Project Runway’s 18th season debuted on December 5th with an almost entirely new set of judges, including new host Karlie Kloss, who stepped in for Heidi Klum and Project Runway alum Christian Siriano, who fills the stop for Tim Gunn. Joining them are fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth and ELLE Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and longtime PR judge, Nina Garcia. Among the 16 contestants fighting to become America’s next fashion designer are two Mexican-American designers who hail from Texas, Alan Gonzalez, and Sergio Guadarrama.
Alan, who is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, has a similar story to one of the many Latinos in the U.S. According to online publication Mitú, the 25-year-old was born in Mexico and raised in Texas. He immigrated with his family to Houston from the northern city of Monterrey when he was just three-years-old.
His father was deported back to Mexico when he was 15, leaving his mother to play both parental parts for him and his sibling. After graduating from Houston Community College in 2012, Alan launched his label, Alantude with dreams of empowering women everywhere.
On a different note is Sergio, the other Texas-based designer competing to become the next IT designer. Sergio comes from Austin and he’s the other duo behind established brand Celestino. The 36-year-old and his design and life partner Kade Johnson work together to convey chic and ethereal environmentally and socially conscious designs. They pride themselves in designing with a purpose by designing clothes that aren’t only aesthetically pleasing but also make a political or identity statement.
Indya Moore and Billy Porter have both worn creations by Celestino Couture. Billy rocked a custom red and pink suit featuring a larger-than-life pink tulle train to the 2019 Tony Awards. Not only did he want to make a fashion statement but also one about to inspire conversation about social and political issues.
Be sure to watch the drama-packed fashion reality show Thursday’s on Bravo to get to know more about the designers.