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'Project Runway 7' Winner Talks About 'Bold, Graphic' Fashions

by Kim Potts, posted Apr 23rd 2010 3:00PM
What's black, white and red all over (with some memorable splashes of yellow and purple thrown in for good effect)? Seth Aaron Henderson's winning collection for season 7 of 'Project Runway.'

Henderson's 1940s German and Soviet military-inspired collection beat out fellow finalists Emilio Sosa and Mila Hermanovski to net the self-taught designer a $100,000 cash prize, an editorial feature in the July issue of Marie Claire magazine, $50,000 worth of HP and Intel technology and the chance to sell his line at Bluefly.com.

In the middle of a busy Friday morning that included stops at 'Good Morning America' and 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' Henderson talked to TV Squad about his win, his appreciation for the feedback he got from 'PR' judges Nina Garcia and Michael Kors and how his plans for the future might include the cool alternative to frilly Easter dresses.

What do you think is the main reason you won, the main thing that pushed your collection above Emilio's and Mila's with the judges?
This is strictly not discrediting anyone else -- Emilio and Mila's clothes were beautiful. I got to touch them, and I saw their seams, and they were flawless. But they showed a ready-to-wear collection. I mean, those clothes can go right on to hangers and into stores. Mine, I showed a runway show. There's a line, and then there's a collection. They showed lines, and I showed a collection. It was bold; you will remember it. It was graphic, it was everything that a runway show needs ... drama ... you need to be like, 'Whoa! What's next?' And it was only 10 pieces, which is a lot harder than showing 50. Because with 50, you can do a range, you can take people through a roller coaster kind of effect, but with 10, you need to grab their attention immediately and keep it 'til the last [model] walks.

So that's what, I think, ultimately, what it was. It definitely wasn't craftsmanship, because [Emilio and Mila] are beautiful craftsmen, each one of them. I think it was just the vision, the wow factor. That's what it's about. It's not a show for buyers to come and pick up your line. This is New York Fashion Week. It's a show. Some of my designs were pushing it to borderline costume, and that was every bit intentional. All that, now, can be translated to ready to wear.



Do you have a favorite piece from your collection?
Yes ... 1 through 10 [laughing]. But really, each one was put in the collection because I loved it, and it made the show. If I didn't love it, I wouldn't have put it in there. I ended up making 24 different looks, and I took them all with me. If I hadn't really loved anything, or something hadn't worked, it wouldn't have been in there.

One of the things throughout the season that made you a standout was that you were very confident, but you also seemed very open to, even appreciative of, feedback from Tim Gunn and the judges. Was that a plan going into the season?
For sure! I told them that I appreciated their feedback. Especially Nina ... there's no sugar-coating bullsh** ... she's gonna tell you what she thinks. I told them, 'I don't want a pat on the back. I want you to tell me what I can do to be better.' And that's just my philosophy. Any time I finish a piece of clothing or a runway show, it can always be better. For a designer, I think that's important; you need to have innovation, you need to always seek better to continue to move forward.

Michael [Kors] told us in the beginning, "Eighty percent of what you hear, just disregard. But the other 20 percent is gonna make you better." He goes, "Look, I'm gonna tell you 10 minutes worth of sh*t, you only need to remember two of [them]." [Laughing] And so I was extracted the things that could help me, and brushed the rest off, whether it was positive or negative.


We got to see your family in the finale, and their reaction to you winning was sweet. You had mentioned a few times that they had sacrificed for you to be there ... what did you mean by that?
Well, the kids were out of school, and I was gone for seven weeks. We spend every day together. And (in the summer), we go away and do all these activities, and they didn't get to do that with me last summer. And that's a sacrifice ... dad's not there with us every night. To me, that was the hardest part. But they fully supported it. They told me, "Go there, do what you have to do, and win the show." And I had to block that part out, how much I missed my wife and kids, because if I had thought about it, it would have gotten to me, and it would have affected my performance.

What have you been doing, fashion-wise, since the finale was taped?
I've been doing a few trunk shows, and the turnouts have been phenomenal. But I can't keep sewing stuff [on my own]. I need to get a manufacturer and get this line going, and into stores, in a large volume.

Will your first line feature pieces from your 'Project Runway' collection?
That is a partnership between me and the network, so I don't know about that line, about how it will play out, when it will be available, if it will be available, any of that. But I had a line in stores before (the show) and I have one now, so I'll continue to design. But I can only [personally] make 300 or 400 garments a year ... I need a factory that can make 10,000. So that's my goal next.

What's the name of your line?
Sethaaron.

And can people buy it at your Website, or in stores?
I have a Website, but I haven't been selling from it, because I've been sold out. I don't have any (garments). But I sell at Anne Bocci boutique in Portland and I sell at Studio 7 Boutik in Vancouver, Washington.

One of the reasons the judges mentioned for loving your finale collection so much was that it was very grown up. But one of your most memorable wins during the season was in the children's wear challenge. Is that something you might pursue?
Oh, definitely, yeah. Children's wear is just fun clothes ... that's what kids like. They don't want the grown up look. They're kids! A nice little Easter dress is great for grandma and grandpa to look at, but that little girl doesn't want to wear that sh**! [Laughing] She wants a cool little hoodie, or flats and cute leggings, but in her terms, not in grown up terms.

But I can definitely say I've been accused of being immature and juvenile (laughing), so maybe that's just that playing out, right?

Do you design clothes for your family?
Yes, I do. In fact, my daughter wants me to make her a few summer dresses when I get home.

What else is next for you?
Media, media, media. [Laughing] That's what I've been doing since the finale. You know, while it's here ... I'm going to do everything I can, because you can't pay for that [exposure]. You can't ask for more than that. And there's a vacation [coming] in there, too.

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cheap designer clothes

Cheap designer clothes are hot favorite among the general public who can't afford to buy expensive Designer clothes like Armani, Gucci or Ed Hardy etc. A lot of companies have felt the pulse of the general masses who want to be dressed like their favorite film star who dons a designer suit or dress.

April 24 2010 at 6:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly Woo

Again, apologies, this was a publishing error and we'll try to avoid making the same mistake in the future!

April 23 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kelly Woo's comment
jamabam

Kelly- thanks for responding! I'll forgive bc I love this site so much :-) Just be careful next time, thanks!

April 23 2010 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kaycee

Thanks a lot. This blog is crap lately.

April 23 2010 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sek

Thanks for the SPOIL with the big picture next the words Project Runway Winner. Never commented before, now I'm removing TVsquad from my bookmarks and not checking it daily anymore.

April 23 2010 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
VikingCrown

Great, glad i DVR'd this to watch tonight, thanks for spoiling it!

April 23 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ahmet zehir

Seriously!?!?! Thanks for ruining the whole thing for me as well. Don't you realize it hasn't even been 24 hrs the show aired and you expect all your reader's to have watched it??? Who puts spoilers in the title? At least I can scroll down if it's a mention of PR but not when the name is there. Can you at least change it or something so that others don't suffer like us. Sigh.

April 23 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly Woo

sorry our bad!

April 23 2010 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamabam

TV Squad, you spoiled this for me and I am beyond upset!! Not to mention spoiling Survivor for me as well. Unbelievable!!

Please keep in mind those of us who follow you on RSS feed and do not want the spoilers spelled out in the posts' title.

April 23 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Mighty

Woah, I don't undstand why you would put the winners name with the title of this story. Every other website has put a spoiler warning before posting anything about the final. Was "Project Runways 7 Winner Talks about Bold,Graphic Fashions" really not enough? Thanks for ruining this for me, Kim. I've just sent a couple of friends a warning about going on this site before watching the episode.

April 23 2010 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Mighty

Woah, I don't undstand why you would put the winners name with the title of this story. Every other website has put a spoiler warning before posting anything about the final. Was "Project Runways 7 Winner Talks about Bold,Graphic Fashions" really not enough? Thanks for ruining this for me, Kim. I've just sent a couple of friends a warning about going on this site before watching the episode.

April 23 2010 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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