Whatever happened to Project Runway star Christian Siriano?

Fashion designer Christian Siriano got his big break after he won season four of Project Runway, and he's only gained popularity and success since then. When he won the competition in 2008, Siriano was the youngest winner of the show at just 22 years old when the finale aired, per People. As of this writing, Siriano still holds the title after 18 seasons and several spinoffs. The mega-talented designer launched his eponymous label the same year he won Project Runway and now designs gowns for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, and Michelle Obama – to name a few. 

Siriano's namesake label has blown up since its inception in 2008. You can find his pieces at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Moda Operandi, his own store, and more. Siriano has also designed collaboration collections with a number of other familiar brands, including Puma and J.Jill.

But lest you think all Siriano does is fashion and accessories, he's also created his own fragrance, a makeup line with Victoria's Secret, and a limited-edition Siriano brand gift card with Starbucks, among many other things that diversify his portfolio and show just how far his fashion sense stretches.

Christian Siriano built his brand on inclusivity

Where Christian Siriano really made a name for himself in the fashion world is with the inclusivity of his designs. He's made headlines, especially in recent years, for dressing celebrities of all body types and fashion histories. In 2018 alone, he dressed 17 women at the Academy Awards, according to NPR, and in 2019 put actor Billy Porter in a stunning black ball gown for the Oscars. 

Siriano wrote an essay in Glamour in 2016 explaning why inclusivity is so important to him. "I was never a fashion darling, whom the industry rallied around," he wrote. "So I asked myself, If you don't have the typical model of success, being in the coolest store, dressing the It Girl, appearing in every fashion magazine, what do you do? Give up? No. I had to do my own thing, or I wouldn't have a business."

Over the years, Siriano has forged his own path in the fashion industry, creating mass-market fashion in conjunction with high-end fashion, truly bringing his designs to everyone. While his budget-friendly collections at Payless showed up on the feet of people everywhere, he didn't do it at the expense of his namesake label. Siriano's ability to do it all endeared him not only to the fashion industry, but to the celebrities who were now calling him for dresses for events. The designer truly wants to dress everyone he's a fan of — no matter their size, race, or gender.

Christian Siriano returned to his 'Project Runway' roots in 2019

In 2019, fashion designer Christian Siriano, who won Project Runway more than a decade before, returned to the design competition as a mentor. Per Vulture, he replaced the beloved Tim Gunn to mentor the up-and-coming designers on the show, taking on the role of guiding them to do their best work and championing them each episode. As of this writing, he's already completed two seasons of the show as a mentor and is slated to appear on season 19.

On Project Runway, Siriano pushes the designers to give it their all, and it seems that he holds himself to the same standard — even outside of the fashion world. The designer made headlines in March 2020 when he volunteered his team of seamstresses to make face masks in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Siriano reached out to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo via Twitter to offer his services for healthcare workers on the frontlines, according to The New York Times

In April 2020, W Magazine reported that Siriano and his team had made "more than 8,000 face masks for New York healthcare workers." Siriano also opened up his website to take mask orders for the general public as well, helping keep his business afloat and helping people stay safe.

It's clear that since his Project Runway days, Siriano has made the world his runway, and he doesn't show signs of stopping anytime soon.