Exclusive Interview: Kelli Martin of 'Project Runway'
Exclusive Interview: Kelli Martin of 'Project Runway'
When the judges sent Kelli Martin packing this week on Project Runway, they didn't let her go without letting her know how they really felt about her design.  The challenge was to design an outfit for Brooke Shields's character on Lipstick Jungle, that could transition from day to night.  Kelli and her partner for the week, Daniel, landed in the bottom but the responsibility fell on her, since she created the design.  Nina questioned her taste and in her exclusive interview with BuddyTV today, Kelli responds to that claim from the judges as well as lets loose about her competitors.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
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Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and today, I’m talking to Kelli from Project Runway. Can you talk a little bit about your background in fashion design and how you got started?


Basically, since before I can remember, I wanted to be a designer. My grandma raised me and she kind of let me be as I was and experiment. I liked Cyndi Lauper a lot when I was younger, so she’d let me paint my nail funny colors and just basically be myself. It kind of went on from there. In high school, there wasn’t a lot of options in Columbus, Ohio, so I kind of had to make my options. Fashion design school was always the light at the end of the tunnel. I initially was going to go to New York, but later decided on L.A. because of the sunshine. I went to FIDM and ended up getting accepted into their advanced program. I got a full scholarship from Bob Mackie and really, it just went on from there. I was able to produce my debut collection at FIDM and use their debut fashion gala. I went to Fashion Week and designed a guitar for Kevin Hall and basically, I had written a business plan when I was in college and I wanted to execute it. I figured the place to do it was my hometown since hometowns suck because everyone leaves them and although I don’t plan on staying here the rest of my life, it was a really good choice. Ever since, business has been booming!


Well, what was it about Project Runway that made you want to get on reality tv?


To be honest, when I was younger and a teenager, I was on Jenny Jones so I did not want to be on reality tv. I was really skeptical, even though it’s what I love to do. I was a little frightened but I figured that if I could make the three looks that are needed within the week, then I’ll go to Chicago and try out. Of course, by the end of the week, I was like, ‘I gotta finish, I gotta finish!’ I made the third outfit and really, that was it. Really, it went off from there and it was really on a whim. I was so skeptical about being on the tv when I found out I had made it but I figured I can’t pass up the opportunity. I just tried to bite my tongue and go.


On the episode that aired this week, the judges questioned your taste. Did that offend you at all?


Um, I mean, it slightly did but at the same time, I tried to realize that our taste levels are quite different. You know, I’m in my 20s and they’re in their 50s. Our levels of taste are definitely going to be different. They’re more into young Hollywood and it’s like I’ve said before, everyone’s not going to the Oscars. You know, there are different levels of taste, good or bad, and my taste level probably is different from an older woman and man. It’s fine, it was kind of a joke they were trying to be so harsh about it, considering in the first episode, Nina really loved how I thought and now all of a sudden, has bad taste after being cool every other episode. It was just a joke to me. I took it all with a grain of salt.


Would you have done anything differently with your design for Brooke Shields or would you have kept it the same?


I would’ve chosen a different partner, for one. Aside from that, I mean, if I had strayed from the design, they would’ve reamed me for that because that’s what I pitched to her. Maybe the only difference, aside from choosing a different partner, would maybe not to use so much black for the day suit but it transitioned from day to night whether you like it or not. Other than that, I would not have changed anything.


Which designers this season are really impressing you? Who do you like?


Um, there are a few people I like, but it’s more personality. I can be somewhat pessimistic usually and going into this, after a few episodes, I was not intimidated by anyone. I like Leanne’s design style and Jerell’s a little bodied but different, which I like. To be honest with you, that’s about it. I really didn’t say anything unique in anyone. Not to be mean, that’s just the way I felt.


And now, what’s next for you, Kelli?


Anything and everything! Taking over the world! [laughs] No. I mean, I just launched my website and I’ll have clothes on it very soon. I plan on continuing to do well in my store and sell on my site and really go from there. Ohio’s my base where I’m going to go my empire and you know, it’s a big world out there. There’s lots more stuff I can do, for sure. This was just an adventure in my life.


Well, thanks so much, Kelli. I appreciate your time.

No problem, thank you.



- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of Bravo)



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