Exclusive Interview: Kenley Collins of 'Project Runway'
Exclusive Interview: Kenley Collins of 'Project Runway'
If Kenley Collins will be remembered for one thing this season on Project Runway, it will be for her outspoken nature.  The season 5 contestant never missed an opportunity to stick up for her designs to mentor Tim Gunn or the panel of judges.  Despite the fact that she may have rubbed some the wrong way, Kenley's talent for fashion design took her all the way to final 3 and Fashion Week at Bryant Park.  After the season finale, Kenley took time to talk to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview, where she said that she was proud of herself, her designs, and the way she handled herself this season.

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

When you watch the show back, are you proud of the way that you handled yourself this season?

Yeah I am proud and I think I kind of inspired a lot of women to stand up for their designs. I have a lot of passion for what I do and it shows.

How long have you been working in the design industry.

Three years.

What made you decide to try out for Project Runway? Is it something you had thought about in the past?

I auditioned last year and I didn’t make it. I felt like the producers that were there at the audition really, really wanted me. Tim Gunn said I wasn’t ready and to try out next year and he was right. I wasn’t really prepared. I didn’t have a good portfolio. I just kind of threw some stuff together that I had made for me, for myself. This year, I was really professional and I had my label out and I had a really good portfolio put together. I knew that I could come back this year and make it.

Is there any aspect of the show that you underestimated, in terms of how difficult it can be?

I did a little bit. I thought, “Oh, 10-12 hours is enough time to do this. I can do this.” It’s really not 10-12 hours. By the time we go fabric shopping and kind of film presenting the challenge and everything and getting pulled for interviews and stuff, it’s only a 7-8 period of solid work time. It’s very strenuous, very hard.

It seemed like you were just there to win a competition and not to make friends. Did you leave the show forming good friendships with people?

I left the show with my two best friends in the world right now, Daniel and Stella. They’re the best. As you can see in the competition, I started off really strong and I felt strong because I had friends and it was fun and I was laughing all the time. I think it turned some people off that I did befriend Stella and Daniel and we kind of had our thing going on. I felt the negativity from everyone else and that kind of energy, I ignore and stay away from like, “Well, I don’t care. I’m not bothered with you so don’t be rude about it.” I was misunderstood and there’s nothing really I can do about it. People decided they didn’t like me and went with that, pretty much since day one.

Do you think that if you had listened to Tim Gunn or the judges and you had compromised your point of view, that you may have won this season?

If I compromised my point of view, then no I don’t think I would’ve won. I think that they had this decision planned early, early on before the last runway. I think they kind of knew who should win. I mean, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. That line was amazing, it was my dream collection. I thought it was just absolutely amazing. I put so much thought and work into it. I was inspired 100% complete organically and I wouldn’t have done anything different.

Have you decided what you’re going to do now?

I went back to teaching, I teach sewing at a place called Sew Fast Sew Easy in New York. My line is on my website, kenleycollins.com and my dresses and especially my headpieces are selling. The show was a huge success for me.

Is there anything you want to say to your fans this season?

Thank you guys so much for emailing me the kindest words. I did go on the show to inspire people and that’s what I did because it shows clearly in your emails that I’m getting. I’m just happy that I could inspire people.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

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