After a long season and much anticipation the winner of Project Runway Season 9 was announced. The former 2008 Miss Trinadad and Tobago, Anya Ayoung-Chee, pictured above (right) now has another title to add to her list of moments to remember with pride and joy. This 29 year old from the Port of Spain is the winner of Project Runway’s ninth season on TV. Not only did the judges, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum pick her as their favorite but she also was chosen as “Fan Favorite” by the viewers.
Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, she launched her women’s label, PILAR, in May 2009 and it has been making waves ever since. In June 2010, she launched a lingerie line named Anya de Rogue, the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
A graduate of Parsons School of Design and Central St Martins School of Art and Design, Anya spent several years working as a designer in New York City until in 2007 she returned home after her eighteen-year old brother Pilar died tragically in a car accident. Soon after the move, Anya was selected to represent her country at the Miss Universe pageant. This experience propelled her into a life in front on the camera as a model and television host. Anya has since hosted several Caribbean television and web-based events and live shows, including movie premieres, fashion shows and her own fashion program “Make It Yours”.
For her 10 piece RTW Spring 2012 collection that was shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on September 9th, 2011 Anya titled the collection “Tobago Love”. She told the judges that she drew her inspiration from her life in Trinadad and the ease of living there. Anya dedicated the collection to her brother Pilar, who passed away. The pieces included beachwear, long flowing dresses, tie-dyed fabrics and geometric prints choosing black and white graphic prints to add to the collection at the last minute. The judges all agreed that her opening look shown at the top of this post was impeccable and well made despite her lack of sewing skills compared to her fellow designers.
The winning designer of Project Runway walks away with $100,000 from L’Oréal Paris to start her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel to create her own vision and run her business and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on Piperlime.com. Anya has already announced she will be relocating to NYC to start her career in fashion design.
After it was announced that Anya had won she graciously thanked the judges and said ” “What an absolute dream come true! It’s a turning point in my life and I will never, ever be able to forget this moment!”
Listen to Anya discuss her win:
Do you think the judges made the right choice? Comment below…
Photos: NY Magazine