Sergio Guadarrama – Austin, TX
After 4-year-old Sergio asked his mother for a fur-lined trench, his family of soccer players knew he had a passion for fashion and bought him his first sewing machine. Years later, Sergio landed a spot at FIT to study design and started his line Celestino while in school. He set out to create modern-yet-classic designs, and puts an emphesis on sustainable fashion. He has been featured in publications like Vogue, PEOPLE and New York Magazine and his designs have been worn by Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and, most recently, Billy Porter at the 2019 Tony Awards.
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Asma Bibi – Athens, GA
Asma’s fashion obsession can be traced back to her childhood, when her mother taught her the basics of garment making at her parents’ clothing business. But it wasn’t until two years ago when she saw a gap in the market for young Muslim women that she decided to create her own trendy-yet-niche millennial brand, Hijabi Pop. Asma hopes to one day transform her brand from a modest-wear mainstream to a modest luxury brand.
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Dayoung Kim – Portland, OR
Dayoung’s breadth skillset comes from her worldy experiences, attending high school in India, stuyding design in Seoul and interning in Milan. In 2008 Dayoung was recognized as an Emerging Designer and won the Korean show Project Next Designer. After settling in Portland, she launched her ready-to-wear line MOIRAI in 2016, which works to enhance the beauty of customers with timeless and sculptural designs with alluring details.
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Chelsey Carter – Chicago, IL
After her high school art teacher recognized her innate style, Chelsey traded in her paint brush for a sewing kit. Now, the Chicago-born designer creates abstract and edgy designs for her brand Alex Carter, which launched in 2015. Chelsey’s unisex designs have been worn by A-list celebrities like SZA and Chance the Rapper, and have been featured in Vogue Italia and Timeout Chicago.
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Delvin McCray – Chicago, IL
Delvin expressed himself through fine art while growing up in a strict family of 10 kids. He started his career in fashion after taking on an internship to hone his design skills. His namesake brand is inspired by the Elizabethan era and contains dark romanticism elements. Delvin avoids trends, putting an emphesis on timeless and avant-garde designs. Most recently, his clothes were featured in British Vogue in the February, March and April 2019 issues.
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Brittany Allen – Austin, TX
After receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Arkansas and her MFA from SCAD, Brittany moved to Austin to start her own brand, in addition to serving as an adjunct professor of fashion courses at a local university. She designs garments that are meant to make women feel more empowered and beautiful. She describes her brand as if Dolly Parton and Betsey Johnson had a baby who was then raised by Anna Wintour.
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Shavi Lewis – Hillside, NJ
Growing up with a musician father, theatrical mother and seamstress grandmother, Shavi always knew he would end up in a creative field. Despite not graduating from Clark Atlanta University, where he studied fashon design, he founded his self-titled clothing line and served as the creative director for Italian menswear brand, Stephen F. Shavi’s designs have been seen on the Emmy Awards red carpet and on celebrities like Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Cynthia Bailey.
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Victoria Cocieru – Moldova
Victoria was born and raised in a small village, moved to the big city to attend design school at the University of Design in Moldova, then went on to work at luxury brands including Burberry, Guess, Max Mara and Armani before opening her own store in 2010. She moved to the U.S. in 2011 and launched her own brand, Kheops. Her clients include E!’s Patricia Zavala and America’s Next Top Model‘s Rio Summers.
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Marquise Foster – Brooklyn, NY
Growing up in a rough neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., Marquise used fashion as a creative outlet. Since moving to New York City to pursue his dream of becoming a designer, Foster has launched his eponymous brand, featuring unique men’s and women’s pieces that the self-taught desginer creates in his Brooklyn home. His designs have been shown on the runways of New York Fashion Week in 2017 and 2018 and have graced Pose’s Indya Moore and Dominique Jackson.
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Jenn Charkow – Seattle, WA
As a young girl, Jenn was inspired by her mother’s style and grew to get a job in design. But after getting laid off in 2010, she decided to make her passion for fashion give back. She started her brand Stone Crow Designs in an effort to give eco-friendly fashion (by reusing fabrics and adding sustainable materials), an edgy, modern and darkly beatiful twist.
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Alan Gonzalez – Houston, TX
Alan developed a love for fashion in high school (and even designed his best friend’s prom dress). He eventually turned his passion into a career with his clothing line, Alantude. Created in his small studio in downtown Houston, Alantude pulls inspiration from strong women like his mother with clean silhouettes and pops of color. He plans on becoming a household name to empower women everywhere.
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Geoffrey Mac – Brooklyn, NY
Geoffrey entered the style world to combine his passions of fashion design and construction. With his quirky designs and eye-catching pieces, Geoffrey has dressed A-listers, including Lady Gaga, Pink and Britney Spears and has collaborated with key fashion icons like Emmy winning costume designer Zaldy. He prides himself on taking on immense jobs, such as creating 24 garments in four days for Lady Gaga’s dancers. Geoffrey is looking to build his own brand and eventually open a store in Manhattan.
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Nancy Volpe-Beringer – Philadelphia, PA
After leaving her steady job at 58-years-old (inspired by her sons’ drive to follow their dreams), Nancy reignited her love for fashion and enrolled in a master’s program at Drexel University. Since graduating in 2016, she has designed inclusive and wearable pieces out of her studio in Philadelphia. She is joinging Project Runway to inspire others to follow their dreams regardless of age.
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Tyler Neasloney – Jersey City, NJ
Tyler turned his hobby for fashion into a career after designing costumes for himself and other drag queens. While his day job includes directing events for Ali Forney Center, a non-profit that serves and houses homeless LGBTQ+ youths in New York City, this self-taught designer creates weekender bags and custom looks under his label “Tyler Neasloney New York,” which he launched this past January.
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Veronica Sheaffer – Chicago, IL
Born on an Army base and raised in a small town in Illinois, Veronica taught herself how to sew from an old Vogue intruction book and developed a love for romantic design. After studying acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she took a leap of faith to launch a womenswear line with a friend. Today, she focuses on bridal gowns, special occasion garments and ready-to-wear pieces.
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Melanie Trygg – Eastsound, WA
At the age of 12, Melanie embraced her love for design by using her mother’s vintage sewing machines to replicate designs she saw in magazines. After attending only one year of school at the Rhode Island School of Design she pulled out of the program to due to the cost of tuition, then launched her own clothing line KLÄD Apparel, featuring modern womenswear and architectural pieces. Her designs have been seen at the AMCO NYC Fall Fashion Week Runway Presentation during New York Fashion Week in 2017 and at Portland Fashion Week.
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