When “Project Runway” season 19 begins this October, two Filipino designers will be bringing out their A-game for a chance to become fashion’s next big name.
San Diego’s Kenneth Barlis and Darren Apolonio of New York are among 16 contestants who will be mentored by designer Christian Siriano during the competition.
Their designs will be judged by the show’s regular stars Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, and Elaine Welteroth.
The panel of guest judges helping them determine the best designer to show a collection at New York Fashion Week includes actress Taraji P. Henson and supermodels Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss.
Barlis grew up in a military base in Mindanao where he graduated as his high school valedictorian. One year before completing a registered nurse degree, he decided to pursue his dreams of becoming a fashion designer in America.
As his styles and youthful enthusiasm became well-known in his hometown, he grew his client base and staged several successful shows in San Diego and Los Angeles starting in 2013.
Apolonio was also born in the Philippines where he grew up with his sisters and was raised by a single mother. After high school, he moved to New York and worked his way up in one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals. His early influences include Lady Gaga and David Bowie, two fashion icons whose styles inspired Apolonio to be just as fearless in his designs.
The Emmy-winning show consists of 90-minute episodes where contestants get a chance to show their creativity and technique.
This season the contestants will be challenged to produce designs with themes including “a hauntingly chic look, an avant-garde look from faux fur, and an unconventional cocktail dress with a twist,” according to the network’s press release.
The “Project Runway” champ will receive the grand prize of $250,000. In the US, the show airs on Bravo and repeats next day on the Peacock streaming service.
Meet the “Project Runway” Season 19 Designers:
· Octavio Aguilar – Miami, FL
· Darren Apolonio – New York, NY
· Kenneth Barlis – San Diego, CA
· Caycee Black – Brooklyn, NY
· Coral Castillo – Los Angeles, NY
· Meg Ferguson – Tulsa, OK
· Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste – Philadelphia, PA
· Bones Jones – Brooklyn, NY
· Kristina Kharlashkina – New York, NY
· Katie Kortman – Japan
· Shantall Lacayo – Miami, FL
· Aaron Michael – Jackson, MS
· Chasity Sereal – Houston, TX
· Zayden Skipper – Atlanta, GA
· Sabrina Spanta – Bloomfield Hills, MI
· Anna Yinan Zhou – San Francisco, CA