Who is Zayden Skipper? 'Project Runway' designer was once homeless, made marching band uniforms

'Project Runway' Season 19 contestant Zayden Skipper (Image via Sportskeeda)
'Project Runway' Season 19 contestant Zayden Skipper (Image via Sportskeeda)
Rutica Dey

Just like clockwork, Project Runway is here! After 18 successful runs, the award-winning fashion design series has emerged with yet another promising season.

As many as sixteen fashion designers will compete for a slot in New York Fashion Week and $250,000 worth of sponsorships. This year as well, the panel of contestants is packed with talent. One of the budding designers is SCAD graduate Zayden Skipper, who was raised by a strong tribe of women.

Who is Zayden Skipper on Project Runway?

Zayden Skipper was brought up by his mother, grandmother and aunts. They made sure he focussed on his art and stayed grounded, utilizing his abilities to the fullest.

The Project Runway designer's matriarch household really inspired him. Watching them make clothes for him and his siblings, Zayden learned stitching too. He recalls:

"I used to design and make my high school’s marching band drill team’s uniforms for performances and competitions, in addition to being their dance instructor."

The 32-year-old designer graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Alcorn State and started working in the corporate sector. Realizing his calling was design, Zayden moved to Atlanta to pursue a master's in fashion.

Skipper went from being homeless to being the only Black male to graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design in his class with the MFA, the highest degree in fashion with honors.

Skipper calls his collection Avant Oppidan: The Misrepresentation of Black Designers in the Fashion Industry, inspired by the history of Black people. Skipper has birthed his very own genre of fashion called "Urban Avant-Garde Streetwear" that embraces "The Culture."

The Project Runway designer has been in the industry for just over a year but has managed to feature in Vogue Italia, Teen Vogue, Essence, and WWD. He was chosen to represent SCAD in the CFDA fashion future graduate. Skipper's designs were also showcased at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, France, and Hong Kong.

The talented designer has stars such as Tanya Sams, Tierra Wack, Paula Wallace, and Lori Harvey as his clients. Additionally, he has also had the opportunity to design for the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

About Project Runway

Bravo's Emmy-winning series Project Runway is all set for its 19th season, premiering on Thursday, October 14. The show will star 16 designers who will take on the challenges of making a collection for New York Fashion Week.

While Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, and Elaine Welteroth will resume their judging duties, Christian Siriano will host and mentor the contestants. Unfortunately, Karlie Kloss will not be joining Siriano as co-host this year.

Project Runway Season 19 is set to air new episodes from Thursday, October 14, at 9.00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Bravo.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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