Kevin: The Straight Guy

Kevin Christiana keeps his cool during the menswear challenge.

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What was your prior experience with menswear?
I studied menswear design at FIT where I received the "menswear designer of the year" grant. I had a small menswear line in 2003 it was sold on guyshop.com and few boutiques. Most of my menswear experience consisted of custom clothing mainly for musicians and actors.

Has this challenge made you more interested in designing menswear?
Yes it has. I felt more confident and alive during this challenge. Almost like I was in school again and didn't have a care in the world. By the way, in school we took a whole semester to make a pair of pants but I'm not complaining! I've been doing some extensive research in the mens market and I will be incorporating a lot of menswear into my next collection.

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Suddenly, there are male models in the room. And there you are. The straight dude. What was the energy in the room?
I am getting my ass kicked for claiming my straightness. So the only thing I can say is the male contestants were very happy when those young ripped little chaps walk into the door! A few which I will not disclose were having problems focusing -- uuuhhummm steven!

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Who do you admire the most, among menswear designers?
I always loved John Bartlett's mens collection ever since I went to FIT. He inspired me then and I wish he would produce more.

That room seemed so panicked up to the end. What was it like to be there?
It looked like an explosion in the design room. There was fabric flying everywhere, yelling, pins sticking out of everything. It was like the scene in "Airplane" when the plane was going down. I felt like Ted Striker repeating in my head "I can fly this thing, I can fly this thing" It was a war zone!

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How did you feel about Jack's winning design?
I think Jack was smart about his execution. Everyone including myself were trying to go over the top with too many pieces without realizing that this challenge had a lot to do with time management and pleasing the client. Jack did an amazing job. His work was impeccable and he read the challenge very well.

There you are, in the top three! What was that like? How did it feel?
It fell great to be in the top three. Mainly because it was a menswear challenge and my family and I are football fans so standing up there with Tiki Barber will make Papa proud.

You say on the runway that you had the same impulse (to not pin the vest) -- can you talk a little more about that?
I wish that they made black pins, then it wouldn't have been so obvious. I like vests when they are closed and I didn't have time to hand sew a button hole and attach a button. I tried to sneak it in and I got caught -- "oh well!"

What was your relationship to Carmen?
I actually have a good relationship with Carmen. We see each other for who we are. There is an underlining respect between the two of us based on family values. She always complemented my manners and would say "Booooy Mama raised you right!" There may have been tension with other contestants, but never with me. I also never F@#$d with her cuz she could whoop my ass!

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