Project Runway Season 8: Where Are the Designers Now?

Image Credit: Lifetime

In the dynamic realm of fashion, ‘Project Runway’ season 8 stormed onto the scene in 2011, a dazzling spectacle of style and innovation. This season turned the runway into a theater of fierce competition. The legacy of the show remains an enduring testament to the fusion of talent and determination on the runway, where each designer’s story adds a unique thread to the rich fabric of the fashion world. Originally gracing Channel Lifetime with Heidi Klum as the host, the designers wielded needles, dreams, and an unquenchable thirst for success. embarked on diverse journeys, navigating the unpredictable currents of the fashion industry.

Some of the designers soared to pinnacles of success, their names echoing through the corridors of haute couture, while others embraced the challenges, etching their unique narratives in the ever-evolving tapestry of fashion. With the echoes of their creative endeavors resonating, these designers continue to influence and shape the industry, illustrating the transformative power of the ‘Project Runway’ experience. So, let’s unravel the post-show tales of these unforgettable designers, tracing the intricate patterns they’ve woven into the fabric of fashion history.

Gretchen Jones has Recently Launched a New Studio and Salon

Image Credit: Gretchen Jones/Instagram

Gretchen Jones, the triumphant winner of ‘Project Runway’ season 8, has continued her journey as a force in the fashion world. In 2018, she earned an MBA in fashion from the University of London College of Fashion, showcasing her commitment to both design and business acumen. Gretchen is actively engaged in climate-oriented initiatives. Collaborating on a blog with Curam Counsel, she amplifies her voice in the fight against climate change.

Her association with Offline Pledge further underscores her commitment to sustainable and mindful living. As a fashionista with a significant presence on Instagram, Jones shares her evolving style and continues to inspire with her distinct aesthetic. Married and thriving in her multifaceted roles, Gretchen remains a captivating figure in the post-show landscape. Recently, in 2023, Jones expanded her creative horizons by launching a unique venture, the Weird Specialty Studio and Salon.

Mondo Guerra Dazzles the Audience with his Designs at Prestigious Events

Mondo Guerra has become a renowned fashion designer known for his exuberant embrace of colors and patterns. His post-show journey has taken him to prestigious events such as LA Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, where he continues to showcase his dynamic creations. Recently, Mondo dazzled the audience at a fashion show in Denver, unveiling his summer collection with flair and creativity. A winner of ‘Project Runway All Stars’ season 1, Mondo’s influence extends beyond the runway. Embracing African Wax Prints, he brings cultural richness to his designs.

With a dedicated website, he not only shares insights into his fashion journey but also sells his distinctive creations. Additionally, Mondo actively contributed to the fashion community, serving as a guest judge for the 9th annual Project Runway charity fashion show, benefiting the Education Fdn of Eagle County, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting education in Eagle County. In both style and substance, Mondo Guerra’s narrative reflects a designer who continues to captivate with his unique vision and vibrant approach to fashion.

Andy South Embraced a New Identity

Andy South, now living life as Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong AKA Ari, has undergone a transformative journey after the show. She has embraced her true self with a new name and identity. She participated again in ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ seasons 3 and 6. In the realm of fashion design, Ari has launched her website and brand, reflecting her continued passion for creativity and self-expression. Not confined to traditional fashion, she actively participates in drag extravaganzas, showcasing the diverse facets of her artistic spirit. Advocating for self-love, Ari’s post-show narrative is a celebration of authenticity and resilience in both the fashion world and personal identity.

Michael Costello has a Studio and an Online Store Now

Image Credit: Michael Costello/Instagram

Michael Costello, the renowned fashion designer with his shop and online store, Shop Costello, has left an indelible mark on the fashion scene. His designs, worn at prestigious events like the Grammys, showcase his talent and creativity. Beyond the runway, Costello has made appearances on various TV shows, including ‘The Real,’ ‘Project Runway All Stars,’ and ‘The Golden Bachelor’ where he served as a guest judge and participant.

Costello continues to be a prominent figure in the fashion world, with collaborations on TV series like ‘American Horror Story’ and significant moments like winning a nationwide fashion challenge on ‘Good Morning America.’ However, his journey has not been without controversy. Accusations arose in 2023, with a model and TikToker accusing him of allegedly replacing her Asian face with another non-Asian model’s in a photo. This adds to a series of controversies, including a public disclosure of his past struggles with suicidal thoughts in 2014 and a heated exchange with Chrissy Teigen in 2023.

April Johnston Brought Her Creative Spirit to Activewear

April Johnston, currently a designer at Free People Movement, brings her creative spirit to activewear. Having tied the knot with Ian in 2021, she has embarked on a new chapter both personally and professionally. Before her role at Free People Movement, April contributed her talents to Urban Outfitters, showcasing her versatility in the fashion industry. In addition to her fashion endeavors, April has made appearances in the entertainment world, contributing to the Short film ‘I’m Fine’ in the Script and Continuity Department. Notably, she also returned to the ‘Project Runway’ stage for ‘Project Runway All Stars’ in 2012, showcasing her enduring presence and influence in the competitive fashion landscape.

Christopher Collins is a Dad and a Husband

Christopher Collins has evolved into a senior design director of Junior & Missy Dresses. Beyond his professional achievements, he proudly wears the hats of a dad and a husband, showcasing a dynamic life outside the fashion realm. Married to Matt Londraville, Christopher is a family man with two kids, adding depth and richness to his post-‘Project Runway’ journey as he continues to leave an imprint on the fashion industry.

Valerie Mayen is Currently a Head Designer

Valerie Mayen has found her niche as the head designer at Yellowcake Shop, a clothing company specializing in ethically handmade workwear. Her commitment to ethical fashion is evident in her role, showcasing a dedication to sustainable and responsible design practices. She also participated in ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ season 5. In a delightful twist to her narrative, Valerie is married to Jason Nehez and is the proud mother of a daughter. Balancing her professional success with a fulfilling family life, Valerie’s journey post-show is a testament to her creative prowess and commitment to making a positive impact in the world of fashion.

Ivy Higa Channels Her Love for Animals into Bespoke Paws

Ivy Higa, the designer with a passion for both fashion and furry friends, has crafted a unique journey, since the show. Not only does she design under her name, but Ivy also channels her love for animals into Bespoke Paws, a luxury pet fashion brand established in 2019. Her pet-centric venture reflects a distinctive blend of creativity and compassion, catering to the stylish needs of pets and their owners.

In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Ivy’s creative influence extends to collaborations with major brands like Tommy Jeans x NBA, showcasing her design versatility. As the Creative Director at Fashion Mag Apparel Inc., she continues to make her mark in the fashion industry, embodying a commitment to both style and the well-being of our four-legged companions.

Michael Drummond is a Today Creative Director

Michael Drummond, now the creative director, designer, and owner of Michael Drummond, has carved a distinctive path. Before establishing his brand, he honed his skills as a textile designer and knitwear designer at Skif International, showcasing a journey marked by creativity and craftsmanship. Drummond, along with fellow ‘Project Runway’ alum Laura Kathleen Baker, took on a significant role by co-chairing the inaugural ‘Threads: History Never Looked So Haute.’ This event brought together ‘Project Runway’ stars and local college students to reimagine textiles from the Missouri Historical Society’s collection, highlighting his commitment to the intersection of fashion and history.

Furthering his impact in the fashion realm, Drummond was selected as one of eight residents in the Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s Fashion Lab program, underscoring his influence in the industry. His exhibitions at The Sheldon Art Galleries and the World Chess Hall of Fame demonstrate his ability to seamlessly blend art and fashion, solidifying his position as a dynamic and multidimensional designer.

Carlos Casanova is Affiliated with a Skincare Brand

Carlos Casanova specializes in men’s fashion, swimsuits, undergarments, and even venturing into bridal couture, Carlos has carved into the fashion industry with his diverse and innovative designs. Beyond fashion, he has extended his influence to skincare, joining the group of affiliates for Boscia, a prominent skincare line.

Setting up a new creative space, complete with a tailor shop and showroom in East Williamsburg, New York, Carlos continues to redefine the fashion landscape. His commitment to environmental responsibility shines through as he actively raises awareness about reducing single-use plastic. Carlos Casanova’s post-show narrative reflects not only his design prowess but also his dedication to making a positive impact in both the fashion and sustainability realms.

Peach Carr Designs Clutch Bags

Peach Carr again appeared on ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ season 2. As the proud owner of Peach Carr Designs, she’s not only continued to make waves in the fashion world but has also expanded her repertoire with a recent foray into designing clutch bags. Demonstrating her entrepreneurial spirit, Peach organized her inaugural fashion show in 2019, collaborating with Journey Care to create a memorable and impactful event. Her evolution is proof of her enduring passion for design and commitment to making meaningful contributions to the fashion industry.

A.J. Thouvenot has Ventured into Sustainable Fashion Now

A.J. Thouvenot currently thrives as the Creative Director for K. Hall Studio and a Freelance Fashion Designer. Demonstrating his commitment to sustainable fashion, he has innovatively delved into crafting upcycled corsets. In matters of the heart, A.J. finds joy in a relationship with Andrew Warner, further enriching his life.

As a testament to his philanthropic spirit, he participated in the Celebrate Style fashion show, which is dedicated to benefitting the young women’s breast cancer program at the Siteman Cancer Center. Beyond his creative endeavors, A.J. adds a personal touch to his life with a furry companion named Chloe. A.J. Thouvenot’s post-show journey is not only marked by creative excellence but also by a meaningful engagement with causes close to his heart.

Kristin Haskins Simms is an Interior Designer Today

Kristin Haskins Simms was once the designer and CEO at Krys Design and Manufacturing LLC. She has since evolved into the role of Interior Designer and Construction Manager at Haskins Property Management, LLC. Kristin seamlessly blends her expertise in design and construction, bringing a holistic approach to her projects. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kristin is a proud wife and mother, adding a personal touch to her journey. Her creative spirit extends to her label, Strangefruit, showcasing her versatile and artistic flair. Kristin Haskins Simms’ trajectory reflects not only her professional growth but also the harmonious balance she strikes between design, family, and entrepreneurship.

Sarah Trost’s Talent Extend to the Film and TV Industry Today

Sarah Trost, a visionary Visual Artist and Costume Designer by trade, has crafted a fascinating post-show narrative. As the designer at Trost Designs, she has left her mark in the world of Circular Loop Couture. Sarah’s talent extends to the film and television industry, where she served as an assistant costume designer for projects like ’12 Strong’ and ‘Fantastic Four.’ Her creative journey continued to flourish with significant roles as the Costume Designer for TV series such as ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ and ‘A.P. Bio.’ With an impressive portfolio, Sarah Trost has seamlessly blended her artistic prowess with the world of entertainment, leaving an indelible mark on the canvas of visual storytelling.

Nicholas D’Aurizio Specializes in Womenswear and Accessories

Nicholas D’Aurizio is now the visionary creator behind LIV by Nico Lena and has seamlessly woven together fashion and philanthropy. Specializing in womenswear and accessories, his designs transcend style by aiming to change lives through the power of fashion. This unique approach has not only caught the attention of the fashion world but also earned him a feature in the prestigious Vanity Fair. Nicholas extends his creative influence beyond conventional runways, representing his designs at Haiti Fashion Week. Through LIV by Nico Lena, he not only showcases his talent but also champions a cause, turning fashion into a catalyst for positive change.

Jason Troisi is a Respected Fashion Designer Today

Jason Troisi, the creative force behind the House of Jason Troisi, stands as a beacon in the world of fashion. As the owner and driving visionary, his designs have not only graced numerous publications but have also solidified him as a renewed and respected fashion designer. With a keen eye for style and an unwavering commitment to his craft, Jason Troisi continues to leave an indelible mark on the industry, captivating audiences with his innovative and timeless creations.

McKell Maddox is a Proud Mom of Two Beautiful Daughters

McKell Maddox, the fashion design director of Fore All, a modern women’s golf brand, balances her dynamic career with the joys of motherhood as a proud mom of two beautiful daughters. Additionally, she is a devoted wife and shares her home with the adorable puppies Tule and Tucker. McKell’s creative prowess extends beyond the workplace, as evidenced by her participation in Park City Fashion Week, where her designs come to life on the runway. Her multifaceted life reflects a passion for both family and fashion, making her a standout figure in the industry and a source of inspiration for many.

Read More: Project Runway Season 1: Where Are the Designers Now?