It’s tough to forget Project Runway’s season 5 designer, Suede. Besides his unique look, he spoke in the 3rd person throughout the season and brought a lighthearted attitude towards the design competition. In recent weeks, Suede has slipped and found himself in the bottom more times than he would like. On last night’s episode, the musical genre challenge became his undoing and he was sent home. Though he didn’t make the final 3, he still got to show at Fashion Week and today, he spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview about his experiences there and on the show!
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 Suede from Project Runway. Can you tell me a little bit about your background in fashion design and how you got started?
Wow. Well, I actually fell into fashion design, I wanted to be an actor. My parents were like, “You’re not moving to New York at 17,” so I decided to try fashion and I ended up loving it. Came to New York, interned for Jeffrey Bean and moved into denim pretty quickly, and I’ve done denim for the last 15 years. Launched companies like Fubu, RoccoWear, Jordash Vintage, Lee 1889, Polo Jeans Company, so lots and lots of denim and denim collections. This is kind of a fresh start for me, so it was an amazing, amazing experience.
What was the hardest part about Project Runway for you as someone who primarily has been working with denim?
Probably the hardest thing was the time constraints and all the little twists and turns they give us.
Well let’s talk about last night’s challenge. Now, I thought your design looked very rock and roll. Kenley’s wasn’t hip-hop at all and she back talked the judges, so how come you’re the one that went home?
You know what, they’re always looking for something different and they certainly don’t share that with us. I’m just super honored to have made it to the top five, it was an incredible experience and only great things are going to come out of it.
If you could have gone back, would you have made your design a little bit more over the top instead of something that maybe the judges expected from you?
You know the saying, hindsight is always 20/20. If I had known they were looking for something more over the top, of course I would have. I bought so many fabrics, I could have done a lot more. In my vision as to what rock and roll is these days, I think it was true to what that is and I was very pleased with my outfit. So if you’re going to get voted off, you’re lucky if it can be something you really believe in, and I really believed in that look.
Well I know that this season Kenley has not been listening to Tim Gunn at all. When he comes around and talks to you, were you always listening to his advice and taking it?
Of course. I mean, I came into this competition wanting to learn. Like I said, I’ve been in denim import for the last 15 years, so I have not been sewing, I have not been making patterns, so I was there to learn. If I have Tim Gunn’s attention and he’s giving me feedback, I’m certainly going to listen to it and take his comments into consideration. We do all have to be true to ourselves at the end, but I was there to learn so regardless of what Tim said or the judges said, I take that into consideration. Something really interesting is the minute I got out of filming I was asked to dress an artist for Beadstock at Jones Beach, and this was a woman, her name is Amouka, and I did and I remembered the things the judges said and I made sure that everything was a little bit more fancy, a little bit more over the top, and I really worked it out. I learned from it and it was a great learning experience. I still think that for a guy it was probably a little bit more of a challenge, because I don’t see guys as flamboyant as obviously women can be on stage.
Which challenge do you think you struggled with the most this season?
Physically I would say the car parts challenge, just because it was really a difficult challenge, but wrapping my brain around it probably would have been the makeover challenge. I wasn’t really happy with the jacket I did. I loved the dress and my client ended up loving the dress, but I would say if there was one look that I wasn’t super proud of it would have been the jacket from the makeover challenge.
Well despite being eliminated you still got to show at Fashion Week, tell me a little bit about that.
Oh my god, that’s amazing, right? Like designers work their whole life to show there and I was super honored to be able to show at Fashion Week. I had my mom sitting front stage, which was huge for me, she means the world to me. I was very true to myself in my collection, it was very pink, blue, purple. It’s dreamly, girly, very useful, very exuberant, and it’s where I’m at with my career right now, so it was a very happy time.
After the runway show, there was a lot of buzz on the floor about Leanne’s collection. Who really impressed you at Fashion Week?
I will be totally honest, when I saw Leanne’s hanging, I had of course not gone through it, I was a little worried, but when I saw it on the runway it was spectacular. I think Leanne’s was incredible, I loved it.
What is next for you now Suede?
The world is next for me, so many doors have opened because of this. I’m doing a charity event next week with Ashley Judd and Annie Lennox, I’m going to be dressing people, looking more into film and TV. I have a web site that’s www.suedesays.com so your readers can keep up to date with everything that’s Suede, and I’ll definitely let you all guys know what I’m doing.
Well last question, you definitely got a lot of attention this season for talking about yourself in the third person. What is that about, can you explain it to me?
I certainly can explain it. It’s fun, it’s not meant to be taken so seriously, it’s cheeky, and let’s face it, we’re living in a world right now where the economy has gone into hell in a hand basket, our environment is in a lot of trouble, and the world is just not a great place, we’re still at war. If I can throw some humor out of speaking in third person, it’s really not that serious, and I think we have a lot bigger issues in this world to worry about than what tense I’m speaking in.
Well I really liked you this season and you made me smile. Thanks so much, Suede.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of Bravo)