Meet the Project Runway Season 11 Designers

Posted on January 11, 2013

Attention whores: PRESENT.

Project Runway Season 11 -Teams Edition, premieres Thursday, January 24, at 9pm.

Once again, we are faced with a fresh crop of drama queens, darlings. Because Lifetime won’t be happy until Project Runway is broadcast every hour of every day.

So let’s do the usual round of pre-judging. Who’s the bitch? The naive one? The not-here-to-make-friends one? The sassy homosexual? The dilettante? The completely forgettable one? The self-taught one? The one with rage issues? Go to town, darlings.

 

Amanda Valentine, 31 – Hometown: Lincoln, NE; Resides in Nashville, TN

Current occupation?
I make my living now as a wardrobe stylist and costume designer. I work on everything from music videos to commercials to photo shoots. This month I’ve dressed musicians for red carpet, shot a hot-sauce ad and worked on a hospital training video.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
YES! I design professionally. I’ve been designing for years. I also have a unique point of view that is forward-thinking and wearable at the same time. And doggoneit, I WANT it!

Benjamin Mach, 35 – Hometown: Sydney, Australia; Resides in London, England

Current occupation?
I work creatively on so many projects, including set design, costume design and graphic design, and when I am not being paid to design for others I am working away at establishing the “NARCISSUS by Benjamin Mach” brand.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
For me the winner of “Project Runway” is n’t the person who walks away with the money prize in the final episode. The winner is the person who has longevity in the international fashion industry and is also embraced by the international fashion community over seasons to come. I have been designing for other brands for a long time, and I have gained experience on so many levels in my career that I feel as though I have the talent and skills to be a brilliant winner for “Project Runway.” My end goal is to establish myself as a celebrated designer in the real world, whatever the outcome of the competition. I’m living life to win.

Cindy Marlatt, 59 – Hometown: Kent, WA; Resides in Kent, WA

Current occupation?
I design my new line most days, and work part-time, as needed, at the funeral home that my husband and I own and that he still operates.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think I could win PR with the right challenges. The mix of personalities that I may be teamed up with also makes such a difference. It’s really just the luck of the draw.

Daniel Esquivel, 48 – Hometown: Austin, TX; Resides in Austin, TX

Current occupation?
Freelance designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes, because I have my point of view about fashion.

Emily Pollard, 24 – Hometown: Richfield, OH; Resides in Falls Church, VA

Current occupation?
Graphic designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I hope so! There are so many talented designers out there with way more experience than me. I guess we just have to wait and see!

James Martinez, 29 – Hometown: Dallas, TX; Resides in Dallas, TX

Current occupation?
Designer of my own brand.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes, because I have what it takes.

Joseph Aaron Segal, 30 – Hometown: Framingham, MA; Resides in Providence, RI

Current occupation?
I work full-time designing and making my World of JAS and Pretty Snake collections. I also teach part-time in the textiles department at Rhode Island School of Design.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yeah! I make awesome stuff!

Katelyn Pankoke, 23 – Hometown: Parkland, FL; Resides in Chicago, IL

Current occupation?
I am a designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I totally believe that I can win “Project Runway.” I have literally been training for this moment since the show originated. I know that I have what it takes to complete the challenges and stay true to my design aesthetic. I am confident in my ability as a designer, and I am determined to prove to myself and the world that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Layana Aguilar, 28 – Hometown: Valadares, Brazil; Resides in New York, NY

Past jobs?
I got my very first job when I moved to America. I had never worked before, because in Brazil it is not very common for teenagers to have a job. I wasn’t very happy about it, but my mom explained to me that here in the USA all kids start working when they turn 16, so I decided to try. I started working at Costco in the bakery department. First I started wrapping cookies and bread, and then once they saw I was good at making flowers from icing, I was transferred to the cake department to decorate cakes. I had so much fun there. It was just like designing, but on cakes! After two years working in the bakery I decided to try something different, and I transferred to the Photo Lab department, where I also had a great time. I got to interact more with customers, design holiday cards and see very funny pictures! Five years ago people were still using regular cameras, so we would, accidentally, get to see a lot of “surprises” when developing rolls of film … I worked at Costco for a little over four years, until I transferred to FIT and moved to NYC. While attending fashion school I knew I had to gain as much experience as I could in fashion. I was able to volunteer for New York Fashion Week and land many great internships with well-known labels such as Wes Gordon, Carlos Campos, Rachel Roy, Marchesa and finally at Oscar de la Renta, a dream turned into reality, where I learned very valuable assets for my career.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes. Everything I do is a matter of heart, body and soul. Designing clothes for women fulfills me, so I am very determined to win. I have learned to understand fashion and its real importance by allowing everything around me to influence my vision as an artist and how I create. I become a better designer each day, by never making the mistake to think or say, “I live and breathe fashion.” Fashion cannot exist alone; all the experiences I live, and all that is happening around the world, create fashion. As a woman I have learned to design with all emotions and complications that we go through, and I long to bring beauty, to enhance personalities and to add power to the women who wear my clothes. As nurturers, women have a unique ability to care, share and make the world a better place. Women who inspire are women who are making a difference, and my goal is to inspire many of us through my work. Winning “Project Runway” will open many of the doors I need to accomplish my dreams.

Mat Arthur, 30 – Hometown: Hammond, LA; Resides in New Orleans, LA

Current occupation?
I manage a large salon in New Orleans.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I am going to have to bring my voodoo dolls.

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, 34 – Hometown: Portland, OR; Resides in Portland, OR

Current occupation?
When not designing and constructing clothes, I work part-time at a local design boutique, Garnish Apparel.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes. And I will.

Patricia Michaels, 46 – Hometown: Taos, NM; Resides in Taos, NM

Current occupation?
Fashion and textile design.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think I could win “Project Runway,” because no one else can do what I do. I create from the drape to the pattern to the fabrication to the design. My garments have meaning behind them that comes from a very old culture then brought into a very contemporary realm. I hope to win, and I hope to continue to be able to design.

Richard Hallmarq, 40 – Hometown: Sacramento, CA; Resides in Sacramento, CA

Current occupation?
Admissions representative.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I can only do my best and hope it takes me all the way. Now, let`s do this!

Samantha Black, 28 – Hometown: Bronx, NY/ Fairfield, CT; Resides in Brooklyn, NY

Past jobs?
Women’s denim designer, associate junior designer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
YES, because my aesthetic matched with my drive is something not many people possess.

Stanley Hudson, 45- Hometown: Pomona, CA; Resides in West Hollywood, CA

Current occupation?
Stylist/costumer.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
I think so. I think I’m a strong designer and my designs are what I think women would love wearing.

Tu Nakchat, 26 – Hometown: Chacheangsao, Thailand; Resides in Springfield, VA

Past jobs?
Assistant designer, and I have worked in all the positions in a restaurant, from dishwasher to server to cook.

Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Yes!! Why not?

 

More info about the designers here.

 

[Photo Credit: Barbara Nitke for Lifetime]

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