Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View

Shoe Designer Lauren Brinkers on Project Runway's "Extra Meaningful" Accessory Challenge

The NYC-based shoemaker explains how winning Project Runway's recent challenge was "such a huge deal" for her business. 

Digital Original
Designer Lauren Brinkers Opens Up About Winning Project Runway's Accessory Challenge
Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View

On the November 18 episode of Project Runway, the contestants were each faced with a unique challenge: collaborate with a local accessory designer to create a brand new look. To make the project even more exciting, the winning pair was awarded $25,000 from Visa as part of the company’s efforts to unlock access for small businesses by giving them the tools and resources needed to thrive.

The winning team included Lauren Brinkers, a New York City-based shoemaker. "I do painted boots," Lauren explained in the video below. "They're very sort of organic, abstract shapes, very fluid, so our design was based on one of my shoes. It turned out beautifully."

Winning the prize money was "such a huge deal" for her business, Lauren explained. "Before COVID, before the city shut down, my business was much like it is now: small, it's run by me and me only. I do everything myself," she said. "I source my materials, I make my product, I ship it, and things are tough sometimes."

After working as a pediatric hospital nurse for 10 years, Lauren "retired from the bedside for five years" as she dedicated herself to her shoemaking company. However, amid the pandemic, she put her business aside to provide medical care for those in need. "I remember feeling this gut feeling and this sense that I was going to be needed in the city, which I was very quickly," she recalled. "So I completely shut my business down and the next day I was being deployed into one of the downtown hospitals."

"This particular challenge of highlighting creatives and New York designers that were impacted by the COVID pandemic was extra meaningful for me," she continued. "Just to sort of support and uplift independent designers in the city."

To learn more about Lauren and her incredible business, watch the video above! 

Related
Related Show

Bravo’s Style & Living is your window to the fabulous lifestyles of Bravolebrities. Be the first to know about all the best fashion and beauty looks, the breathtaking homes Bravo stars live in, everything they’re eating and drinking, and so much more. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and get exclusive extras.

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet