Sandro Masmanidi

Age 28, New York City, NY - Out Episode 4
out

Describe your family.

Only child raised by divorced mother.

Current occupation?

Designer.

Past jobs?

Model, busboy, salesman, architectural draughtsman, jewelry designer.

Nicknames?

“Gypsy,” given to me when I was modeling.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

Age 8.

First garment you ever made?

Dresses for Barbie doll.

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

University of Culture and Art, Moscow. Internships: Jean Charles de Castelbajac (Paris), Hanae Mori (Tokyo), Costume Department of Bolshoi Theater (Moscow), Oscar de la Renta (New York).

Strengths as a designer?

Handwork (beading, embroidery, applique, crochet), construction (boning, corsetry).

Weaknesses as a designer?

Slow and exacting, no experience with fur.

What are your influences?

Nature (birds, butterflies, insects, flowers), beauty and the aesthetics of a woman’s body.

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

Ella Fitzgerald, Daft Punk, Sade, Tchaikovsky.

Favorite material or fabric to work with?

Stretch.

Item you're most proud of designing?

Crocheted jacket for Joan Rivers.

Favorite designer(s)?

Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, Francesco Smalto.

Sketch or drape?

Both.

Patterns or solids?

Both.

Favorite colors?

Turquoise, malachite, coral, amber, dark chocolate.

Biggest fear as a designer?

Bankruptcy.

Fashion must?

Fabulous accessories.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?

Combining red with green.

Favorite style icon?

Marlene Dietrich.

What would you design for the First Lady?

Hand-crocheted evening gown.

Celebrity you wish you could design for?

Isabella Rossellini...I would design a red-carpet evening gown for her.

Favorite supermodel muse?

Yasmeen Ghauri.

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

Sandro Masmanidi.

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

Working with terminally ill children.

Places/cultures you wish you could design for?

Asian market.

Dream place to set up your business?

New York.

Websites that feature your work?

www.bergdorfgoodman.com

How were you described as a kid?

Super hyper.

How are you described by your family and friends?

Direct, honest, uncensored, driven.

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

Easy because I am fun and down-to-earth, not easy because I expect from others what I demand from myself.

Favorite hangout?

ROBERT at the Museum of Arts and Design, Yaffa Cafe.

Hobbies?

Reading, swimming, collecting architectural drawings.

Favorite movies and TV shows?

Movie: "Gone With The Wind,: TV: "American Horror Story."

Favorite books/authors?

Chekhov ("The Cherry Orchard"), Dante ("Inferno").

Favorite websites?

www.nationalgeographic.com, www.unicef.org

iPhone/Android/Blackberry?

iPhone.

Fast food or gourmet?

Both.

Cooking or takeout?

Takeout.

Favorite foods?

Seafood.

Beer or wine?

Champagne.

Guiltiest pleasure?

Smoking.

Biggest pet peeve?

Ignorance.

How did you end up auditioning for PR?

Idea to audition came to me in a dream. Never auditioned before.

Favorite past PR designer?

Dmitry Sholokhov.

Your take on team challenges:

Love group efforts when people work together unselfishly.

What do you look for in a model?

Face.

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

I believe I can win “Project Runway” because I am decisive and can quickly imagine the answer to a challenge, focused to complete project, and practical, with the ability to identify and overcome problems with the design.