fashion week

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.


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

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

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How Sam Donovan Makes It Work

Sam Donovan Selfie

Sam Donovan Selfie

Sam Donovan is a young designer from the Boston area, full of ideas and an expert at pin-pointing what’s next in ready-to-wear.  He is a Parsons alum, and has the skill set to make any Alma Mater proud.  We saw this skill demonstrated on Project Runway’s Under The Gunn, and were intrigued early on. Especially when he put a pair of overalls down the runway in a red carpet challenge, and WON.  We caught up with Sam recently, to see what he’s been up to since the show aired.

Photos from Lifetime's Under the Gunn

Sam Donovan’s Evening Wear Overalls


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

I’m Sam Donovan, Runner-Up on Season 1 of Project Runway: Under the Gunn.

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

I like to think of my design style as a revved-up version of casual wear-my girl is the most fabulously dressed girl at her Sunday brunch in Brooklyn. Very street wear inspired, with graphic, athletic lines, done in an eclectic mix of prints and textures.


From Sam Donovan's Twitter

A Slice of Sam Donovan’s Under The Gunn Designs

3.  What was the most challenging thing about the Under The Gunn experience BESIDES the challenges themselves?

I think the most challenging aspect of Under the Gunn was trying not to get stuck in a rut, while making sure I always finished on time. I may have defaulted to one too many circle skirts in the interest of maintaining my time management.

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

Asha Ama Daniels (a fellow Under the Gunn designer) has been such an inspiration to me. She has a great energy and resilience to the harshness of the fashion world that comes out in her work, and she’s energized me to convey my rebellious attitude towards fashion in my work.

Sam Donovan and his mentor on Under The Gunn, Mondo

Sam Donovan and His mentor on Under The Gunn, Mondo

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

Right now I’m working on some client work (mostly drag queens) as well as applying for jobs, and thinking about my own work, and where I want to take it in the future.

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

I have my grandmother’s red measuring tape from her old sewing kit, that I never work without.  It’s like she’s draping the garment with me when I construct.  Also, sharpies for marking stubborn fabrics.

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

I think if there’s anything else people need to know about me, it’s that I generally use more color than I showed on Under the Gunn!
Sam with his Under The Gunn Finale Collection

Sam with his Under The Gunn Finale Collection

If you want to connect with Sam, check out his website at!

Special thanks to Sam for taking the time to chat with us.  Sam, we wish you all the best, in whatever you do, and if you’re ever in New York, get in touch! -C. Scott

All interview text and photo content provided by Sam Donovan, unless watermarked, linked, or specified.