When I think of Christian Siriano, I think “fierce” and “fabulous.” I have been a Project Runway fanatic since the first episode, but no one before or since has had the impact of Christian Siriano. Although he is the youngest designer to participate in Project Runway, he had more experience than most of the designers who have auditioned. Many of the designers had their own lines and had dedicated clients, but Christian had been designing since he was 13 years old when he , as he worked for a local salon where he created costumes for the annual hair show competition. When he stepped out of the stretch limousine with the other sixteen contestants, his interesting sense of style was obvious, from his energetic hair to his amazing personal outfit.
He was educated at Baltimore School for the Arts, a real life example of “Fame.” There he learned shape and proportion. When he graduated, he attended the American Intercontinental University in London. When he showed a small collection on 2005’s London Fall Fashion Week, he caught the attention of Vivienne Westwood, a punk designer, and also worked with Alexander McQueen. In 2007, Siriano was a the youngest contestant on Bravo Project Runway. He was a fan favorite with his confident “fierce” personality. After presenting at New York Fashion Week, Siriano won both Project Runway and Fan Favorite. He began working with Victoria Beckham, who had asked him to design an outfit for her. He has also appeared in more shows including his own Bravo special called Christian Siriano: Having a Moment, which followed him as he prepared his collection for Fashion Week. He also hosted the Project Runway for young people called Project Runway:Threads, where teen and preteen designers showcase their creations and compete for a $10,000 prize.
Christian shows a full collection every season at New York Fashion Week, with past shows being sponsored by LG, Sprint, Victoria”s Secret, Cibu International, and Aveda. He has designed for many celebrity clients, most notably Rihanna, Heidi Klum, Victoria Beckham, Lady GaGa, Vanessa Williams, Christina Hendricks, Pink, Estelle, Mena Suvari, Kelly Rowland, Becki Newton, Kat DeLuna, and Whoopi Goldberg in her role as host of the 2008 Tony Awards. He has signed on to design a full couture collection to appear in the upcoming film Eloise in Paris, starring Uma Thurman. Alexis Bledel, dressed in Christian’s designs, was named to Vogue”s Ten Best Dressed list in September 2009. Oprah Winfrey calls his designs works of art. Tim Gunn calls him a prodigy and the next great American fashion designer.
Christian’s current projects include joining the likes of Isabel Toledo, Alice + Olivia, and Patricia Field in creating an ongoing line of shoes and bags for Payless which first became available in September 2009. He also created a line of makeup for Victoria”s Secret for stores in the fall of 2009, a limited edition design collaboration for Starbucks for the 2009 holiday season, and a collaboration last year with Puma. Between his design projects, Christian has also written a style guide titled Fierce Style: How to Be Your Most Fabulous Self, available now, and he embarked on a book tour in the fall of 2009.
Project Runway winners have historically had a difficult time meeting the expectations of greatness in the actual industry due to the huge time demands and continued financial investment. Christian’s early training in not only design, but also the pulse of the fashion and garment industry, may have helped him create his brand. Whatever, the reason, he has made an indelible impact on the future of fashion and his will undoubtedly be one of those names always associated with couture fashion, such as Channel, Kors, and Lauren.