Life After Project Runway
BY MARNI PRICHARD MANKO
Kristin Haskins-Simms at Fleishman Fabrics & Supplies
With a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design, Kristin Haskins-Simms’ background doesn’t necessarily lend itself to fashion. But that hasn’t stopped the Philadelphia apparel designer from forging her own sartorial path.
Dubbing herself an apparel designer, freelance graphic designer and adjunct professor in graphic design, Haskins-Simms presented her first collection at Philadelphia Fashion Week in 2009 and garnered a fantastic response. Armed with just 18 months of apparel design experience and a whole lot of moxie, she secured an interview for the Emmy-nominated reality show Project Runway.
“I love a man’s oversize shirt, so I deconstructed it,” she recalls. “During my casting session, I didn’t want to show it as a statement piece to the judges because it had wrinkled in transport. So I used it underneath the jackets I was presenting. When my model was swapping out jackets, everyone saw her wearing it anyway—and paused. Tim Gunn called it ‘stunning,’ and I think it influenced their final decision for my callback.”
PHOTOTOGRAPHS BY JAUHIEN SASNOU (HASKINS-SIMMS); BARBARA NITKEL/LIFETIME TELEVISION (SHOW STILLS)