To most unknown and/or struggling designers trying to break into the industry, winning the grand prize on a season of Project Runway sounds like an absolute dream come true: $100,000, a major fashion mag editorial, an ultra-expensive technology suite, website partnerships, instant name recognition, and endless opportunities for publicity.
But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? When Tim Gunn is no longer hovering over your shoulder in the workroom, telling you what ‘worries’ him? Or when, instead of competing against 15 designers in a challenge, you’re competing with potentially hundreds of thousands of designers around the world?
With Project Runway All Stars (finally!) premiering tonight, it got us wondering about all the seriously talented individuals to whom Heidi Klum never said “auf wiedersehen.” We did a bit of Interweb-snooping to find out what the winners of all nine Project Runway seasons have been up to lately, and as you may have suspected, a lot of them have reverted to general obscurity in that little fish/big pond scenario. Because when the reality show ends, real reality sets in – and as you’ve probably noticed, not everyone has ended up like Christian Siriano. But the most important thing is, they’re all still working at it: Current career ventures range from selling on Etsy, designing a children’s line, collaborating on electronics cases (a popular option), and creating clothes from recycled plastic bottles.
Take a look at our roundup of past PR winners. Are you surprised by the success (or lack-thereof) that they’ve earned following their seasons? Do you think any of them might still become household names in the future?
(Project Runway All Stars premieres tonight on Lifetime at 9pm/8c.
P.S. Go Mondo!!)
All Photos: Getty