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Age 25, Fort Lauderdale, FL - Out Episode 5
QDescribe your family. AWe are a complex family full of simple, humble people, but certainly unconventional.
QCurrent occupation? AI actually quit my job to do "Project Runway," so I am currently jobless.
QPast jobs? AI was working as a fashion designer for a small company in Miami, however, I left that job for "Project Runway." Prior to that job I was working as a Technical fashion designer for a local company. I had a love-hate relationship with that job. I also am a food server and trainer for the Cheesecake Factory. I have been with the company for a little over four years. I worked for two years with the school I attended as a teacher's assistant and lab monitor. I also was a life guard for the City of Jacksonville for four years. I taught swimming lessons, coached swimming, and managed a pool.
QPets? AI don’t have any pets, but my neighbor and I feed a stray cat. I named him Thomas Panther. He’s very nice.
QNicknames? APeople call me Mitch Bitch. I guess I can be a little bitchy some times, sorry about it. Also, and I love this one, Bianca! My friends at the restaurant call me Bianca when I have diva moments.
QWhen did you realize you had designer potential? AI used to shelter myself in my room to separate my self from my terrible home life and play fantasy video games all the time. As I got older, I found myself drawing new costumes for the characters, and I would even sometimes make up my own characters for the game and design their looks. I was always a “doodler.” I doodled on everything. One day my roommate caught me by the lake drawing and looked through my sketches. She mentioned that I needed to learn how to make the pieces I was drawing, because she thought they were great and she would wear some of them. I looked into the idea of making clothes on my own time. After my research, everything happened so quickly, and before I even realized what I was getting into, my friends were throwing me a going away party. I was a quick and dedicated learner, and my professors mentioned that I really had a skill that they hadn’t seen in a while, and that they were happy to get someone like me as a student, that my kind are far and few between. I knew I was designer material after a few sewing lessons and a couple of positive comments by the staff teaching me.
QFirst garment you ever made? AThe first garment I ever made was for a class project. It was a leather bustier with three layers of polyester organza as a skirt. I actually really loved that dress!
QWhat's your design training/schooling, etc.? AI studied fashion design at The Art Institutes of Fort Lauderdale and received a Bachelors degree in my program. My first sewing teacher (Juanita Alcena) can tell you the exact machine I used in her class and that I broke 9 needles my first day. I was a mess!
QHave you won any awards for your designs/work related to design? AYes I have. I won the Best Graduate Portfolio of my class, I won the Future Designer Award, I won the Highest Achievement Award of my graduating class, I won a design competition in Boca voted by the general audience and was featured in The Boca Observer as being a designer to look out for, and I also received a window display at Saks 5th Avenue in Palm Beach for my designs.
QStrengths as a designer? AMy strengths as a designer are in my ability to conceptualize and come up with fun, interesting ideas. I am a very strong and effective communicator, and I can work with people very easily, and that can be translated into my work when having to work for people and not just myself.
QWeaknesses as a designer? ASometimes I get a little caught up in figuring out how to finish a piece, so my finishes could be polished up a bit.
QWhat are your influences? AMy influences are my past experiences. I just know that I have to work hard and be happy in life. As far as aesthetic influences, I used to love Marchesa and Vera Wang (still do) because they are so fantastical and amazing, but I’ve recently been inspired by designers like Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, the Alice and Olivia line, and Roberto Cavalli.
QWhat's playing on your iPod when you're designing? AOH, I LOVE MUSIC! It’s my happy place. I’m listening to Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Taylor Swift, One Republic, Barcelona, Lydia, The Fray, Lifehouse, Daughtry, Coldplay, Andrew Belle, Ellie Goulding, Dragonette, and many others.
QFavorite material or fabric to work with? AI make my own prints -- they essentially are my fabrics -- but the actual fabrics I like are chiffons, knits, and silky satins.
QItem you're most proud of designing? AI am most proud of the dress that made it into the window of Saks 5th Avenue in Palm Beach. It was a dress made out of their shopping bags and tissue paper. It was raw and edgy yet ethereal and romantic. I loved that dress.
QFavorite designer(s)? AMary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Georgina Chapman, Vera Wang, Cavalli.
QSketch or drape? AI’m a sketcher, I love sketching a look then analyzing how I’m going to make it happen. I’m creative, but also calculated.
QPatterns or solids? AI have been falling more and more in love with prints. I like to combine solid and print because print can be overwhelming and solids help create balance.
QFavorite colors? AI LOVE GREEN! It’s my favorite color of all time! I rarely use green in my designs though.
QBiggest fear as a designer? AMy biggest fear is disappointment. I often set myself up and get extremely excited and happy about something, then life happens and I get disappointed. I try not to let it control or take me over.
QFashion must? AMy personal fashion must is a smile. I am simple. A smile can win the entire world over.
QFashion faux pas that drives you crazy? ATIGHTS! JEGGINGS! AVANT GARDE! I hate the ill use of the word "couture." So annoying.
QUgliest item of clothing/accessory you've worn? AThe shoes I have to wear for serving tables. The soles are literally falling off and I’m just like "EFF IT!"
QFavorite style icon? AI DIE FOR EMMA STONE , EMMA WATSON, and COCO ROCHA! It’s love.
QWhat would you design for the First Lady? AShe wouldn’t be on my list of someone I HAVE to design for, not really into politics like at all, but since I HAVE to design for her, I would make a her a really classic dress using a print I’ve designed based off of things she’s into. She would be able to wear this dress to dinner with the Mr. and do her daily activities as the First Lady in the dress too.
QCelebrity you wish you could design for? AI want to design for Emma Stone really badly! She is so cool, edgy, and quirky. I just love her. I would make her some cool separates, a nice skirt with my print designed just for her to meet her specifications, and a nice top with cool style lines.
QFavorite supermodel muse? ACOCO ROCHA! I have been in love with Coco since she came onto the fashion scene. She’s so sweet and bubbly, but her style is edgy and fun. I think she is so beautiful and I would die to meet her and dress her.
QIf you had to name your label, you'd call it... Athemitchellperry. I went to launch my website “mitchellperry.com” and it was taken already, so I had to come up with a new name, thus themitchellperry. I was also thinking for a junior line I would call it Mitchy P, and for my badass rebel line one day to call it IMP , “I'm Mitchell Perry."
QIf you weren't designing, you'd be... AA psychologist helping children who have troubled home lives and need someone to talk to.
QDream place to set up your business? AHonestly, I LOVE Florida. I would want to stay locally to design, and travel for other business necessities.
QWebsites that feature your work? Awww.themitchellperry.com
QHow were you described as a kid? AI was vivacious. I would play in the streets all day with friends, go to the pool and be a riot. I was eager to explore. The goofiest kid around would be me for sure! I was a wanderer, I had no destination.
QHow are you described by your family and friends? AMy friends are my family, an eclectic group of ordinary people who have dreams of doing amazing things. We love and support each other just like a family would. I love my real family, but we are all very distant from each other.
QWhy do you think you're easy to live with? AI’m easy to live with because I’m carefree and simple. I’m the nicest person until you’re rude. I might not be the best person to live with because I’m not super tidy and my snore can bring down a building.
QFavorite hangout? AI love to hang out at the beach, the pool, or Starbucks.
QHobbies? AI love swimming. Swimming and being in the sun. I am fairly active when not working.
QFavorite movies and TV shows? AI’m really bad at watching movies and TV. I rarely watch TV and I’m not into cinema. I like “Mean Girls,” it’s so funny, and I Like “New Girl,” “Arrow,” “Merlin,” “Avatar the Last Airbender.”
QFavorite books/authors? ABook? What’s a book?! I’m not a big reader, at all.
QFavorite websites? AI like stylesight.com, style.com, facebook.com, linkedin.com. Not a big Internet surfer.
QiPhone/Android/Blackberry? AI love my iPhone!
QFast food or gourmet? AIf I could afford gourmet, I would be gourmet. Fast food is repulsive.
QCooking or takeout? AI actually like cooking. I'm not great at it, but I do enjoy it from time to time.
QFavorite foods? AI like food! Salads, cucumbers, sushi, chicken, ribs!
QBeer or wine? AWINE! Beer is so gross.
QGuiltiest pleasure? ASTARBUCKS! I love coffee. Venti Iced Chai please!
QBiggest pet peeve? APeople who are rude for absolutely no reason and people who only speak and never listen.
QHow did you end up auditioning for PR? AI auditioned because I received an email letting me know castings were happening. I was already looking out for the auditioning process anyways. I have auditioned three times. This was my fourth.
QFavorite past PR designer? AChristian Siriano and Christopher Palu.
QChallenge you wish they'd bring back? AI liked the bug/insect challenge on “All Stars” where they had to make a look based off of the bugs/insects they got to be inspired by.
QChallenge you hope they don't? AI thought the stilts challenge was ridiculous. Not into it at all.
QYour take on team challenges: AI like people and I think working with others helps draw out your own creativity in ways you maybe weren’t expecting. I think I would be happy to do a team challenge or two.
QWhat do you look for in a model? AHeight and face. I love a really awkward girl who serves up major face and an awesome walk.
QDo you think you can win "Project Runway"? AI wouldn’t have auditioned if I for one second though I could not win. This opportunity isn’t about being on TV for me, it’s about inspiring any person who’s ever felt like they can’t rise and better themselves because of their personal situations. I can win “Project Runway” because I have creativity bursting at the seams and the drive and determination to fight for what I believe in and show really cool fashion. I come from very little, and I have worked so hard to slowly elevate my own quality of living. I am not so narrow minded as to tell you that you won’t find anyone more deserving than me, but I will tell you I can win this, and am prepared to.