New York native Serena Da Conceicao designed her first garment at the age of five, creating a genie costume. This graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising also received a three-year apprenticeship with a custom leather and bridal design studio. She later got a nomination for an Ecco Domani award while working at CLIFT NYC 2005 or 2006. For work, she was employed as a custom tailor and pattern maker and later became a design apprentice in making leather and lace garments. She soon found herself auditioning for Project Runway and became a contestant in season 9 as one of 20 designers hoping to make it big in the industry.