Season 14 Premieres August 6 at 9/8c
  • Alexander Pope from Project Runway Season 12
  • Alexandria von Bromssen from Project Runway Season 12
  • Angela Bacskocky from Project Runway Season 12
  • Bradon McDonald from Project Runway Season 12
  • Dom Streater from Project Runway Season 12
  • Helen Castillo from Project Runway Season 12
  • Jeremy Brandrick from Project Runway Season 12
  • Justin LeBlanc from Project Runway Season 12
  • Kahindo Mateene from Project Runway Season 12
  • Karen Batts from Project Runway Season 12
  • Kate Pankoke from Project Runway Season 12
  • Ken Laurence from Project Runway Season 12
  • Miranda Levy from Project Runway Season 12
  • Sandro Masmanidi from Project Runway Season 12
  • Sue Waller from Project Runway Season 12
  • Timothy Westbrook from Project Runway Season 12

Karen Batts

29, Queens, NY
out

Describe your family?

My family is my epic, outgoing husband and our two amazo kitties!

Current occupation?

Part-time babysitter/self-employed fashion designer.

Past jobs?

Internships with fashion companies in NYC, sports reporter/photographer for papers in Savannah and S. Florida, and photo lab technician at SCAD.

Pets?

Lenny: brown tabby cat. Mr. Boots: tuxedo cat that’s also polydactyl. And a pet rock named Flounder. =)

Nicknames?

Gator: I love alligators, and as a child people who knew me at camp, at church, basically everywhere, would call me Gator. Also, K-Rad, or “Raddy,” a nickname my husband and I came up with, because he says I’m so rad!

When did you realize you had designer potential?

I grew up sewing and was a part of 4-H, where I learned new sewing techniques and created new garments from store-bought patterns, but it wasn’t really until my junior/senior year at the college where I studied fashion that I realized I had not only the potential, but also the desire, to be a designer and have my own line. Prior to that, I loved fashion, but was leaning toward doing something like using my journalism degree to be a fashion editor or journalist.

First garment you ever made?

I was 9, and it was a handkerchief-shaped halter crop top and a simple pencil skirt--both in a fun dinosaur print.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

I double-majored in fashion design and photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia, and I grew up sewing in 4-H, and learning sewing from my mum and grandma.

Have you won any awards for your designs?

I haven’t won any awards per se, but I was invited to show my senior collection at an annual SCAD fund-raiser, where some pieces were bought from my collection, and I was accepted to compete against 19 other designers at the Charleston Fashion Show in 2013, where I showed an 8-look F/W collection.

Strengths as a designer?

My fabric choices, use of color and print designs and tailoring.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I wish my hand and Illustrator flat sketching abilities were better!

What are your influences?

Fabrics and prints have always been an influence on my designs, but my current influences are also art, architecture, travel, photography, menswear, and vintage fashion and art deco design.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

It’s such an eclectic mix: Lady Gaga, Glee, Mumford & Sons, Jack Johnson and the Beatles.

Favorite material or fabric to work with?

I love colors and prints, and working with silks, leather, wools and fun, interesting-looking fabrics like a metallic woven, or a neon plastic-like material!

Item you're most proud of designing?

My wedding dress--a non-traditional strapless mint gown with a fishtail and structured bodice. I wore it with a beaded headband that I made, and a vintage mink stole. It was boho-vintage glam perfection! Also, I adore a jacket that I made for Charleston Fashion Week that’s this crazy neon-yellow wool. I call it the “Yellow Submarine” jacket. It’s divine!

Favorite designer(s)?

I love Kate Spade, Tory Burch, J.Crew, John Patrick Organic, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Dries Van Noten and Miu Miu.

Sketch or drape?

I like to do both. Initially I like to sketch, but then I play around with those ideas while draping on the form.

Patterns or solids?

Patterns AND color. Yes, please!

Favorite colors?

I love green in all it’s many delectable forms: aqua, mint, kelly, olive, neon. I also love yellow and blue’s exciting range of color tones!

Biggest fear as a designer?

I think not being able to do what I love, or not being able to share it with others through a platform where someone can access my looks for their own wardrobe.

Fashion must?

My amazo neon-yellow satchel bag.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?

Wearing Uggs with denim cutoffs. In the summer.

Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?

Probably a fanny pack while on vacation.

Favorite style icon?

Katharine Hepburn.

What would you design for the First Lady?

Something that melds classic style with innovativeness.

Celebrity you wish you could design for?

Elle Fanning. I’d want to create a garment that’s a reflection of who she is: graceful and beautiful and with a hint of vintage design.

Favorite supermodel muse?

Coco Rocha and Dree Hemingway.

If you had to name your label, you'd call it...

Go.See.Do.

If you weren't designing, you'd be...

Traveling around the world, photographing and writing books.

Places/cultures you wish you could design for?

Europe. I love the design aesthetic of European fashion--especially the Parisian Chic effortlessness!

Dream place to set up your business?

Paris.

Websites that feature your work?

www.letsgoseedo.com and https://www.facebook.com/LetsGoSeeDo

How were you described as a kid?

Funny, active and interested in everything!

How are you described by your family and friends?

Full of energy and life. Creative and someone who spreads joy and fun wherever I go.

Why do you think you're easy to live with?

I’m pretty low-maintenance, with the exception that I need a quiet environment when I am trying to sleep.

Favorite hangout?

The beach, or any of the amazing parks here in NYC.

Hobbies?

Jamming on my violin with my husband playing the guitar, BBQs with friends, vintage and thrift shopping, photography, bike riding, exploring new areas of NYC and hanging out with friends.

Favorite movies and TV shows?

"Midnight in Paris" is my absolute favorite movie. I’m also obsessed with "Boardwalk Empire," and I can’t forget "Seinfeld"!

Favorite books/authors?

I’m currently reading "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby," but I also love Jane Austen’s works, and anything by Malcolm Gladwell.

Favorite websites?

NY Times, Pinterest, http://fuckyeahcartography.tumblr.com/ and the Sartorialist

Your Twitter handle?

@LetsGoSeeDo

Favorite Twitter accounts?

@jporganic, @michaelkors, @womensweardaily and @cfda

iPhone/Android/Blackberry?

iPhone!

Fast food or gourmet?

It depends. I can always go for a cheap New York pizza, but I do love epic French food and wine.

Cooking or takeout?

I love to cook with my husband, so I prefer to do that more often than to order takeout.

Favorite foods?

I love sauteed spinach and pine nuts, my mum’s lasagna, homemade pizza and sushi.

Beer or wine?

I love French wine, but I also love a good hard apple cider!

Guiltiest pleasure?

Ice cream and chocolate and peanut butter. Mix them all together and I am in heaven!

Biggest pet peeve?

Being rude and inconsiderate. It never helps a situation, and it’s uncalled-for 99 percent of the time.

How did you end up auditioning for PR?

I auditioned last year through the application process, but didn’t get in. This year I missed the deadline for the application, so instead I went to the open call. What a whirlwind! I never thought they’d take me this far!

Favorite past PR designer?

There are many past-season favorites that I have, but I must say that I loved Fabio Costa.

Challenge you wish they'd bring back?

The light challenge.

Challenge you hope they don't?

The drag-queen costume challenge.

Your take on team challenges:

I actually didn’t hate them. Because most companies have designers work in teams, I thought it was an interesting way to mimic reality.

What do you look for in a model?

It depends on the collection and the overall look that I’m going for, but in general I like tall models who have long legs and look like there’s life to them. They look fresh and alive and healthy. Not overly skinny and sickly or dull.

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could take this epic challenge on! It would be amazo to win, and I think I have what it takes to create something innovative and with that certain winning element!