On March 14, 2019, the reality fashion design series "Project Runway" returns to Bravo — the network that first launched the hit show back in 2004. Although we're sad that longtime host Heidi Klum and fashion mentor Tim Gunn won't be returning, we're excited to see another familiar face — Season 4 winner Christian Siriano, who will serve as the new mentor to the designers. In honor of the show's return, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at what Christian and more of our favorite "Project Runway" contestants are up to these days. Keep reading for more…
Perhaps the most famous former "Project Runway" contestant is designer to the stars Christian Siriano, seen here with actresses Danielle Brooks and MJ Rodriguez in 2019. After winning Season 4, Christian collaborated on a shoe line with budget retailer Payless Shoe Source while continuing to work on his eponymous fashion label. To date, his designs have dressed celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Emily Blunt, Janelle Monae, Amy Adams, Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama, Leslie Jones and dozens more. Along with returning to "Project Runway" as Tim Gunn's replacement in 2019, Christian, who split from singer-songwriter Brad Walsh in 2018 after nearly three years of marriage, made headlines for creating the stunning black-and-white tuxedo gown actor Billy Porter wore to the Academy Awards.
Leanne Marshall was the Season 5 winner of "Project Runway" who wowed judges with her wave-inspired finale collection. The shy but snarky designer proved her low-key personality didn't influence her beautiful and bold fashion line.
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Following Leanne Marshall's incredible victory on "Project Runway," she continued to build her brand, launching the fashion site Bluefly and showing her ready-to-wear line at New York Fashion Week. Dressing stars like Julianne Hough, Ariana Grande and Jane Fonda, Leanne became known for her fluid, feminine styles. In 2011, Leanne launched her next passion project, a signature collection of bridal gowns that have become the mainstay of her brand.
Whether you loved or hated Season 3 winner Jeffrey Sebelia, he was no doubt one of the most entertaining designers to watch on "Project Runway." The cantankerous, tattooed designer overcame addiction to earn his spot on the series and was known to have a sharp tongue, once even making his co-competitor's mom cry!
As the resident bad boy-turned-champion of "Project Runway," Jeffrey Sebelia took his rough-edged reputation and turned it into a rock-solid career. Dressing music's biggest stars including Chester Bennington, Gwen Stefani and more in couture fashion, Jeffrey earned street cred as a designer with an eye for art. His labels include Cosa Nostra, Consigliere and his children's line, La Miniatura. Jeffrey returned to TV numerous times to compete on "Project Runway All Stars," where he attempted to show a sweeter side of his personality. Today, Jeffrey — who split from his girlfriend, with whom he has son Harrison, after his season ended — lives in Los Angeles. In 2018, he launched his newest project, Air Atelier, an artist-in-residence label featuring the collaborative work of some of the hottest designers in the industry.
On Season 12 of "Project Runway," designer Dom Streater might have sometimes played it safe, but her passion for art and her brilliant eye ultimately made her the winner. Proving she wasn't afraid to take risks, Dom styled all the models after herself during the showing of her final collection on the series.
Philadelphia native Dom Streater, seen here in 2018 with her "Project Runway" competitor-turned-friend Justin LeBlanc, has kept a low profile while continuing to build her eponymous, online-only fashion label. Dom competed on Season 5 of "Project Runway All Stars" and won the series once again. Aside from her bold fashion and textile designs, which include limited-edition items, Dom is also happily raising a son with husband Ivan.
Another villain on "Project Runway" who we loved was designer Wendy Pepper, who earned the ire of her Season 1 co-stars for her lack of innovation and fashion experience. While we were often frustrated watching Wendy onscreen, we couldn't help but enjoy seeing her plot and scheme against her fellow contestants (she even pulled the mom card to get ahead!).
Things seemed promising for Wendy Pepper following her "Project Runway" exit. The quirky Washington D.C. native returned home to launch her own clothing line, Pretty World, which she sold out of her own store. In 2012, she returned to Bravo to compete in "Project Runway All Stars" but was eliminated after the second challenge. Sadly, in 2017, Wendy, whose real name was Anna Eustis Pepper Stewart, died at 53, reportedly of complications from pneumonia following a long cancer battle.
Santino Rice might not have won Season 2 of "Project Runway," but he's still one of our favorite contestants to ever star on the series. His larger-than-life personality, great sense of humor, habit of singing while he worked, spot-on impersonation of Tim Gunn and awesome rap skills endeared Santino to us long after he was eliminated.
Even though Santino Rice didn't win Season 2 of "Project Runway," his career as a TV personality took flight in the following years. In 2009, Santino joined the panel of judges on "RuPaul's Drag Race," later appearing as a judge on "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked" as well as the all-star versions of the shows. In 2010, he linked up with former "Project Runway" contestant Austin Scarlett to host "On the Road with Austin & Santino," but the series was canceled after just one season. In 2015, Santino left "Drag Race" and has since remained largely out of the limelight. Thankfully, we'll catch a peek of him again when he appears in the 2019 documentary "Mr. Ward."
Laos-born Chloe Dao is easily one of the most determined "Project Runway" stars who's ever competed on the show . After begrudgingly keeping the peace with fellow Season 2 contestant Santino Rice and nearly having a mental breakdown during the production of her final collection, the petite Houston-based designer was crowned the winner.
Following Chloe Dao's win on "Project Runway," she wasted no time showcasing her unique clothing designs for the world. In 2007, her work was featured at the Smithsonian Museum and she launched an eponymous clothing label with the QVC network. Just a year later, Chloe (right, with screenwriter Adele Lim in 2018) opened her Houston-based boutique, Lot 8, which was later renamed DAO Chloe DAO. In 2013, Chloe returned to TV as a judge for "Project Runway Vietnam." Today, Chloe is still in Houston working on new clothing collections for her lines.
Not only was Jay McCarroll the very first winner of "Project Runway" — he was also one of the funniest designers on the show. Known for speaking his mind, Jay once told fellow competitor Wendy Pepper, "Nobody likes you!" in the midst of a heated argument.
This picture, from 2015, shows a lighter and leaner Jay McCarroll, who slimmed down thanks to the reality series "Celebrity Fit Club" in 2010, where he managed to drop 40 pounds. Although Jay hasn't been in the limelight much since his reality TV days, the talented designer has stayed busy launching his own textile and clothing lines and a thriving QVC women's brand and teaching design at Philadelphia University. In 2019, Jay will return to television in the documentary "American Style."
Irina Shabayeva is the fashion designer we loved to hate — we couldn't get enough of her on Season 6 of "Project Runway." Exuding more self-confidence than her co-competitors could handle, Irina proved the haters wrong when she was announced as the show's winner.
Seen here in 2019 with Season 10 "Project Runway" winner Dmitry Sholokhov, Irina Shabayeva is still stirring up the small screen with repeat appearances on "Project Runway All Stars." The feisty designer has her own label as well as an outerwear line with Home Shopping Network. She was the mastermind behind the gauzy gown Carrie Underwood wore on the cover of her "Blown Away" album. Irina is competing on Season 7 of "Project Runway All Stars," which started airing in January 2019 on Lifetime.
Even though Mychael Knight wasn't the Season 3 winner of "Project Runway," he was voted fan favorite, and for good reason. Along with earning respect for his ultra-cool hip-hop-inspired fashion designs, Mychael was one of the sweetest contestants — he never got into fights with his co-stars and made sure to call his mom each day.
Following Mychael Knight's exit from "Project Runway," the young urban designer unveiled his eponymous label and a unisex fragrance called MajK. Along with appearing on "Project Runway All Stars," Mychael worked as a stylist to the stars, dressing celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Patti LaBelle. Sadly, Mychael's rise in the fashion world was cut short when he died in 2017 following treatment for intestinal issues. He was just 39.
Known for her chic, flowing and feminine creations, German designer Uli Herzner was the definition of Miami Beach cool. While her nice-girl persona made her one of our favorites during Season 3 of "Project Runway," we loved that Uli didn't rely on her European ancestry to win any points with the show's German host, Heidi Klum.
After leaving "Project Runway," Uli Herzner (left) returned to Palm Beach, Florida, where she continued designing her signature dress line along with other ready-to-wear looks. For a brief time, Uli hosted the web series "It's Very Uli" on Plum TV and in 2012, she returned to TV as a competitor on "Project Runway All Stars." Today, Uli works as a freelance stylist and sells her lines in several Palm Beach boutiques as well as on her website, Uli Herzner Designs.
If anyone stood out during Season 8 of "Project Runway," it was Mondo Guerra. The quirky, boldly styled competitor bloomed throughout the show, eventually inviting viewers into his private world by sharing how he was diagnosed with HIV when he was just 22 years old. Mondo was one of the few designers for whom mentor Tim Gunn went to bat, saying the judges' choice to crown Gretchen Jones the season winner over Mondo was "incomprehensible."
In addition to making repeat television appearances on "Project Runway," "Project Runway All Stars" (which he won) and "Under the Gunn," Mondo Guerra has also been an advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS. In 2013, he became the spokesperson for Subaru's annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser, Dining Out for Life. Two years later, Mondo partnered with Subaru Legacy to create a World AIDS Day design for Art Basel in Miami. He even dabbled in acting after appearing as himself in the 2015 romantic dramedy "Red Pearl." As if he wasn't busy enough, Mondo also continues to design whimsical, colorful looks for his eponymous fashion line.
It was hard not to champion Korto Momolu, a finalist on Season 5 of "Project Runway." The fierce and fearless designer was bold with her color and pattern choices and created sensual looks that invoked femininity and power. Although she ultimately didn't win the show, she still won our adoration.
Success doesn't even begin to describe Korto Momolu's career since leaving "Project Runway." The Liberia-born designer was quick to translate her TV fame into several high-end fashion lines, including an eco-friendly collection called Green Love and accessories sold exclusively at Dillard's and Smithsonian museum stores. Korto (pronounced cut-toe) has even designed signature looks for Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and for the Miss Universe competition. Along with showing her collections at New York Fashion Week, returning to TV in "Project Runway All Stars" and participating in numerous philanthropic events, Korto also parents two children, Alyse and Cameron.