Seth Aaron Henderson wins 'Project Runway's seventh-season title
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/23/2010
Seth Aaron Henderson was crowned Project Runway's seventh-season winner during last night's finale broadcast of the Lifetime reality competition series.
"It's kind of overwhelming. I can't believe I just won Project Runway," said Seth Aaron.
"I'm showing my kids that hard work and love for what you do pays off. I see it in their eyes. They're proud of their father. I think that's what this is all about for me. Next for me is doing what I love to do. I'm ready to start a large clothing line. I'm ready to conquer the fashion industry."
The 38-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Vancouver, WA received the grand prize of an editorial feature in an upcoming issue of Marie Claire magazine, the opportunity to sell his line on Bluefly.com, a $50,000 HP and Intel technology suite to help him run a business, and a cash prize of $100,000 to help him start a fashion line.
Seth Aaron defeated Emilio Sosa, a 43-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who currently resides in New York, NY.
"In the words of our wisest contestant Anthony Williams, you don't have to have the crown to be the king," said Emilio.
"So I'm taking this as a learning experience, a stepping stone, to bigger and better things... I'm just excited about my future."
Mila Hermanovski, a 40-year-old from Dallas, TX who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, finished third.
"I really think it's never too late to follow your dream. I lost my way a little bit on my path to being a fashion designer, but having the opportunity to compete on Project Runway has made me realize that I'm really meant to be a fashion designer," said Mila.
"Of course I'm disappointed; I would be lying if I wasn't. But I think lots of great opportunities lie ahead for me."
The second part of Project Runway's seventh-season finale began with the three remaining finalists preparing to present their collections at New York Fashion Week, which was held in February at Bryant Park.
Seth Aaron went first, and explained his collection was inspired by 1940s German and Russian military.
"All the pain, all the disappointment -- everything went into this," said Seth Aaron. "In the end, there's peace. It's like something I never thought I would see. It's a dream and it is more than I ever thought it would be."
He was followed by Mila, who said her collections was inspired by shadows.
"I tried to really represent who I am as a designer, but also surprise the judges," said Mila. "I've put my soul into this, and I hope it shows."
Emilio was the last finalist to present his collection -- titled "Color Me Bad" -- and he explained it was inspired by his mom and her sisters.
"I thought my collection was an amazing mix of wearable clothing that's also exciting to look at and want to own," he said.
With the runway show in the books, the finalists arrived for the final judging panel.
Seth Aaron said he wanted to "show innovation" with his collection and be "polished."
"You really know how to craft clothes beautifully," said Michael, calling the collection "exhilarating and powerful."
Nina credited Seth Aaron for having "grown up" and said she did have favorites in the collection.
"You still have a heavy hand in some outfits, but I like that you have many ideas," she added. "It was a great show. It was a very editorial collection."
Heidi thought it was a "really, really exciting show."
Emilio said his collection was "rooted in great American sportswear."
"I was knocked out," said Faith. "The coats in your collection just blew me away."
Heidi said she "especially liked" Emilio's print.
"You actually sent out the most commercial of the three," said Michael. "That being said, my favorite thing was your least commercial thing -- I thought the gown was absolutely gorgeous."
However Michael added he was "missing the step in between" the glamour and everyday wear.
"I think it was an extremely sophisticated -- quiet but sophisticated -- collection," said Nina.
Mila said she used her inspiration of shadows to create "texture and dimension and interesting graphic shapes."
"I really liked your show," said Heidi. "There were a lot of pieces in there that I would like to have."
Michael thought the styling helped her make her designs "contemporary."
"I think this runway show was very successful," said Nina. "I think the changes that you made in the hair and makeup helped tremendously. And I agree when you loosen up, it becomes a lot cooler."
The judges then deliberated and said they were impressed with the collections created by all three finalists. They then called the finalists back into the judging room.
Heidi said Seth Aaron "maintained his signature style" but "took it to the next level."
"You really accomplished your goal of amping up the sophistication and elegance," she added. "You still have to watch the boundary between sheek and costume. But you certainly know how to put on a show."
She said Emilio's "taste and craftsmanship" has always impressed them.
"Today was no exception," she added. "Your point of view has a real place in fashion."
Heidi said Mila proved she could take the 1960s look she "loves so much" and put her "unique spin on it."
"We really loved the softer looks you showed today," added Heidi. "As always, your point of view was clear. But we wished you would have stepped a little more out of your comfort zone to surprise."