship location in New York City, in which she and her team create gowns that are ethereal and feminine.  We got in touch with Leanne recently, and she shared a bit with us about her Project Runway experience, and what she and her staff of magical fairies are creating now.

Leanne Marshall in her Studio

Leanne Marshall in her Studio

HOW LEANNE MARSHALL MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in? 

Leanne Marshall, Project Runway Season 5, Winner.

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

 My designs are known for their light, flowing lines, feminine details and timeless elegance. I create clothing I believe women will want to wear.

Leanne Marshall Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

 

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

It is constant and unrelenting. As soon as one challenge stops, another begins. A week in, you are exhausted and drained. Determination and a strong focus are the only things that can pull you through.

 

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

I had an amazing time working with Paula Abdul. She is very hands on in the process while still allowing me the creative license to do what I do best. She was one of my first and most memorable celebrity clients.

 5.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

My snippies. They can be found around my neck in every waking hour. I use them for everything!

6.  How has social media impacted your life after Project Runway?

It has been a very powerful tool. I am just now beginning to take full advantage of it. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest allow me to share my work and new projects in a very personalized way. From the various social media outlets, I get several clients every month.

(Twitter: @leannemarshall_, Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/fashionleanne/)

A Close-Up of Handwork on A Leanne Marshall Dress

A Close-Up of Handwork on A Leanne Marshall Dress

7.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

By this fall, my bridal line will be in 30 global retailers. We have locations all over the US as well as Canada, Japan, Australia, Japan and England. I am also thrilled to be a part of the BHLDN family. They are currently selling two of my gowns. I have also had a very fulfilling partnership with Simplicity Pattern Company. Since 2011, I have been creating exclusive designs for them. It is really wonderful to see what the home sewers of the world create using my patterns. This past June, I celebrated one year in my NYC Flagship location. We meet with our real women and celebrity clients and everything is made right there by hand.

Leanne Marshall Bridal Gown

Leanne Marshall Bridal Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

8.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

I would love you to see everything I am up to.  Check out Facebook.com/leannemarshallofficial, and Instagram @leannemarshalldesigns.  (also check out Leanne’s Etsy Store: www.etsy.com/shop/Leanimal, and her homepage: www.leannemarshall.com)

Leanne Marshall Dress

Leanne Marshall Dress

We’d like to thank Leanne for taking the time to do this interview, and especially for all of the stunning images!  Leanne, we wish you the best in all you do, and we dream of wearing your dresses!  -C. Scott

Leanne Marshall Gown

Leanne Marshall Gown

All interview answers and images provided by Leanne Marshall unless watermarked, linked, or specified. Photographer: Leanne Marshall, Makeup by Nathan Johnson.

How Johnathan Kayne Makes It Work

 

Johnathan Kayne’s designs sparkle, just like their creator.  In the literal sense, his signature gowns are covered in Swarovskis, but figuratively, they reflect the care and love Jonathan puts into designing them.  We would go so far as to say that Johnathan is the event gown guru of Project Runway.  Johnathan has the market cornered for red carpets, beauty pageants, and proms.  We would also refer to Johnathan as a Project Runway pro, as he has done his time on a regular season, and a season of All Stars.   Recently, we had the wonderful pleasure of speaking with Johnathan, and he shared with us all of the very exciting things he has going on in his sparkly world.

HOW JOHNATHAN KAYNE MAKES IT WORK

1.  Who are you, and what season/s did you participate in? 

I competed on Season 3 on Project Runway and was a Top 5 finalist.  I also competed on Project Runway All Stars Season 2.

2.  Please give a brief description of your design style.

My design style is very elegant and feminine. My shoe and dress collections are typically adorned with Swarovski crystals and intricate hand beading.

Johnathan Kayne Design SS2014

Johnathan Kayne Design SS2014

 

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Project Runway experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

Honestly, the most challenging aspect was trying to figure out exactly what the judges were looking for each challenge.

 

4.  Who have you met or worked with during or since the Project Runway experience that you are most proud of or excited about?

I have been most excited to work with and design for Jennifer Lopez, Lee Brice, Martina McBride since my Project Runway experience.

Gown by Johnathan Kayne

Lee and Sara Brice at the American Country Music Awards

 

Maggie Rose at the CMT Awards

Maggie Rose at the CMT Awards

 

5.  What are you currently working on or excited about professionally?

I have moved my home and entire business operation back to my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  I also serve as a red carpet fashion correspondent for Country Weekly Magazine and Zuus Media. I am building my brand as the go-to red carpet designer of the south.

I am prepping to launch my SS 2015 collections debuting this fall. I also have hired a good friend and Project Runway All Star, Joshua McKinley, to collaborate on an evening wear collection.

This is the first time in history that two Project Runway Alum have collaborated on a collection!

From itsjoshuamcklinley instagram

Johnathan with collaborator and friend, Designer Joshua McKinley (From itsjoshuamcklinley instagram)

 

6.  Besides the basics, what sewing notion or tool could you NEVER do without?

A seam ripper.

 

7. How has social media impacted your life after Project Runway?

Social media has allowed me to give the world a closer look at my creative vision, and allows for my fans to see what inspires me.  I believe a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and a video, millions. We try to inspire our followers through our collections and through our social media. I love connecting with our fans, and am so thankful and blessed to have such beautiful people across the world as followers.

(Johnathan Kayne social media: Twitter: Johnathan_Kayne, YouTube: johnathankayne, Facebook: www.facebook.com/johnathankayne, Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/johnathankayne/)

8.  Is there anything else you’d like us to know or see?

Check out my website, www.JohnathanKayne.com where you will see all of my current collections, custom designs, and related media. Also please like and follow all of my social media links on my website to stay up to date with my brand and I.

Model: Chanley Painter, Photo by Adrian

Johnathan Kayne Dress, Model: Chanley Painter, Photo by Adrian

Thank you so much to Johnathan for his participation and generous contributions to this piece.  Johnathan, it has been a pleasure chatting with you, we wish you all the best! – C.Scott

All text and images provided by Johnathan Kayne unless watermarked, linked, or specified.

 

TBT: The Time Nick Verreos Designed Barbie Clothes

TBT: The Time Nick Verreos Designed Barbie Clothes

It was 2005, Project Runway Season 2, Episode 3, and Nick Verreos won the My Scene Barbie Challenge with the above number. The doll was reproduced in a limited edition, and sold out quickly. You can still find the dolls on Ebay for a pretty penny. ( http://bit.ly/1yS5rT0 )