Granted, he was wearing more eye-makeup than I was…but Season 3 Project Runway winner, Jeffrey Sebelia is rather cute in person. Much more so than he looked on television. He was in town last Friday for the soft-opening of the new boutique Bonnie & Clyde’s in Bucktown which will be the exclusive retailer of the line in Chicago.
I had an opportunity to sit down and speak with Jeffrey one-on-one. OK, actually I bombarded him with questions and wound of shooting the s**t with him as well.
SCS: Are you really the asshole they portrayed you to be on Project Runway?
JS: Yeah! (said with a big grin)
SCS: Any stories you can share that we didn’t see on TV?
JS: Actually, I had a few eerie preminitions. I had a dream the night Robert Best was eliminated. In it he (Robert Best) told me he had a secret to tell me and had me follow him to a chalk board. He said he knew where we were going for our next challenge. He wrote on the board "Champs-Élysées." When I woke up I told everyone we were going to Paris. I was right.
Another weird experience was during the recycling challenge. While I was digging through the bins I found a copy of the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which is one of my favorites. I was thumbing through it and found a Post-It that had "Jeff" written on it. I didn’t win that challenge, but I did win in the end.
SCS: Which challenge did you lose that you thought you should have won?
JS: That one. The recycling one.
SCS: Agreed. I loved that belt! (OK, I admit I am a loser who loves the show.)
SCS: What was your favorite design?
JS: My couture dress in Paris. I won on the way to and in Paris. That meant a lot to me.
SCS: I heard Project Runway had a hard time finding contestants for the next season in L.A., what do you think about that?
JS: Every season the bar gets raised a little more. Actors would show up for casting in L.A. pretending to be designers ("Sure I can make a hat out of cornbread.") and since it has become clear you need some talent, I guess they didn’t show up this round.
SCS: Would you do another reality show?
JS: If it was fashion related, sure. Television is an incredible outlet for advertising and I was able to take advantage of it for no money.
SCS: Has Project Runway hurt your street cred?
JS: (said with a laugh) I’ve been trying to shake my street cred for 10 years! All I care about is that what I make, sells.
SCS: Where is design going? What do you think of how the Internet is changing people’s relationships with fashion?
JS: I’m not sure other than being able to view fashion online. Possibly people will have the ability to design their own clothes. The Internet has made fashion more accessible, has given it more exposure and has been a great advertising tool.
SCS: What do you think of the celebrity/designer thing?
JS: I think it’s terrible. It’s all just marketing anyways.
SCS: What do you think of the green movement that’s become big in the industry?
I love it. If I can figure out how to use sustainable materials I would
be an asshole not to. Besides, there is no such thing as a bad textile,
just bad designers.
SCS: Is fashion an art or an industry?
JS: Both. To quote Frank Zappa, "art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
SCS: Are you a sell out?
JS: Yeah. I want to feed my family so I guess I am.
SCS: Will we see you on QVC?
JS: Sure, why not?
SCS: Who is the best designer right now?
JS: Oscar de la Renta & Cynthia Vincent
SCS: Who is the worst designer?
JS: Roberto Cavalli
SCS: Who will never wear one of your designs?
JS: George Bush
SCS: Who do you wish would?
JS: Kate Moss
SCS: What is your biggest fear in regards to your own future in designing?
JS: That I make something that I think is amazing and it turns out to be the equivalent of the fanny pack.
I didn’t think he was an asshole at all. I found Jeffrey to be a very laid back and affable guy. Sorry Jeffrey.
– Lauren Dimet, Second City Style
Photos by Second City Style and Nestor: nestorsphotography
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