Brandon Kee (‘Project Runway’) is the frontrunner to win season 16, but here’s why he could be vulnerable

With three overall challenge wins and no low score placements in season 16 of “Project Runway,” Brandon Kee is the overwhelming frontrunner to be named the winner. Not only do Brandon’s wins distinguish him as the judges’ favorite, but his peers also unanimously named him one of the most deserving of a spot in the finale when Heidi Klum asked the final five who should go to New York Fashion Week in “There’s Snow Business Like Sew Business.” Brandon heads into part two of the finale having earned high marks from the judges with his two-look preview of his collection during “Finale, Part 1.”

“Finale, Part 2” airs Thursday, November 16, so before Brandon and the other three finalists show their full collections at New York Fashion Week let’s consider the pros and cons of his chances to win season 16.


Brandon is far and away the best-performing designer this season: he boasts three challenge wins out of eight overall top-three showings, both of which are season highs. In addition, he is one of only two designers — along with Ayana Ife — to never score among the bottom three.

The judges have routinely called Brandon’s work out as having a clear vision and distinct point of view, two standards that the panel asks every contestant to live up to every season. Indeed, most of the time designers are sent home because of their inability to convey to the judges how their work fits into the current fashion landscape and/or is a unique perspective on design. Brandon has not had this problem.

Gold Derby readers have projected Brandon to be named the winner for most of the season. In our current racetrack odds he holds a commanding lead with 4/7 odds of prevailing.


Week to week, Brandon’s peers in the competition questioned whether or not the judges, who they acknowledged had sung his praises all season, would tire of what slowly became an obvious aesthetic of buckles, straps and oversized streetwear garments. Fortunately for Brandon the judges continued to love his work as much at the end of the season as they did at the beginning — in fact, he was a high scorer in the last three challenges to be scored and won the very last one. That being said, there is still the potential that seeing his work together in a 10-piece collection could lessen the impact if the same tricks are overused in each of the looks. Will he be able to create wow moments with all 10?

From what we saw of Brandon’s collection-in-progress in “Part 1,” his line is definitely cohesive, but also uses the same flamingo fabric in almost every look. When seen all together on the runway, the judges could feel like he didn’t offer enough variety or evolution over the course of the 10 looks.

How do you feel about Brandon’s chances to win and what we’ve seen of his collection so far? Sound off in the comments.

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.

More News from GoldDerby