Seven Seasons Strong: STLFW Presents Project:Design! Emerging Designer Contest

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

After seven seasons, countless attendees, millions of votes and over 40 emerging designers later, Saint Louis Fashion Week’s most well-known event, Project:Design! is still going strong. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, a new emerging fashion class will take the stage at Windows on Washington to vie for a $30,000 prize package. This year’s roster includes Abaya Dake, Black by Maria Silver, Fouché by Nicole Fouché, Miita Collection by Angela Brugioni, Spansen Filles by Sabrina Spanta and Chanelle Bertelsen and Q Lui by Qun Lui. Lauren Bander and Elise Lammert, winner and People’s Choice winner from Project:Design! 2012, will also be in attendance to show their most recent collections.

Project:Design 2013

The emerging designer fashion class of 2013. Photo from stlfw.com

The contest is a launching point in the careers of many local designers. St. Louis-based knit-wear wiz and Project Runway contestant, Michael Drummond, saw a vast growth in his brand, The Exquisite Corpse, after his 2009 win, as did Stephen Curd of Garic Stephens who took the title in 2011. Fellow Project Runway alumni, AJ Thouvenot, and All-Star contestant, Laura Kathleen have also walked the runway of Project:Design!, as well as Wai Ming and Blue Bird Apparel.

This year, five of the six contestants were voted on by the Saint Louis Fashion Week advisory board. The sixth contestant, Qun Lui, was voted in by popular vote. Each competing designer will showcase 10 looks to a panel of judges that include Laura Kathleen, AJ Thouvenot, Town & Style’s Suzy Bacino, Post-Dispatch Fashion Editor Debra Bass, Drew Linehan, ALIVE Fashion Editor Samantha Chadwick, Project Runway alum Casanova, Jan Leach Givens, Saks’ Tania Beasley-Jolly and Susan Sherman. The event is hosted by Fox 2 reporter Rebecca Roberts. New York Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis will also be in attendance to present the award to the winner.

Brown Shoe Company is providing a deluxe prize package that consists of a one-on-one with Kelly Malone and a designer from Brown Shoe, photography by fashion photographer Attilio D’Agostino with models provided by Mother Model Management, a website by B&C, a consultation with a Marketing Consultant for branding and identity, $2,500 cash, PR/Product Placement and Influencer Outreach consultation with Lindsay Pattan, one year of free studio rent in the T-Rex building, the shoes from their Project:Design! runway presentation and a $500 shoes.com gift card.

To purchase your tickets and read more, visit the official website of Saint Louis Fashion Week. This will be one for the books!

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