Fans of Project Runway definitely miss Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, but this year’s designers are proving to be a fun batch to watch. Though we’re still in the early stages of Season 17, one contestant has already emerged as a favorite among viewers.
Jhoan "Sebastian" Grey certainly has the skills to win the long-running design competition. The Colombian-born 31-year-old showed off his technical abilities in Episode 2, crafting both the winning look and helping his teammate pattern her own outfit.
"The precision on even just the cutting of the tulle, you can tell that he is making everything with a pattern, whereas some people just have a tendency to, like, cut and go," judge Brandon Maxwell said of Sebastian’s design while inspecting it on the runway.
Elle’s editor-in-chief Nina Garcia added, "And [the material is] hanging directly from her skin because the illusion makes it feel like there’s nothing there."
Scroll down for more information about Sebastian and his journey to Project Runway.
A ballet performance inspired Sebastian’s career path.
After going to the ballet with his parents, Sebastian — who worked in his family’s leather business growing up — decided to try dancing and attended Incolballet, a fine arts school two hours away from his home in Cali, Colombia.
"While preparing for ballet performances, I began paying close attention to the details of the outfits being constructed," he shared. That experience influenced him to pursue a degree in fashion design.
He studied at Cali’s Academy of Professional Drawing before winning a scholarship to Miami’s Instituto Marangoni. He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Sebastian has worked with renowned Colombian designers.
Sebastian spent a decade learning from prominent South American designers like Lina Cantillo and Andres Otalora. He mainly produces contemporary womenswear and describes his aesthetic as "sexy and educated."
"I work well as part of a team," the newly minted reality star explained. "Designing a garment for production involves the work of many, from pattern making to sewing to shipping. I pride myself in working well with all involved."
No wonder he absolutely slayed during the season’s first team challenge!
Priyanka Chopra said she would wear his design.
During an appearance on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, the host asked the actress if she likes Sebastian’s winning design. "I do," she answered before complimenting the "super detailed" look.
We don’t doubt that Sebastian would happily dress the newlywed, but his true style icon is Lady Gaga. "She defies boundaries and isn’t afraid to try something new," he said of the pop star.
According to his bio on Bravo's website, Sebastian’s "vision and hope is to take the United States and abroad by storm with his sophisticated concepts, unconventional construction methods, and attention to high-end detail."
You can check out more of Sebastian Grey’s designs on Instagram.
The contestant can be found on the social media platform at @iamsebastiangrey. Scroll past all the recent Project Runway posts to see looks from the designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection.
Along with owning and operating stores in Cali under his brand, Sebastian’s work has been featured in City Magazine South Florida. We’d say he’s about to get a whole lot busier once his stint on reality TV comes to an end!
Watch new episodes of Project Runway every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.