Bravotv.com: First, how was it reuniting with all of the eliminated designers?
It was fun, and it was also a bit tense at moments. Many of the contestants had lots to vent about. But all in all it was very rewarding to see them all together and get a sense of who we will definitely see and hear more from, and to hear how the show has changed and impacted their lives, and it was clear that they all won something.
Bravotv.com: Why did the judges choose who they did to win?
Daniella pretty consistently had a strong design aesthetic, and her final collection was very thought out, beautifully made, it was young and refreshing, and totally her own. She even did the music and lyrics, and sang it too … but that wasn’t part of the decision. She is talented, and we felt she deserved to be acknowledged. It was tough. However,I also think James-Paul is a real gem, and he did a very intelligent and interesting collection … maybe a bit too esoteric for most viewers.
Bravotv.com: Were you surprised by who America chose?
Not at all. I think we all walked out of the final fashion show and said, “Anna will win.” Her clothes communicated to many people, were colorful and pretty … and also quite good. From our professional comments, it didn’t hold “together” as a collection, but the viewers weren’t voting with the same criteria we were. We were not disappointed though. We felt any one of the three finalists would have been a great choice — that’s why we whittle it down to them.
Bravotv.com: What advice would you give to the winner?
Anna should take her time … slow and steady wins the race. She should invest that money smartly, talk to Glenda and everyone else who can spend some time with her, and I think she needs to think long and hard about starting her own line. If that’s the direction she goes, wants to go, she should sit with some smart industry people about a business plan, investors and learn all the aspects that need to be understood before she “opens” her business. There’s a whole universe to succeeding beyond just designing pretty clothes.