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Runway Redemption: Vote for Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, Season 6

By kim_messina Thu., May. 16, 2013 ,12:00 pm EDT

Ra'mon-Lawrence ColemanSeason 6's Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman got auf'd in Episode 6 after creating a sci-fi movie look that failed to impress the judges. He back to show everyone that he is, indeed, a strong designer!

5 QUESTIONS WITH RA'MON:
1. Bring us up to speed! What have you been up to since you were eliminated?

Since my time on "Project Runway," I have definitely experienced some amazing milestones professionally as well as personally. After returning home, I was approached by Kohl's to help rebrand and relaunch the junior label Mudd as well as oversee the design direction of one of their most successful partnership brands LC Lauren Conrad. After spending a few years making each a success for the company, I decided to make the bold move and finally relocate to NYC with my boyfriend, Brent. Bold isn't an understatement given neither of us had secured a job. However, with a gut feeling and my life savings, something inside said that simply it was time.

Before leaving the Midwest, Brent (a modern dancer) and I went on a trip to London and Paris for some inspiration. While in Paris, to my surprise he actually proposed at a little cafe by the Eifel Tower, in story book fashion. We're currently planning our wedding for next summer! Since that moment, life was been more abundant than I could imagine.

Once we arrived to NYC, I decided to focus on establishing my own label and building a local customer base. This has proven to be a huge task, as stores and buyers have been very wary of on boarding new independent designers in the ongoing economic climate. Thankfully I've made a huge custom clientele that has held sustain me. Mostly due to the continuing "Project Runway" fan base that have been emailing me non-stop asking where they can find my clothing.

A little over a year ago I was approached by JCP, having heard how successful I made LC Lauren Conrad for Kohls' and Mossimo for Target prior, to join them to oversee the design direction for a new collaboration with Nanette Lepore called L'AMOUR. Since it's launch, it's been received with universal praise, socially and financially. I guess this brings me to my ongoing question, if my ideas can make millions for these retail giants, they should be able to do the same under my own name, no?

2. What garment from your season of "Runway" do fans compliment you on the most?
I constantly have people compliment the Electric Green Neoprene Dress that I won the Garnier Surf Challenge with. I think partialy due to the somewhat impossible situation of that challenge, specifically working with Mitchell. But more importantly, a lot of fans were just inspired by my use of the material and dying it by hand. The material has actually become a pseudo-signature for me since then. Funny enough, in the next collections after the show aired, during NYFW there was a huge influx of neoprene as a trend (Even Michael Kors featured it in his collection). So I guess I was ahead of trend on that one…just saying.

3. What are your strengths as a designer at this point in your career?
I know whom I’m marketing my clothing towards and I remain consistent in my perspective of what my brand stands for. So many designers struggle to figure out their "voice," so each collection sometimes can have the tendency to look like a different person designed it. I’ve gone through that stage, and grown because of it. Now, I am not only business minded (given my mass retail background), but also I’ve created a focused and unique design esthetic that is also accessible. That’s what’s really important to me in building a successful business. If it’s not accessible, then it might as well be a hobby.

4. How has your design aesthetic changed since your time on the show, if at all?
I think I’ve evolved more as a contemporary designer. I’m still inspired by architecture and minimalism, but now I approach it with less of a "fantasy" eye. Really I’m more focused on soft tailoring with a quirky spin to it and a sense of practicality. Before, I don’t know if I was as focused on making clothes that were actually wearable. I looked at it more as art as fashion.

5. Why do you think you deserve a second chance?
I've always felt I was dismissed from my season far too soon. Actually, I definitely know I should have made it to Fashion Week. I would have wowed the judges, the industry and the fans. Aside from what has been said, as there were a lot of opinions when I was auf'd, I can account for one thing. Tim was right when he said, "I think too much." I've learned in the last few years to trust my instincts more, and not allow humility to be confused with not having a point of view. The show made me stronger as a designer and an individual. And while life rarely gives you second chances, I think this time around I would be the one for everyone to watch out for if given the opportunity to come back for redemption. Correction, I know I would be.

View Ra'mon's recent work

Rate his "Project Runway" Season 6 designs

Watch Ra'mon's Season 6 Exit Interview:

More Ra'mon videos:
-Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman Video Blog, Episode 6
-Tim Critiques Ra’Mon-Lawrence Coleman: Episode 6
-Tim Critiques Ra’Mon-Lawrence Coleman: Episode 5
-Ra-mon-Lawrence Coleman’s Closet Tour
-Ra-Mon-Lawrence Coleman’s Home Visit
-Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman's Casting Session