Exclusive Interview: Joe Faris of 'Project Runway'
Exclusive Interview: Joe Faris of 'Project Runway'
Project Runway designer Joe Faris may have gotten to show his collection at New York Fashion Week last Friday, but he wasn't there as one of the final contestants.  On last night's episode, Joe was eliminated in the transformation challenge, in which the designers had to makeover recent college graduates and turn them into sophisticated, working women.  The judges felt that Joe's design was cliche, even a little sloppy, and sent him packing.  Still, Joe left the show having learned valuable lessons that he takes back into his life as a designer in New York City.  Today, he spoke to BuddyTV, opening about his experience at Bryant Park and which designer he's rooting for to make it all the way to the end!

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and today I’m talking to Joe from Project Runway. Can you tell me a little bit about your background in fashion design and how you got started?

I attended Parsons, and my last semester I was hired by Bugle Boy and was shipped off to China, and eventually started a career as a jeans and leather designer. Mainly men’s, although the last seven, eight years I’ve been designing women’s. I mainly do jeans and leather jackets, T-shirts, sportswear type stuff.

What was the biggest challenge for you being on Project Runway?

The biggest challenge personally was getting back my draping, pattern, and sewing skills, because I typically don’t do that. When you look at somebody like Leanne or Korto, they wake up and sit down at the sewing machine. I wake up and I sit down at a computer and I design on the computer, then I send it over to China. I don’t typically drape or sew, so that was the biggest challenge for me.

Were you surprised that you ended up being the one to go home in this transformation challenge last night?

I felt like it was kind of like eenie, meenie, miney, moe. I didn’t think what anybody would do was great. For me personally it was a tough challenge because of two reasons. One, I don’t really deal with clients, plus you had the whole mother/daughter dynamic there, and then two, I don’t make people over. I don’t look at women and say, “Oh, well I would do this to your hair, and wear this!” It was a little tough for me, this was the hardest challenge for me.

Kenley said last night in her interview that she never listens to Tim Gunn’s advice. I was wondering how you received his critiques and if you applied anything that he taught you this season?

I did. Tim is really there more as a guidance, and I have to say everything Tim told me was something that I knew in the back of my mind to make it better. He kind of reconfirmed for me what I already knew and so I took his direction that way. There were a few times I didn’t necessarily take his direction. The other thing is -- and I talked to Tim about this -- he was very surprised on a lot of occasions the way the judges went. Any week you were at the judges’ mercy and you didn’t really know how they were going to go. Overall, I did take his guidance.

Is there a design that you could single out this season that you made that you’re the most proud of?

I think my Olympic challenge was really great, I was really proud of that. There were a few things like with the length of the front of the skirt, but overall I was really happy with the way that came out.

Despite being eliminated you still got to show at fashion week, can you tell me a little bit about that experience for you?

That was just an amazing experience. Certainly getting on the show that was the best I could hope for outside of winning, and so I could achieve that, I was really happy to be able do that. To a degree, knowing that I wasn’t competing in the top three spot took some of the pressure off, it allowed me to do a collection that I really wanted to do and that really represented me, which was jeans and leather and rock and roll and edgy. It was just amazing, to spend four weeks putting that together and then finally have it go down the runway in the big tents in Bryant Park was just truly amazing.

It seemed like a lot of previous designers that were being interviewed on the runway afterwards were very impressed with Leanne. Which designer do you think has impressed you the most this season?

I would say Korto. I think it’s great that Project Runway has never really had anybody like Korto or her aesthetic. She designs for real women and I think she showed incredibly versatility in her final collection at Bryant Park. She had pants and dresses, I’m a big fan of what Korto does.

What’s in the future for you Joe and what are you up to?

I resumed my senior design post at Schott NYC and I’m putting together their fall collection as well as putting together a small collection that I’ll have available the first of the year.

Great, thank you so much Joe, I really appreciate your time.

Thank you Gina.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

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