“I think it was just my personal interest in clothes,” says Brandon Kee about what inspired him to become a fashion designer. He’s one of the final four contestants competing to win “Project Runway” season 16, and he has been considered the frontrunner for weeks. His interest in clothes started young, figuring out who designers were at an early age and getting into home economics classes in seventh grade that gave him the chance to tailor clothes to his own tastes. Watch our exclusive video chat with Kee above.
Kee has been one of the most consistent designers this season, winning three design challenges and getting rave reviews from the judges more often than not, but “I was so trapped in the moment of doing me so I never thought about that,” Kee explains. “I always want to win another one … but I have to also stay true to me. I try not to get into a head-space of trying to create something the judges are looking for. I more worried about what I want to create and why am I here, and I think in doing that I was able to make creative and successful clothes.”
That focus also translated to Kee’s approach to the chaotic workroom with more than a dozen designers working in a tight creative space. “Being so camera-shy, it was easy,” he reveals. “They would pull me into interviews and ask, ‘What did you think about this person being from here and doing this?’ and I didn’t even know because I was so concerned with what am I going to make and I want something beautiful to go down the runway … I think it was just in that being focused and staying driven … It was just me and the tunnel-vision I had.”
Not all of the contestants on the show avoided drama as successfully. The controversial twins Shawn Buitendorp and Claire Buitendorp stirred things up more often than not, and Kee ended up winning the “Client on the Go” Dixie Cup design challenge only after Claire’s winning design was disqualified because she broke the show’s rules by using design supplies outside of the workroom. “I can’t tell you too much about the drama … I didn’t know too much behind the scenes of what was going on with the legality of her having the measuring tape,” he says. “It was upsetting that I wasn’t even in the top. I thought I had a top look. And then for it to play out the way it did, I thought it was unfortunate for her and I felt bad, but lucky for me. It was definitely one of my favorite challenges.”
We’ll find out in the November 16 season finale whether Kee goes on to win “Project Runway” outright. Do you think he’s the best of the season?
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Thursday on Lifetime. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.