Season 14 Premieres August 6 at 9/8c
  • Alexander Knox from Project Runway Season 13
  • Amanda Valentine from Project Runway Season 13
  • Angela Sum from Project Runway Season 13
  • Carrie Sleutskaya from Project Runway Season 13
  • Char Glover from Project Runway Season 13
  • Emily Payne from Project Runway Season 13
  • Emmanuel Tobias from Project Runway Season 13
  • fade zu grau from Project Runway Season 13
  • Hernan Lander from Project Runway Season 13
  • Jefferson Musanda from Project Runway Season 13
  • Kini Zamora from Project Runway Season 13
  • Korina Emmerich from Project Runway Season 13
  • Kristine Guico from Project Runway Season 13
  • Mitchell Perry from Project Runway Season 13
  • Nzinga Knight from Project Runway Season 13
  • Samantha Plasencia from Project Runway Season 13
  • Sandhya Garg from Project Runway Season 13
  • Sean Kelly from Project Runway Season 13
  • Tim Navarro from Project Runway Season 13

fäde zu grau

45, Coral Gables, FL
out

Describe your family.

Very supportive of all of my adventures throughout the years!

Current occupation?

Graphic designer in an advertising agency.

Past jobs?

I have been working since I was 17. I worked in East Germany as a book printer, in mail delivery and as a dispatcher in a hospital. Later in West Germany i worked as a house painter, vinyl plotter, and then finally as a graphic designer.

Pets?

Two cats are living with us: Zwei (means “two" in German because he was our second cat) and Done (she is named that way because we are “done” with cats now).

When did you realize you had designer potential?

Very early, maybe around the age of 10...

First garment you ever made?

Don’t know about the first one but I did a few ridiculous attempts around the age of 15.

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

Self-taught and naturally talented.

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

Yes, graphic design award from the Arts & Business Council of Miami in 2007 and a graphic design award from the Miami Art Museum in 2001.

Strengths as a designer?

Inventiveness.

Weaknesses as a designer?

Maybe time-management...

What are your influences?

The street, past and present.

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

What I call “Provincetown Jazz” which is super lazy, mellow, instrumental jazz. A good example of an artist for that kind of genre would be Ben Webster.

Favorite material or fabric to work with?

Definitely cotton (organic and made in the U.S., if possible).

Item you're most proud of designing?

The bags I made without any knowledge about bag-making.

Favorite designer(s)?

Karl Lagerfeld.

Sketch or drape?

Drape.

Patterns or solids?

Patterns.

Favorite colors?

Sun-bleached blues and grays.

Biggest fear as a designer?

To never explode onto the world of fashion.

Fashion must?

Doesn't exist for me.

Fashion faux pas that drives you crazy?

Nothing that "drives me crazy," but ties are super stupid. Also wearing shoes without socks is so wrong.

Ugliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn?

A ridiculous long black trenchcoat that I wore while escaping East Germany. So bad.

Favorite style icon?

Nobody in particular.

What would you design for the First Lady?

Something very edgy.

Celebrity you wish you could design for?

P!nk. Anything edgy.

Favorite supermodel muse?

Don't have one.

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

I do have labels that I work on right now, nothing selling yet, only for myself. One is called “messfit” (a combination of “messy” and “misfit”) another “happy atheist." Also “way ofF thinking”, double-F, as in “way off." I still need to trademark all of those names, though!

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

Making music or dance.

Dream place to set up your business?

Provincetown and in the south of France.

Websites that feature your work?

fadezugrau.com (most up-to-date!), Facebook and Flickr.

How were you described as a kid?

Nothing interesting about me until I was working for a whole year in East Berlin in 1987 at the age of 17. I turned very "underground"-ish. It was a great time.

How are you described by your family and friends?

They actually think that I will go far.

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

I am easy to live with. My husband and I have never had a fight in the 13 years that we've been together. We both want the same things in life. We have the same goals. If it comes to a tense situation each of us refrains from letting it escalate and we talk it over a little while later, if there is a need for it. I absolutely love that! I can not imagine living with somebody that I’m not happy to come home to, each and every day.

Favorite hangout?

On our front porch with my husband. Also any dance floor that plays '80s.

Hobbies?

Dancing (freestyle and hip-hop).

Favorite movies and TV shows?

Seems Like Old Times, 1981, still my favorite movie. Not much time for TV but if, then definitely think-TV like science/nature/history.

Favorite books/authors?

Richard Dawkins, "The God Delusion." Richard Carrier, "Sense & Goodness Without God." Claudia Hammond, "Time Warped."

Favorite websites?

billboard.com

iPhone/Android/Blackberry?

iPhone. Does anybody still use Blackberry?

Fast food or gourmet?

Super healthy always. Never EVER fast food.

Cooking or takeout?

I used to cook until I bought a sewing machine, since then no time for anything else.

Favorite foods?

Anything healthy and natural. Does not even have to taste great! The less ingredients the better.

Beer or wine?

Wine.

Guiltiest pleasure?

Ice cream.

Biggest pet peeve?

People that don't care much about the environment. Religion.

How did you end up auditioning for PR?

Went to a call in Miami yeeeeears ago, shortly after buying a sewing machine. Tim Gunn told me, "Not enough experience." Actually I just talked to him about that while shooting the first episode. He said, "And look at where you are now!"

Favorite past PR designer?

Jay McCarroll.

Challenge you wish they'd bring back?

Steampunk.

Challenge you hope they don't?

Red carpet.

Your take on team challenges:

I don't mind them. Could be actually interesting. Will see if I still think that way after doing one.

What do you look for in a model?

Personality!

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

Yes. Maybe because I have a different take on fashion than the designers I compete with.