30, San Francisco, CA, #DesignerAlex
When did you realize you had designer potential?
It came naturally. As a kid with ADD and traveling a lot, I loved playing around with the hotel sewing kits. Kept me occupied and moving. It just started from there and didn’t stop. I got my first mannequin at 13 and self taught myself until college. Never deviated and just kept going and now here I am with an amazing team of 10 people and get to do this every day of my life! Needless to say, when my family (on my father’s side) first emigrated, they were tailors and textile manufacturers in New York City. My last name in German means tailor, so not only is it in my DNA it is also very natural.
What is your design training?
I earned my Associate’s in Design, I went back for my Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Design, and I just finished my Master’s of Fine Art in Design with a minor in Merchandising. I also became a business scholar in Fall 2015 through 10KSB with Goldman Sachs and Babson College. If you can’t tell, I absolutely love learning.
Strengths as a designer?
I am very well-rounded with an extremely proficient background in design, business of design and craftsmanship. I’ve had exceptional mentors and educators in my life, which is why I started teaching once a week — they inspired me to give back. I’ve worked and created everything from designer wear and ready-to-wear to swim, bridal and everything in-between.
Weaknesses as a designer?
Finding that line of making my personal designs approachable. I love conceptual design and development, pushing my designs as far as they could go. It is finding that balance constantly. Also, finding the balance between my business and my personal life, which is a major issue sometimes, as my husband competes for attention with my garments.
How did you end up auditioning for “Project Runway”?
I actually auditioned because everyone in my grad school studio class thought it would be fun for all of us to apply. We all competed against each other in school, why not all compete on “Project Runway.” Never did I think this would happen, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Challenge you wish they’d bring back?
The “Make My Friend Over” challenge. I remember watching that and thinking what great friends to support their friends through it. Also, how amazing a feeling to make someone feel incredible and their best! Win or loose that challenge, it would be unbelievably humbling to make someone’s day and be a part of such a lasting memory!
Challenge you hope they don’t?
The baby challenge. I am the least paternal person ever and always feel so awkward around kids. I get clammy and don’t know what to say. Even with my nephew, I love him, but the whole kid thing is very awkward for me. It would be a nice challenge to say I’ve done it, but I would be really uncomfortable. This makes for great conversations with my husband who is very paternal and wants kids. Maybe it will hit me someday.
What’s your take on team challenges?
I love them! This industry is all about teamwork and working together. You are always able to get your point of view across even with the influence of another designer. People just need to learn to delegate, listen and effectively execute garments together. If you can’t manage this, the industry will eat you up, especially the higher up you get in the industry. Teamwork is everything! My team is strong and it is because we all communicate and function together as one cohesive entity.
Do you think you can win “Project Runway”?
Of course I can! I think I am well-rounded as a designer. My aesthetic and point of view are very distinct. With tenure in the industry and respect for the traditions of the industry, I think I would not only represent the “Project Runway” brand with dignity and respect, but my team and our brands alike. The win is far just beyond myself, it is about the people who are supporting me through this and making them proud!