On "Project Runway," fashion designers compete against each other for a grand prize.
Past winners, like Christian Siriano and Leanne Marshall, went on to create successful brands.
Other winners, like Gretchen Jones, have expanded their careers beyond designing.
Jay McCarroll won season one.
Known for not winning a single challenge during the entire competition — other than the actual finale, of course — Jay McCarroll was the unlikely champion of season one.
McCarroll has remained in the spotlight across a variety of platforms.
Post-"Project Runway," McCarroll starred in "Project Jay," which focused on his attempts to establish himself after his win.
He made headlines in 2010 when he won VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" after losing 40 pounds.
As for his design career in the entertainment industry, he was the stylist for two short films, "Red Skyes at Night: The Story of Flower" (2016) and "Fleur" (2017).
Chloe Dao won season two.
In a surprise victory against Santino Rice, Chloe Dao won season two by impressing the judges with her elegant designs.
Dao is now a philanthropist who runs a clothing boutique.
After winning the second season of "Project Runway," Dao returned to her hometown of Houston, Texas, to continue growing her already established boutique, Chloe DAO. She also partnered with QVC and sold her designs there for multiple years.
In 2014, she became an executive producer and judge on "Project Runway Vietnam."
Dao is an active philanthropist, who's partnered with organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Salvation Army of Houston. She also started an initiative to donate face masks to those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, the designer worked on the fashion Zoom series "The Joy Hour" with fellow designer Jackie Adams. The webinars featured other leaders in the fashion industry.
Dao is currently running her popular boutique in Houston.
Jeffrey Sebelia won season three.
Jeffrey Sebelia seemed to play the villain throughout the season, making the fact that he won unpalatable to many fans. But there's no denying his designs impressed the judges.
Sebelia has tried his hand at designing children's clothing.
After "Project Runway," he told New York Magazine in 2007 that he got a gig designing the costumes for the "Bratz" (2007) live-action movie. In the interview, he called the dolls "slutty" and, according to LA Weekly, this comment cost him the job.
Sebelia took a break from La Miniatura in 2013 to participate on the third season of "Project Runway: All Stars" — on which he placed seventh out of 11 contestants.
According to his website, Sebelia has also worked with clothing companies like Guess and Urban Outfitters.
Christian Siriano won season four.
Easily the most successful "Project Runway" alum, Christian Siriano was 21 when he first joined the show and wowed the judges with his designs.
Now, Siriano dresses the stars.
In 2012, he opened his first boutique in New York, and, in 2013, he became a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America — a prestigious organization that strengthens the impact of designers.
He has served as a judge on "Project Runway Junior," and he took over Tim Gunn's role as mentor starting on season 17 of "Project Runway."
The designer has also dressed a slew of celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid, to name a few.
Leanne Marshall won season five.
Season five delivered yet another commercially successful winner in the form of Leanne Marshall.
Marshall also dresses celebrities.
Since winning her season, Marshall has moved to New York City and developed her own line.
She's also wowed at New York Fashion Week since 2008, and her flowy dresses have been worn by the likes of Ariana Grande, Solange, and Jackie Cruz.
She even designed her own wedding gown — as well as her maid of honor's dress — for her own elopement in 2018.
More recently, Marshall showed her fall 2022 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Irina Shabayeva won season six.
Irina Shabayeva's armor-inspired designs for her final "Project Runway" show were undeniably winners.
Shabayeva continues to design.
Since winning season six of "Project Runway," Shabayeva has focused on her eponymous brand and has shown at several fashion weeks around the world.
In 2011, she launched a bridal collection exclusive to Kleinfeld, the famous New York bridal store featured on TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress." That same year, she launched her outerwear line LUXE by Irina.
In 2013, Shabayeva competed on season three of "Project Runway: All Stars" and placed sixth. She was also second runner-up on the recent seventh season in 2019.
The designer has dressed celebrities including Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Madonna, Kelly Ripa, and Kelly Clarkson.
Seth Aaron Henderson won season seven.
Seth Aaron Henderson became the first designer to win both "Project Runway" and "Project Runway: All Stars" (season three).
Henderson now focuses on sustainable fashion.
After his success within the "Project Runway" franchise, Henderson focused on sustainable fashion, working with brands such as Earthtec and SolarWorld.
His designs have attracted celebrity clientele like Lady Gaga, Grace Jones, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry.
He's known for using organic fabrics and plastic bottles in his fashion lines, and in 2017, he partnered with the brand Feetz to release a line of 3D-printed shoes.
Henderson also competed on season seven of "Project Runway: All Stars" in 2019, but he went home early on and came in 13th place.
The designer is still making and selling clothes under his label.
Gretchen Jones won season eight.
Some viewers were upset when Gretchen Jones won season eight over fan-favorite Mondo Guerra.
Jones has backed away from designing. Instead, she's focused her career on consulting.
After her "Project Runway" stint, Jones moved to Brooklyn where she ran her ready-to-wear women's line, Gretchen Jones NYC.
Over the past 10 years, Jones has had the chance to work and partner with brands like REI, Converse, Little Sister Creative, and East Olivia.
Today, Jones has largely shifted her career from designing to consulting with her Weird Specialty company.
Anya Ayoung-Chee won season nine.
Anya Ayoung-Chee's season nine victory is quite a dramatic story.
She had only taken up sewing four months before the competition and had no garments constructed when Gunn visited her home before the finale.
Despite all that, she pulled through and took home the title.
Ayoung-Chee now owns a successful boutique.
After winning the ninth season of "Project Runway," Ayoung-Chee created a resort-wear clothing line. According to her website, she also manages a coworking space, a clothing boutique, and a café in Trinidad and Tobago.
Ayoung-Chee appeared as a mentor on the "Project Runway" spin-off series "Under the Gunn" back in 2014.
The designer also competed on season seven of "Project Runway: All Stars" in 2019 and came in 10th place.
Ayoung-Chee is still designing new collections under her label.
Dmitry Sholokhov won season 10.
Dmitry Sholokhov was another double winner, beating out the competition on both "Project Runway" and "Project Runway: All Stars" (season four).
Sholokhov has his own clothing line.
After his wins, Sholokhov dedicated himself to his own line, which works mostly on private commissions.
After winning season 10 of "Project Runway" and season four of "Project Runway: All Stars," the designer came in second place on the seventh season of "All Stars."
In 2019, he tied with designer Sue Wong for fashion designer of the year at the Metropolitan Fashion Awards.
Sholokhov is currently working under his namesake label.
Michelle Lesniak won season 11.
After nearly being cut from the show early on, Michelle Lesniak was named the champion of season 11.
Lesniak continues to design in Portland.
Lesniak returned to "Project Runway: All Stars" in 2019 for season seven and took home the big prize.
She's still designing clothes and accessories.
Dom Streater won season 12.
Dom Streater stole the show with her graphic prints that easily secured her spot as the winner of season 12.
Streater is now designing T-shirts, scarves, and jackets.
After her success on "Project Runway," she went on to win season five of "Project Runway: All Stars."
Her label offers limited-edition T-shirts, scarves, and jackets for sale, as well as abstract paintings.
Sean Kelly won season 13.
After wowing audiences with a dress that went from white to multicolored under the runway's rain, New Zealander Sean Kelly won the whole competition on season 13.
Kelly is selling his designs in New York.
The designer recently came in seventh place on season seven of "Project Runway: All Stars."
Ashley Nell Tipton won season 14.
Tipton has continued designing and she's worked with some notable brands.
After her "Project Runway" win, Tipton signed a contract with JCPenney to design and be the face of their plus-size boutique.
She has also designed for Simplicity, K and M Accessories, and has launched her own clothing and eyewear lines.
In 2020, Tipton announced on her YouTube channel that she was going to stop designing. Instead, she's shifted to posting regular episodes of her YouTube series the "Love 'YOU' Show."
In 2021, Tipton won the emerging-designer award at Fashion Week San Diego.
Erin Robertson won season 15.
With her banana-print looks and silver coats, Erin Robertson took home the winning title on season 15 of "Project Runway."
Robertson has had her designs appear in multiple magazines.
Her designs have appeared in publications like Marie Claire, Nylon, Teen Vogue, Forbes, and Elite Daily.
In 2018, Robertson collaborated with Starbursts and DDB Studio to create "The Pink Starburst Collection," and she's also worked with Jifei Ou at the MIT Media Lab to create pieces designed with 3D-printed fur.
In 2020, she partnered with MIT again to help judge innovative solutions for face masks and PPE through the institution's Pandemic Response CoLab.
She continues to design and do other creative work, namely with her clothing line An-Erin.
Kentaro Kameyama won season 16.
Kentaro Kameyama claimed the title of season 16 winner, and the designer has been busy working since the end of the show.
Kameyama has already had successful runway shows since his win.
He's already shown collections at LA, Paris, New York Fashion Weeks, and the ready-to-wear pieces are available for purchase on his website.
Kameyama also currently teaches and serves as chairman at The Fashion School of Los Angeles.
In 2021, he presented new designs at LA Fashion Week.
Outside of fashion, Kameyama is a classical pianist and composer.
Jhoan "Sebastian" Grey won season 17.
Jhoan "Sebastian" Grey wowed the judges with his high-end style on season 17 of "Project Runway."
Grey had the chance to debut his designs at New York Fashion Week.
He's still designing pieces for his namesake clothing label.
Geoffrey Mac won season 18.
Geoffrey Mac was a fan-favorite on season 18, so it's no surprise that he took home the big prize.
Mac just won "Project Runway" in March 2020, so he hasn't done much yet.
Before going on the show and winning in 2020, Mac was already pretty successful.
His designs have dressed celebrities like Bjork, Brooke Candy, Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Icona Pop, and Kesha.
Shantall Lacayo took the grand prize on "Project Runway" season 19.
The Nicaraguan designer wasn't a stranger to the fashion world before competing on the Bravo show. Shantall Lacayo launched her brand, Shantall, in 2010, which according to its website, "has been committed to raising awareness of the beauty and history of Latin American makers."
In 2022, she took home the big prize after the first all-female finale in "Project Runway" history.
Lacayo is still designing clothes with her successful brand.
Since her big win, Lacayo has appeared in big-name magazines like Elle, Harper's Bazaar Argentina, and Vogue Mexico & Latin America.
Bishme Cromartie won season 20.
Season 20 featured a cast of all-stars, or former "Project Runway" competitors.
After previously competing on season 17, Bishme Cromartie came back with a vengeance and won the most recent season.
Cromartie is dressing well-known celebrities and building his brand.
After his September win, Cromartie presented his designs at New York Fashion Week.
This story was originally published in January 2019, and most recently updated on December 1, 2023.
Read the original article on Insider