Name: Christian Siriano
How We Know Him: He was the Project Runway Season Four young fashion prodigy who won the title of top designer that season at the tender age of 21, the youngest in the show’s history. He’s known mostly for his voluminous, avant garde, dramatic designs, and largely for his outspoken, flamboyant, definitely dramatic personality, topped off by a “fierce” flat ironed hair-do. He was a confident firecracker who often criticized other’s designs and stole the show, winning four challenges (including the finale) that season, more than any of his competitors, before being named winner by Judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, and guest judge Victoria “Posh” Beckham, one of his first big celeb fans. “I loved everything you did,” Beckham told him during the finale. “I would be honored to wear any piece of your clothing.” In addition to winning a fashion spread in Elle Magazine, $100,000 to start his own line, and a 2008 Saturn Astra, he also took home the title of Fan Favorite from Project Runway Viewers earning another $10,000. “We did find the next great American Fashion designer,” Tim Gunn told the Chicago Tribune of Christian’s win. “He is this generation’s Marc Jacobs, appropriately ambition about wanting to be the next top fashion designer.”
Trademark Phrases: “Fierce.” “Hot Mess.” “Tranny.” “Hot Tranny Mess.” And then the ultimate – “Fierce Hot Tranny Mess.”
The Apprentice: Before appearing on Project Runway, Sirianio interned with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, and Marc Jacobs.
Where He’s Been: Since Project Runway, Siriano has shown at Spring 2008 and Fall 2009 Fashion Week in New York, designed lines for BlueFly.com and Payless Shoes, Puma, as well as the Fierce Mamas maternity line for Moody Mamas and counts Heidi Klum as a client. “She’s all about black,” Christian told People Magazine of Klum’s maternity attire. “We made her some pieces from my Fierce Mama Maternity Line and she wanted everything in black. I think she’s trying to cover it a little this time. She’s getting older and wants to be more sophisticated, not casual. She’s trying to keep it a little quiet.”
A-List Appeal: In addition to Heidi Klum and Victoria Beckham, Siriano counts actresses Anne Hathaway, Mena Suvari, Tori Spelling, Shailene Woodley, Becki Newton, Vanessa Williams, Katrina Bowden, Whoopi Goldberg; singers Kimberly Locke, Estelle, Lady Gaga, and Nicole Scherzinger and the Pussycat Dolls, among his celebrity clientele. He’s also signed on to design a full couture collection for the upcoming film Eloise in Paris, starring Uma Thurman. “It is a dream to work with legends such as [director] Charles Shyer, Uma Thurman and [costume designer] Milena Canonero on a wonderful story filled with creative inspirations,” he said of the forthcoming film, which will feature his designs in scenes of Paris Fashion week, with the catwalk models strutting Siriano’s work. He’s also keeping it in the Bravo family and teaming up with Nikki Cascone, a former Top Chef competitor, to design her an eco-friendly wedding dress!
Small Screen Star: Siriano didn’t stop at the small screen with Project Runway; he’s since guest starred on the ABC series Ugly Betty, Bravo’s Make Me A Supermodel, served as a red carpet correspondent for the 2008 Emmy Awards, 2008 MTV Movie Awards, and the 2008 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, styled contestants of The Biggest Loser, and acted as guest judge for the 2008 Miss USA Pageant. His star power even warranted an SNL spoof on his trademark look and phrases by SNL’s Amy Poehler. “I thought it was SO FUNNY,” he told People. “Amy [Poehler] looked exactly like me which is kinda scary, but fabulous. The fact that they are even talking about me is so fierce, fabulous and flawless and is such an honor. Poehler was hilarious and little. It was so crazy that she looked just like me! The hair was absolutely perfect. I don’t think I could have done it better myself. It was fierce!”
What’s Next: In addition to his aforementioned lines, Saks Fifth Avenue picked up his fall collection to showcase in their flagship store, and look for Christian Siriano: the author, when his style guide, “Fierce Style: How to Be Your Most Fabulous Self,” hits bookstores in October. He’s also partnered with Victoria’s Secret to market an upcoming cosmetics line, Christian Siriano for VS Makeup, and come the 2009 holiday season, look for the Siriano brand to hit your local Starbucks. Details on what exactly he’s cooking up for the coffee giant won’t be released until November, but we hardly expect he’ll be slinging drinks as a barista. Could it be couture cups? A fierce new drink? Fab merch? We’ll have to wait and see. “I have my hands in all these little worlds to make my brand real,” Siriano said. “It’s been a real struggle, especially with this economy, but I think it’s starting to pay off,” he told Women’s Wear Daily.