Anya Ayoung-Chee

Age 29, Port of Spain, T&T - Winner

Q: What was the first garment you ever made?

A: A slouchy gray jumpsuit that I wore to Miss Universe.

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

A: Reggae, soca, jazz, hip-hop, pop.

Q: When did you realize you had designer potential?

A: When I had the opportunity to consult on my wardrobe for the Miss Universe pageant in 2008.

Q: Favorite designer(s)?

A: Haider Ackermann, Stella McCartney, Gareth Pugh, Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Alexander McQueen.

Q: Current occupation?

A: Fashion designer.

Q: Can you describe past jobs you've had?

A: Graphic designer, stylist, merchandiser, beauty queen.

Q: What is a fashion must?

A: Earrings.

Q: What is your design training?

A: I have a fine arts bachelor's degree in communications design from Parsons School of Design.

Q: Have you won any awards related to design?

A: I won a Cacique Award for excellence in styling for a theater production in Trinidad.

Q: What are your strengths as a designer?

A: Spotting prints that create dynamic garments, bringing my graphic design training into my fashion design work.

Q: What are your weaknesses as a designer?

A: I am on my way to improving my sewing and construction skills.

Q: What's influenced your designs over the years?

A: My work is heavily influenced by the diverse cultures that comprise Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean as a whole.

Q: What's your favorite material or fabric to work with?

A: Jersey.

Q: What's the item you're most proud of designing?

A: A long silk chiffon dress worn on the BET Awards red carpet.

Q: Do you prefer sketching or draping?

A: Draping.

Q: Do you prefer patterns or solids?

A: Patterns.

Q: What are your favorite colors?

A: Too many to list.

Q: What's your biggest fear as a designer?

A: To lose creative control of my work.

Q: What fashion faux pas drives you crazy?

A: People looking generic or the same as everyone else and having no concern about it.

Q: What's the ugliest thing you've ever worn?

A: A silk curtain tieback on my head as a bandeau for a New Year's Eve party.

Q: Who are your favorite style icons?

A: Kate Moss, Coco Chanel, Frida, Tom Ford, Rachel Roy.

Q: If you designed for the first lady, what would you design for her?

A: A Caribbean holiday resort look

Q: What celebrity would you like to design for?

A: Rihanna. I'd like to design a whole wardrobe for her!

Q: Who's your supermodel muse?

A: Kate Moss.

Q: What do you look for in a model?

A: An athletic build (fit and slim but not overly skinny), exotic looks, very high cheekbones.

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

A: It is already called Pilar.

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

A: Design consulting.

Q: Dream place to set up your design business?

A: Between New York, London and Trinidad (or somewhere else in the Caribbean).

Q: Websites that feature your work, including your own site(s)?


Q: Any other cultures or places you wish you could design for?

A: I'd like to design luxury resort wear in the Middle East, using the traditional graphic tiling patterns and historical architecture as inspiration.

Q: How were you described as a kid?

A: Sweet, creative, girly, obedient, hardworking, driven, competitive, focused.

Q: How are you described now?

A: Passionate, ambitious, somewhat rebellious, creative, hardworking, driven, fun-loving, very social, intense at times, dedicated to my family.

Q: Can you describe your family?

A: Close-knit, large, lively (sometimes dramatic) and full of love.

Q: Marriage or kids?

A: Single, no kids.

Q: Do you have any nicknames?

A: Anz.

Q: Why are you (or aren't you) easy to live with?

A: Easy because I keep common areas neat and am quiet when others are around. Not so easy when I am designing a collection and there is fabric everywhere. Also, I do not cook.

Q: What's your favorite hangout back home?

A: At the sea, an area called Down-the-Islands off the coast of Trinidad.

Q: What are your hobbies besides designing?

A: Dancing, blogging, hanging out with friends or my brothers.

Q: What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

A: Movies: Wasteland, Frida, City of God, The Pianist. TV: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, The Daily Show, Project Runway.

Q: What are your favorite websites?

A: The Sartorialist, Tumblr, Refinery 29, International Herald Tribune.

Q: Your Twitter handle?

A: AnyadeRogue

Q: Favorite Twitter accounts?

A: Shareawakening, RevRunWisdom, TheDailyLove, CAFD, Refinery29, NiallRoyal

Q: What are your favorite books and authors?

A: The Alchemist, The Diary of Anne Frank.

Q: iPhone, Android or BlackBerry?

A: BlackBerry.

Q: Fast food or gourmet?

A: Gourmet.

Q: Cooking or takeout?

A: Takeout.

Q: Favorite food?

A: From Trinidad, curry, a delicacy called Doubles and a dish called Pelau; Caprese salad; almost anything Italian; sushi.

Q: Beer or wine?

A: Wine.

Q: Guiltiest pleasure?

A: Sleeping in.

Q: Biggest pet peeve?

A: When people are doing something in life -- a job or career -- that does not make them happy and they don't show any desire to change that.

Q: Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?

A: Mondo.

Q: Project Runway challenge you hope they bring back for your season?

A: Designing resort wear.

Q: Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back for your season?

A: Designing with burlap.

Q: Your take on team challenges ... love them or hate them?

A: Looking forward to them! I really love collaboration and think that team challenges can be extremely creative and dynamic.

Q: How did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?

A: I saw a tweet mentioning the deadline for PR applications and decided to apply on a whim.

Q: Why do you think you will win Project Runway?

A: I am highly competitive, I have many of the elements that comprise a winner on this show, and I have a deep passion for representing not just me but also where I am from, on an international scale.