Season 14 of Lifetime’s Emmy nominated Project Runway returns with sixteen new hopefuls competing for fashion glory, starting Thursday, August 6, at 9pm ET/PT, and I’m so excited about watching Haitian-Amercian designer Merline Labissiere from Savannah Georgia compete.
Based out of New York, the fashion adventure of the designer’s lives will only last as long as they continue to impress judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, and mentor Tim Gunn.
Paula Patton and Tracee Ellis Ross are among several celebrities who will help guest judge on Project Runway, which returns for a 14th season to Lifetime in August. Ciara and Mel B, together with Bella Thorne, Kiernan Shipka and Constance Zimmer will also help Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Zac Posen whittle down the fashion hopefuls to find a winner who will earn $100,000 to launch his or her business.
Here is Lifetime’s quick Q&A with Merline.
When did you realize you had designer potential?
During my junior year of high school, I made my first Haitian flag outfit. After that, I created garments and realized that I had potential as a designer. This was something I loved to do, but I did not know if it would be my life. My mom encouraged me to pursue other endeavors because it is hard to make money as a fashion designer, so I majored in architecture. All through that time, I still had a passion and hunger for design, but refused to pursue it because I did not know if I could make it. During my sophomore year at SCAD, I realized I had a huge passion for fashion design. It was incredibly difficult to tell my mom that I was switching majors, but I wanted to follow my heart – and it was leading me into the world of fashion design.
Strengths as a designer?
One of my strengths is that I can be very conceptual. I tend to think outside the box, both with designs and the colors I use. Architectural elements come out in the way I design patterns. Patterns have much in common with floor plans in my mind.
Weaknesses as a designer?
I am not as good at time management as I should be. I can have big ideas, but finishing those ideas on schedule can be a challenge. I also have room to improve in allowing my architectural influences to work and flow with the human body.
Biggest fear as a designer?
How did you end up auditioning for “Project Runway”?
I’ve never auditioned for “Project Runway” before, although it has crossed my mind several times. I was prompted to apply last minute so I figured I’d give it a shot.
Challenge you wish they’d bring back?
I love the unconventional, avant-garde androgyny and avant-garde challenges.
Challenge you hope they don’t?
Designer’s best friend.
What’s your take on team challenges?
I love them because I feel that they give me a different perspective. Collaborating with someone pushes me as a designer to see things from a different and new perspective. It raises the potential of the final product. The other side is that teamwork requires compromise, and that can be tough.
Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Heck yes! I bring a fresh, new approach and perspective. I welcome feedback. It hurts, but I recognize how beneficial it can be for me. I love a challenge and feel that I have not come close to reaching my potential, but feel that this show will bring out the best in me! Every project I have created in the past has led me to this very moment in my life. I plan on winning and am excited about the journey!
Click here to watch Merline Labissiere’s Home Visit: