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Mychael Knight on life in the fashion industry, must-have pieces, and some of his favorites

WRITTEN BY Ayoka Lucas
Photograph by Taylor Stewart


Designer Mychael Knight is known from his time on Project Runway as a season three finalist, “Fan Favorite,” and All-Star Challenge contestant. Since then, reality after reality TV for this designer has focused on new directions for his Mychael Knight label. Last year, Charleston magazine welcomed Knight as a celebrity guest judge for the Emerging Design Competition: Southeast at Charleston Fashion Week (CFW). This March, the CFW runway plays host to his first full collection since the Project Runway presentation at Bryant Park. Entitled “Carte Blanche,” the Fall-Winter 2010 line, which debuts on Wednesday, March 17, reveals the new Mychael Knight design aesthetic. With the show a month away, we reached out to this featured designer with a fun fashion fill-in-the-blanks.

I started designing when I was 8/9 years old. Soul Train was my first reference of inspiration!

In my opinion, the thing that makes a great designer is
knowing your point of view...and sticking to it.

My favorite fabric to work with is hard to say. It changes from season to season. This season, it’s buckram.

When I think about style, I think about
how it should be effortless and personal.

My top two favorite items in my closet are a pair of John Fluevog leather and suede wing tips and a wool H&M cable-knit scarf.

The one thing I wish I could change about the fashion industry is the lack of representation of African American designers, models, and industry insiders.

The first thing I do when designing a collection is
figure out who I am (aesthetically).

I think every woman’s wardrobe should have a nude pump.

Glamour is
everything over-the-top and nothing understated.

My biggest challenge as a designer is
escaping my comfort zone.

The most bizarre design I ever created was
a Lycra and vinyl swimsuit that had a suede, burn-out muzzled headpiece.

My dream red-carpet client to style/design for is
Kerry Washington.

Most people don’t know that in addition to designing I also
am a total geek freak about world geography and dinosaurs.

If I was to make a mix tape for someone it would include a lot of songs by Blue Six.

One of my favorite moments at last year’s Charleston Fashion Week was
the impromptu moment that Ayoka Lucas and yours truly had on the CFW runway. “Winging it” at its best!

For tickets to the CFW Runway Shows on Wednesday, March 17, including featured designer Mychael Knight’s presentation of his Fall-Winter 2010 collection, click here.

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