A program described as “Project Runway: The College Years” has produced its first graduate/winner.
The final segment of Philadelphia University’s “Runway Challenge” Monday on Philadelphia NBC10’s “10! Show” crowned Alison Winters the winner. Winters, who for her final challenge presented a sportswear collection that she designed for her senior project at Philadelphia University, triumphed over fellow seniors Dominique Asuncion, who showed children’s wear, and Pam Martin, who presented eveningwear. Winters’ prize is a trip for two to an international fashion capital, and she chose Paris. She will take Martin as her guest.
Clara Henry, director of Philadelphia University’s fashion design program, who has been coordinating and judging “Runway Challenge,” said her students had been dealing with even more rigorous circumstances than those created by “Project Runway, ” on which the competition was modeled.
“Most reality shows out there are sequestered so they concentrate fully on a specific challenge,” Henry said. “These are senior fashion design students carrying a full load of classes. Many were working on top of all that. They are fully prepared to go out into the industry now.”
The show’s creators posted flyers around the school soliciting applications from seniors, about half of whom applied. Based on application samples, 10 contestants were chosen from among 50 or so applicants.
The weekly challenges ranged from turning recycled materials from the Salvation Army or items from Home Depot into clothes to producing designs inspired by Philadelphia architecture.
Henry, the co-host of the “10! Show” and weekly guest judges, including “Project Runway” winner and Philadelphia University alum Jay McCarroll, made up the judges’ panel.
Winters wants to pursue a career in performance wear, sportswear or children’s wear, and is looking for a job after graduation to expand on her experience making custom corsets at Philadelphia’s Delicious Corsets.