Suede: Rockin' Out
The origin of Suede's name and what he learned from LL Cool J.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration behind your look for Jerell?
Originally, Jerell and I spoke about a KISS-inspired crazy '80s look. Long gone are the days of spandex, big hair, and crazy make-up. I changed my mind however, when I recalled being ripped in the last challenge for having something that looked very '80s-inspired. Glad I listened to my instincts, I really loved my look and am proud of the way it came out. The inspiration I decided to go with was modern-day rockers. In my eyes, rockers are much more tangible in their appearance -- slim fit pants, t-shirts, jackets, vests, jeans, all very casual sportswear.
Bravotv.com: If you could've chosen any of the other designers to be your client and any other musical genre, would you have chosen?
I enjoyed working with Jerell. One of the big challenges was accessories for the looks on both me and Jerell. The Bluefly wall does not offer ANY men's accessories so I was really in trouble there. I of course wore all my own personal accessories on the look Korto created for me. I actually would have loved to do the Punk Rock genre. That would have been LOTS of fun.
Bravotv.com: What did you think of the other designs?
Well, I do think Jerell's look was fun and definitely pop diva. I of course loved what Korto created since it was the winning look and all the designers loved how I worked the runway. OMG that was fun!
Bravotv.com: Did you agree with the judges' decision? What did you think of their comments?
Well this look was the first time I ever got a "FAB - U - LOUS" from Tim Gunn. That meant the world to me. I did understand the judges' feedback and think the comment that I learned the most from was by LL Cool J. He told me that when an artist is on stage for two hours they need to have something that people will keep seeing little surprises in their clothing. I learned from this comment and immediately after we got out of filming I was given the chance to dress recording artist and diva AMUKA for KTU's Beatstock. I channeled EXACTLY what LL Cool J said and I worked it out - Amuka looked smoldering. For me, it would have been much easier to create a stage look for a woman then a man. I believe in edginess for a guy, but taking it over the top and costumey is just not where I am at this point in my career. So at the end of the day I was true to who I am and super-proud of my look and honored to be in the top five.
Bravotv.com: Kenley was pretty feisty in this episode -- what did you think of her attitude towards Tim/in general?
Completely disrespectful! Tim is amazing and I have the utmost respect for him and let's not forget she ripped me apart on the last episode as well. Clearly, she has some growing to do!
Bravotv.com: How was it having LL Cool J as guest judge?
It felt surreal pretty much like the entire Project Runway experience. I love LL Cool J and I hope that since he was part of the decision to "auf" me that he will give me the opportunity to dress him for an upcoming event. That would make all right in the world again (big smile)!
Bravotv.com: How was it showing at Bryant Park?
It was a dream come true. I have worked in import denim for the last 15 years and had NEVER attended the tent shows, let alone been able to show my work. The whole experience was thrilling, exhausting, emotional, and brilliant. I showed a collection that was dreamy, flirty, and young. I was true to where I am at this point in my career and know that all the comments and feedback I got from showing will only help push me to the next step in my career. WOW it was AMAZING!!
Bravotv.com: How did you get the name Suede?
Suede is a nickname I gained when I was in college. I was the only guy in a group of about 16 girls. We were all stressed out one afternoon and needed a tension breaker. I rallied the girls and told them we all had to go to the swatch barrel and pick out a swatch and be that fabric for the day. I selected a piece of suede and instantly became Suede. Some of my closest college friends still call me Suede to this day.
Bravotv.com: Where can your fans find you/buy your designs?
Best way to keep in touch with all things SUEDE are on my official Web site www.SUEDEsays.com or through www.morsecodepr.com. I have some AMAZING projects in the works and would love to be able to share them with all my fans who have shown me such great love and support! Thank you ALL!!!!!
All my love ...