Also known as Stephen Whitney Baum, Suede became known as a contestant in season 5 of Project Runway. He is a native of Seven Hills, Cleveland and graduated from Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising. He began his career in fashion as an unpaid intern at Geoffrey Beene, and decided to design sportswear. Suede has also launched a denim-based collection, which has a variety for couture, eveningwear and specialty apparel.
In 2003, Suede was named creative director for the Lee Juniors and Lee Girls brand of Lee Jeans. His successful career in fashion has led him to describe himself as edgy, captivating and alternative. One of his biggest influences in fashion is Madonna, noting her ability to explore a broad range of styles. He is also fond of designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix and Christian Dior. Besides a good hoodie, Suede also believes that imagination, combined with layering and experimenting, is a fashion must. On the show, he won the second challenge and continued to perform well throughout the competition. However, he eventually scored low and was eliminated on episode 11. Since leaving the show, he has continued making a mark on the fashion industry. He served as advisor to the Kent State University's Fashion Advisory Board and has also launched the brand SUEDEsays™.
In 2012, Suede joined Project Runway All Stars season 2 but was eliminated during the third week of the competition.