Project Runway Season 11: Where are the Designers Now?

Season 11 of ‘Project Runway’ unfurled its style spectacle in 2013, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion landscape. Helmed by Heidi Klum, this chapter of the show transformed the runway into a crucible where innovation collided with raw ambition. The season serves as a riveting tableau where designers armed with passion and needles navigate the intricate realm of high-stakes design.

The resonance of season 11 lingers as a testament to the dynamic fusion of creativity and perseverance on the runway. The narrative of each designer unfolds as a unique thread in the tapestry of an industry in perpetual flux, propelled by the ever-shifting currents of fashion. Their journeys post-show become compelling chapters, illustrating the ongoing evolution of designers who continue to shape the sartorial landscape. Let’s unravel the journey of these memorable designers.

Michelle Lesniak Franklin is Now into Artisanal Skills

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, the undisputed champion of ‘Project Runway’ season 11, has transformed her victory into a captivating tapestry of creativity. Beyond the runway, she’s now the proud owner of Authentic Craftworks and Fireside Fiberarts, showcasing a dynamic range of artisanal skills. But Michelle doesn’t stop there—she’s stepped into the world of acting, gracing screens in projects like ‘This Ends Badly’ (2017).

Married to Seth since 2017, her story unfolds not just in stitches but in scenes, making her journey as unpredictable and riveting as a well-scripted drama. With a return to ‘Project Runway: All Stars,’ Michelle Lesniak Franklin proves that her narrative in the world of fashion is far from reaching its final seam.

Patricia Michaels is Today the Name Behind PM Waterlily

Patricia Michaels, the name behind PM Waterlily, has turned her triumph on ‘Project Runway’ into a rich narrative celebrating Native fashion. Her designs found a national stage at the Peabody Essex Museum’s Native Fashion Now in 2015, echoing the resonances of cultural heritage. Patricia’s international acclaim soared with the prestigious Arts and Design Award from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Beyond the stitches, Patricia’s story extends to the silver screen with the documentary ‘Patricia and James,’ unveiled at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival in 2019. Patricia Michaels isn’t just a designer; she’s a storyteller weaving threads of tradition and innovation into the fabric of her remarkable career.

Stanley Hudson is Now an Emmy Nominated Designer

Stanley Hudson, a maestro in the realm of fashion, has gone beyond the sewing machine, leaving an indelible mark in the world of television and advocacy. His designs grace the screen on ABS’ ‘The Bachelorette,’ and his prowess earned him a 2022 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes in ‘Black-ish.’ But Stanley is more than a designer; he’s a vocal advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement, infusing his creations with purpose. As an assistant costume designer on ‘Grown-ish’ and various other projects, Stanley Hudson is not just dressing characters; he’s crafting a narrative of style, substance, and social impact.

Daniel Esquivel Using Fashion as a Force for Good

Daniel Esquivel, the maestro from Austin, orchestrates a symphony of creativity that extends beyond the vibrant hues of his black-and-white designs. His collaboration with a San Antonio AIDS fundraiser is not just an event; it’s a testament to his commitment to using fashion as a force for good. Daniel’s designs not only capture attention on the runway but also echo his passion for social causes.

Attending Permian Basin Fashion Week as a guest further solidifies his standing as a designer with a heart. As he continues to display his costumes and art in numerous fashion events, Daniel is crafting more than just garments; he’s weaving a tapestry of compassion and creativity that resonates far beyond the traditional boundaries of the fashion world.

Layana Aguilar has Opened a Sewing School for Kids

Layana Aguilar, the visionary founder of the Fashion Squad School, doesn’t merely design clothes; she’s actively shaping the future of fashion. Her sewing school for kids is an institution and a hub of creativity and empowerment. Layana’s commitment to upcycling and her association with What Goes Around New York showcase a designer with a conscientious approach to fashion.

Being chosen to design the ball gown for Disney’s first Latina Princess, Elena Of Avalor, goes beyond aesthetics—it’s a moment of cultural significance. Layana’s journey, adorned with awards and recognition, is not just a personal triumph; it’s a testament to her dedication to empowering the next generation of designers and making sustainable fashion choices an integral part of the industry.

Richard Hallmarq is the Luminary with his Own Clothing Brand

Richard Hallmarq, the luminary with his clothing brand, is not merely confined to the traditional runway. His venture into the digital realm with the launch of his dedicated website signifies a visionary who understands the evolving landscape of the fashion industry. Joining Clubhouse for Fashion Industry Strategies 2021 isn’t just participation but it’s a strategic move to stay at the forefront of industry discussions.

As he continues to launch his dedicated website, Richard Hallmarq is just creating an online presence and building a digital bridge that connects his designs with a global audience. His foray into digital spaces is a testament to a designer who not only creates captivating collections but also adapts seamlessly to the dynamic pulse of the modern fashion landscape.

Samantha Black is Today the Runway Royalty with a Retail Reign

Samantha Black, the reigning royalty of Women’s Clothing Design, doesn’t confine herself to the runway. She reigns in the retail realm as well. With shops at major retailers like Nordstrom and Target, Samantha’s designs aren’t just confined to the elite but they’re accessible to a broader audience. Her appearance on ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ and recognition at the 5th Annual PowHer Awards are accolades of her influence in the industry.

Being part of Target’s Black Beyond Measure Campaign is more than a marketing endeavor; it’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion. Samantha Black’s journey is a runway-to-retail revolution, showcasing a designer who not only crafts elegant designs but also reshapes the landscape of where and how fashion is experienced.

Amanda Valentine Ventures into an Online Boutique 

Amanda Valentine, a designer with a story of triumph, has evolved into an entrepreneur with the launch of her online boutique, Lack of Context. From appearances on multiple seasons of ‘Project Runway,’ including the ‘All-Stars’ edition, to being a mother of two, Amanda’s journey is a tapestry of resilience and creativity. Her recent showcase at Dallas Fashion Week and the launch of Lack of Context in 2021 is not just a continuation of her fashion story but a new chapter that blends family, entrepreneurship, and a passion for design.

Tu Suthiwat Nakchat is Staying Away from the Social Media

Tu Suthiwat Nakchat, the founder of Tuera, remains an enigma in the world of fashion. While details about his recent projects are scarce, his Instagram posts from 2021 offer a tantalizing glimpse into his collection of bags. The mystery surrounding Nakchat adds an intriguing layer to the ever-evolving tapestry of fashion. As he continues to weave his enigmatic designs, the fashion world eagerly awaits the next chapter of this captivating story.

Katelyn “Kate” Pankoke is Embracing Writing and Motherhood

Katelyn “Kate” Pankoke, the designer behind Elaya Vaughn, has expanded her narrative beyond the runway, embracing the realms of writing and motherhood. Her designs, lauded by leading magazines like Cosmopolitan and The Glass Magazine, have graced prestigious red carpet events, including the Oscar’s red carpet. Kate’s social media isn’t just a gallery of designs; it’s a visual chronicle of her life, filled with pictures of her family. As a Freelance Editor at Wedding Chicks and a Content Writer at Style Me Pretty, Katelyn “Kate” Pankoke’s journey is a blend of elegance, creativity, and the beautiful chaos of motherhood.

Benjamin Mach is Associated with the Fashion Institute of Technology

Benjamin Mach is associated with the Fashion Institute of Technology and has become a mentor and judge at Brooklyn Fashion Academy. Beyond the runway, Benjamin’s story is one of triumph, as he proudly celebrates 18 months of sobriety. His return to compete in ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ season 4 is a testament to resilience and mentorship. As an independent brand curator under his name, Benjamin is not just designing; he’s shaping the future of fashion through guidance, sobriety, and an independent spirit.

Matthew Arthur Now Adds Sustainability to His Work

Matthew Arthur, a versatile display artist and fashion and set designer, continues to paint his narrative on a canvas of creativity. His welcoming installation at Anthropologie in Wilmington, North Carolina, is not just a display; it’s a masterpiece. Beyond the traditional confines of fashion, Matthew invests in upcycling clothes, adding a sustainable brushstroke to his work. As he seamlessly blends artistry with consciousness, Matthew Arthur’s influence extends far beyond the mannequins and sets, creating an immersive experience in the world of fashion.

Joseph Aaron Segal is Today the Founder and Designer of a Knit Development Studio

Image Credit: Lifetime Network


Joseph Aaron Segal, the virtuoso behind Pretty Snake, transcends the boundaries of conventional fashion, crafting garments that are more akin to wearable masterpieces. As the founder and designer of the knit development studio World of JAS, Joseph immerses himself in a world where yarn becomes a medium for storytelling. His designs are not merely clothing; they’re intricate narratives woven with threads of innovation.

Beyond the allure of pop-up shops at various locations, Joseph serves as Adjunct Faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design, shaping the next generation with his avant-garde approach to knit artistry and textile exploration. Though he is a very private person and does not share much about himself and his ongoing on any social media in every stitch, he tells a tale that goes beyond the confines of the runway, leaving an indelible mark on the ever-evolving canvas of fashion.

Cindy Marlatt has kept herself under Mysterious Aura

Cindy Marlatt, the enigmatic presence from the show, has embraced a life away from the social media spotlight, embodying a sense of timeless elegance. Despite her absence on digital platforms, Cindy’s legacy is far from forgotten. At 59, she remained a symbol of grace and sophistication. Her mysterious aura, cultivated during her time on the show, continues to captivate the imagination. While details about her current endeavors remain unknown, Cindy’s work persists as proof of the enduring allure of her artistry. In a world saturated with online noise, her silence speaks volumes, echoing a sense of sophistication that transcends trends.

James Martinez Now Made a Return with an Eponymous Brand

James Martinez, despite an early exit from the ‘Project Runway’ stage, has orchestrated a compelling comeback narrative, marking his return with the eponymous brand, Barron and J. His story is proof of resilience, and also it’s a saga of creative rebirth. James, now a brand owner after a long hiatus, is redefining his narrative with every stitch and silhouette.

As James continues to design, he’s proving that setbacks are merely intermissions in the grand spectacle of a designer’s journey. With Barron and J., James invites the fashion world to witness a chapter that goes beyond the runway, a narrative that echoes the enduring spirit of creative passion.

Emily Pollard is Now a Licensed Charterholder

Image Credit: Emily Pollard/Linkedln

Emily Pollard, now a Director at BKM Capital Partner and a CAIA Charterholder, seamlessly combines financial acumen with a creative edge. Her journey after ‘Project Runway’ is not just a climb up the corporate ladder; it’s a fusion of finance and creativity. Issued the CAIA Charter in May 2023, Emily Pollard exemplifies that the worlds of finance and fashion can coexist harmoniously. In her narrative, numbers and creativity dance together, creating a unique symphony in the business of style.

Read More: Project Runway Season 7: Where Are the Designers Now?