The official site for "Project Runway" Season 11 offers video, designer portfolios, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.
Cindy Marlatt

Cindy Marlatt

Age 59, Kent, WA - Out Episode 3
  • Exit Interview: Episode 3
  • Cindy Goes Home
  • Runway Rewind: Episode 3
  • Cindy Vs. Benjamin
  • Runway Rewind: Episode 2
  • Runway Rewind: Episode 1
  • Team Challenges
  • Cindy Marlatt's Closet Tour
  • Cindy Marlatt's Home Visit
  • Cindy Marlatt's Casting Session
Q&A Cindy's Take
QDescribe your family. AModern!! We put together two families - my three kids, his two - in 1985. They were then 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 years old, and it was pandemonium!
QCurrent occupation? AI design my new line most days, and work part-time, as needed, at the funeral home that my husband and I own and that he still operates.
QPast jobs? AI`ve been a waitress, department-store clerk, telephone operator and cosmetologist/hairdresser, and have done custom alterations and dressmaking. I drove a UPS delivery truck 1981-86. I then went to work at the funeral home that my husband`s family owned. I went to community college to get my funeral director's license, and we bought the business in 1987. I worked there until 2008, when I declared that I needed a "creative break" and enrolled in the Art Institute of Seattle's fashion-design program.
QPets? AEight rescue fish (left over from wedding floral arrangements five years ago. They now reside in a fountain in our entry hall.
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? AI realized I had designer potential as a child, but I didn't really know it was a job . just a necessity, and a crucial skill. I was the oldest of five girls, and it was my job to provide clothing for myself, my sisters, my mother and my grandmother.
QFirst garment you ever made? AA blue and white gingham-check skirt and short-sleeve top. I was 10 years old (1962) and babysat for a neighbor who paid me in fabric and let me use her sewing machine.
QWhat's your design training/schooling, etc.? AThe Art Institute of Seattle, 2012 graduate, with a bachelor's degree in fashion design.
QHave you won any awards for your designs/work related to design? AIn 2011 I won the Seattle Magazine contest for Best Student Designer. Best Spring Outfit at 2010 Art Institute Fashion Show. 2009, won first place in the Cruel vs. Cool Seattle competition sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.
QStrengths as a designer? AStrong construction skills, good time-management skills, experience with many textiles and alternative materials.
QWeaknesses as a designer? AOver-designing.
QWhat are your influences? AFunction and comfort have always been my primary goals in design. Success in life can be aided or even ensured by what we wear. Clothes that bind and don't move properly can limit our ability to succeed. The color and feel of the garment can lift a mood and contribute to self-esteem. Good clothes improve our lives.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing? AAudiobooks: I love the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series, and I've listened to those over and over. Bruce Springsteen music is my very favorite. I also run DVDs on TV of all the past "Project Runway" seasons.
QFavorite material or fabric to work with? AThe very softest lambskin, as well as silk/wool blends with a bit of spandex for stretch.
QItem you're most proud of designing? AMy sister's wedding dress in 1973.
QFavorite designer(s)? AJoseph Altuzarra.
QSketch or drape? ADrape.
QPatterns or solids? ASolids. I feel when you use a print, the true design of a garment can get lost. I love using style lines and other forms of embellishments to highlight my designs.
QFavorite colors? ASoft, muted teals, purples, grays.
QBiggest fear as a designer? AThat I will be disregarded because of my age before my designs are even considered .
QFashion must? AA great jacket.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? AFive- or six-inch heels that the woman can't walk in and she just totters around.
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? APleated-waist jeans with tapered legs.
QFavorite style icon? AMichelle Obama.
QWhat would you design for the first lady? AA great lambskin jacket and form-fitting pant.
QCelebrity you wish you could design for? ARachel Maddow (MSNBC talk-show host). Rachel wears a selection of the most unflattering, boring jackets available on the market today. I'm sure I could do better.
QFavorite supermodel muse? AHeidi Klum, of course. She still has "it" at nearly 40 and is an inspiration to me.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... ACindy Marlatt.
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... AWorking back in our family's funeral home and suffering the lack of color and texture in my life.
QPlaces/cultures you wish you could design for? AOuterwear for northern climates, like the Nordic countries or Canada.
QDream place to set up your business? AAn open-air studio in Kauai, with a view of the ocean.
QWebsites that feature your work?
QHow were you described as a kid? AResponsible, helpful, a little mother before I was even 10.
QHow are you described by your family and friends? ABusy overachiever.
QWhy do you think you're easy to live with? AMy marriage is still happy after 27 years, so I must be tolerable.
QFavorite hangout? AMy design studio on the third floor of my house, with a view of a beautiful lake and Mt. Rainier.
QHobbies? ATravel: I love Europe, the Caribbean, Tahiti, Hawaii.
QFavorite movies and TV shows? AI love the "Star Trek" movies, "Snow White and the Huntsman," "Prometheus" and "Alice in Wonderland" (with Johnny Depp) for the costumes; "Project Runway," "Survivor," Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart.
QiPhone/Android/Blackberry? AiPhone.
QFast food or gourmet? AGourmet.
QCooking or takeout? ACooking.
QFavorite foods? AOven-roasted vegetables.
QBeer or wine? AYuck & yuck.
QGuiltiest pleasure? AMcDonald's ice cream.
QBiggest pet peeve? ACheap people.
QHow did you end up auditioning for PR? AI had watched PR from the beginning of Season 1 and never missed an episode. In 2008, when I was badly in need of a creativity break from my job, I enrolled in a school of fashion design - entirely because I had been inspired to do so because of the show. I watched every Tim Gunn designer critique and used it to help me through the three and a half years that I was in school. I considered him my personal mentor through my own learning process. Applying to "PR" was a natural extension of my education, and being accepted to the show is such an honor. I will ever be grateful to Tim and Heidi, and the wonderful group that produces the show. It is a class act, as I always suspected.
QFavorite past PR designer? AMondo.
QChallenge you wish they'd bring back? AGrocery-store challenge; I have great plans involving kale.
QChallenge you hope they don't? ADesign for Nina (she terrifies me!!!).
QYour take on team challenges: AYuck, Yuck, with extra YUCK. I always become the mom, trying to help everyone, and I feeling compelled to incorporate all the suggestions and criticism into my work, and soon lose my way and make something very vanilla.
QWhat do you look for in a model? AA beautiful face and a strong, confident walk.
QDo you think you can win "Project Runway"? AI think I could win PR with the right challenges. The mix of personalities that I may be teamed up with also makes such a difference. It's really just the luck of the draw.