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Meet Project Runway Hopeful, Cornelius Ortiz!


No matter what you think of him, Cornelius Ortiz’s talent is undeniable; making him a fierce competitor in this current season of Project Runway. I found myself seated next to Cornelius during a Boston Fashion Week event. I immediately, bombarded him with questions, about Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and his future endeavors. The Boston-based designer, graciously tolerated all of my questions, and was kind enough to answer more questions for this post.

Chic Beat: How did you get your start in fashion?

Ortiz: I have always loved clothing since I was young, but I got started 5 years ago in College.

Chic Beat: What aesthetic are your designs known for?

Ortiz: My designs are known for having a structural element to them.

Chic Beat: Who are your favorite designers?

Ortiz: Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Delpozo

Chic Beat: What do you love about fashion design?

Ortiz: I love that with fashion design, people can have their own voices when creating their own clothing lines. It’s a great way to explore what a person has gone through in their life.

Chic Beat: Does your own personal style influence your designs?

Ortiz: Yes my own personal style does influence my designs because I love mixing prints, and textures to create new ones.
Chic Beat: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Ortiz: In five years I see myself showcasing overseas.


Chic Beat: Are you currently working on a collection?

Ortiz:  I am working on a new collection and it’s inspired by Sneakers & Crayons. So, you know it’s going to be colorful!

Chic Beat: Is Heidi really that gorgeous in person?

Ortiz: She is absolutely more gorgeous in person.

Chic Beat: In episode 1, what were your thoughts when Mah-Jing tried to pry those flowers out of your hands?

Ortiz: WOW……. Project Runway is really about to start off with a bang!

Chic Beat: Did you see Tim Gunn as a mentor and really take heed to his suggestions and critiques?

Ortiz: Oh absolutely Tim Gunn is an amazing mentor. When I was lost he was there to guide me in the right direction.

Chic Beat: Who is the hardest judge to please?

Ortiz: Zac Posen

Chic Beat: Who was your favorite celebrity guest judge?

Ortiz: Ann Fullenwider editor and chief of Marie Claire Magazine.

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Chic Beat: What do you really think of Jennis laugh?

Ortiz: I love Jenni’s laugh it broke the ice for sure.

Chic Beat: Who did you see as being your biggest competition?

Ortiz: Erin Robertson also from Mass.

Chic Beat: What was the most difficult challenge?

Ortiz: The swimsuit challenge

Chic Beat: How has this competition made you a stronger designer – or helped you to improve your design skills?

Ortiz: I have to say it was a crash course in fashion it made me think on my feet in such a small period of time.

Chic Beat: What was the most memorable experience being on the show?

Ortiz: I can’t say, because it has not aired yet!

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If you’re like me and can’t get enough of Cornelius unique designs, you can see more here. Be sure to tune in every Thursday to Project Runway on Lifetime to see Cornelius and other hopefuls battle for a chance to make their mark on the fashion world. If you haven’t watched this season yet, I warn you it’s addictive and you will be hooked! I binge watched the first 5 episodes. No complaints here though.  It was totally worth it!

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