Season 14 Premieres August 6 at 9/8c
  • Amanda Perna from Project Runway Season 9
  • Anthony Ryan Auld from Project Runway Season 9
  • Anya Ayoung-Chee from Project Runway Season 9
  • Becky Ross from Project Runway Season 9
  • Bert Keeter from Project Runway Season 9
  • Bryce Black from Project Runway Season 9
  • Cecilia Motwani from Project Runway Season 9
  • Danielle Everine from Project Runway Season 9
  • David Chum from Project Runway Season 9
  • Fallene Wells from Project Runway Season 9
  • Gunnar Deatherage from Project Runway Season 9
  • Joshua Christensen from Project Runway Season 9
  • Joshua McKinley from Project Runway Season 9
  • Julie Tierney from Project Runway Season 9
  • Kimberly Goldson from Project Runway Season 9
  • Laura Kathleen from Project Runway Season 9
  • Olivier Green from Project Runway Season 9
  • Rafael Cox from Project Runway Season 9
  • Serena da Conceicao from Project Runway Season 9
  • Viktor Luna from Project Runway Season 9

Bert Keeter

57, Los Angeles, CA
out

What was the first garment you ever made?

Don't remember . probably a children's design at Parsons.

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

Nothing. I listen to the radio . usually classical.

When did you realize you had designer potential?

In my last year of high school, when my art teacher commented on my "doodles" in class and suggested I look into attending Parsons School of Design.

Favorite designer(s)?

Ones that show on the runway what they actually sell and don't rely on their licenses of handbags, eyewear, shoes, etc. to keep them in business.

Current occupation?

Fashion designer. I also freelance, helping a photographer translate his photos into fashion along with an interior designer in Los Angeles

Can you describe past jobs you've had?

I worked at Holly Harp, Bill Blass, Arnold Scaasi and Halston.

What is a fashion must?

Good taste!

What is your design training?

I attended Parsons School for Design and the New School in NYC from 1975-1977, studying fashion design.

Have you won any awards related to design?

I was nominated by Bill Blass to become a member of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), but I did not pursue this opportunity.

What are your strengths as a designer?

I am very prolific when it comes to designing . ideas come easily.

What are your weaknesses as a designer?

Not crazy about working with knits or casual-type sportswear.

What's influenced your designs over the years?

In the past nostalgia, romance, history. Now I'd say the modern international woman and her lifestyle.

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

I generally like natural and organic fabrics (cottons, hemp) and knits.

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

The first dress I made a few months back. It was my first design I have made completely from beginning to end since I graduated from Parsons in 1977.

Do you prefer sketching or draping?

Enjoy both.

Do you prefer patterns or solids?

Mostly solid fabrics. Texture is important!

What are your favorite colors?

Black (even though it's not a color), gray, ivory, red, sapphire, emerald, natural beiges.

What's your biggest fear as a designer?

Losing control of product quality and integrity.

What fashion faux pas drives you crazy?

Clothes that are too tight and ill-fitting and overdone!

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

A Nik Nik shirt with peacock motif in the '70s.

Who are your favorite style icons?

Yves St. Laurent.

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

An inaugural gown and evening coat.

What celebrity would you like to design for?

Oprah Winfrey . an amazing gown in a vibrant color.

Who's your supermodel muse?

Stella Tennant.

What do you look for in a model?

Of course how she fits is important, but I always look for a certain spark in their eyes or a certain energy in their walk, pose, etc.

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

"Ralph Benton". Ralph is my middle name, and Benton is a family name.

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

Doing something I'm not good at!

Dream place to set up your design business?

Florence, Italy.

How were you described as a kid?

Happy, independent and creative.

How are you described now?

Happy. Friendly, fun, helpful and considerate, adventurous.

Can you describe your family?

Very small . my sister, three nephews, stepfather and a great-nephew.

Marriage or kids?

Single, no kids.

Do you have any pets?

HOPE, a seven-year-old miniature Yorkshire terrier.

Do you have any nicknames?

Uncle Tight Ass; my nephews gave that one to me. My sister calls me Ralph, my middle name.

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

I am easygoing, but I enjoy "my space" and can be difficult when I do not get it.

What's your favorite hangout back home? AItaly! QWhat are your hobbies besides designing?

Cooking, driving, traveling, reading history and biographies.

What are your favorite movies and TV shows?

Old ones, TCM, All In the Family, The Jeffersons and travel or cooking shows

What are your favorite books and authors?

The Beautiful Fall, Them, The Grand Surprise.

What are your favorite websites?

Style.com.

iPhone, Android or BlackBerry?

BlackBerry.

Fast food or gourmet?

Gourmet.

Cooking or takeout?

Cooking.

Favorite food?

Good cheese, bread, foie gras (not very PC).

Beer or wine?

Neither.

Guiltiest pleasure?

Ice cream.

Biggest pet peeve?

People who are self-centered and dishonest on a regular basis.

Favorite designer from past seasons of Project Runway?

Sweet P.

Project Runway challenge you wish they'd bring back for your season?

Designs inspired by art!

Project Runway challenge you hope they don't bring back?

Anything to do with the contestants designing for other contestants!

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

They are a good departure from individual challenges! Create some drama, power struggles between contestants!

How did you end up auditioning for Project Runway?

I had, over about a nine-month period, about six or seven good friends say they felt I should try out. After saying absolutely NO to the first four or so, I began to think "Why not?"

Why do you think you will win Project Runway?

I enjoy working "outside the box" with challenges, I keep an open and upbeat attitude even when being critiqued, and I am a quick study with design concepts.