Get your fabric, sewing machines, and tape measures ready as Bravo’s “Project Runway” Season 19 is underway and featuring 2 Filipino designers ready to take the crown. San Diego’s Kenneth Barlis and New York’s Darren Apolonio are among the 16 contestants this season who will be mentored by designer Christian Siriano during the competition. The winner of the competition will receive the grand prize of $250,000.
This season returns to its home base of New York City and the 16 hopeful designers come from all over the world. The judges this season includes Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, and Elaine Welteroth with special guest judges Taraji P. Henson, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Klosshelping. They’ll decide the best design.
Both Filipino designers were born in the Philippines and then migrated to the U.S. Kenneth Barlis grew up in Zamboanga and started his fashion career at 17 years old. He’s definitely not new to the industry with an already A-list clientele that includes Carrie Underwood, Khelani, Offset, Liza Soberano and more. However just like many Filipinos, nursing was his original career path. With one year left to complete his nursing degree, Kenneth decided to pursue his dreams of becoming a fashion designer in America.
Now, he’s launched KB School of Fashion, training models for pageants and runway shows. During the pandemic Kenneth created KB masks to donate to healthcare workers in San Diego and raise funds for those affected during the pandemic. Kenneth aims to make fashion accessible for everyone.
As for Darren Apolonio, a huge fan of David Bowie and Lady Gaga both inspired his take on fashion. An alumnus of SCAD in 2019, he majored in Fashion then moved to New York to pursue a career in fashion, fashion entertainment and visual arts. He’s proud to represent his heritage and wants to become a designer without any boundaries who creates designs made for anyone.
You’ll definitely want to catch this season and all the crazy creative challenges that will happen. Catch “Project Runway” on Bravo and streaming platforms the next day.
Meet the “Project Runway” Season 19 Designers:
· Octavio Aguilar – Miami, FL
· Darren Apolonio – New York, NY
· Kenneth Barlis – San Diego, CA
· Caycee Black – Brooklyn, NY
· Coral Castillo – Los Angeles, NY
· Meg Ferguson – Tulsa, OK
· Prajjé Oscar Jean-Baptiste – Philadelphia, PA
· Bones Jones – Brooklyn, NY
· Kristina Kharlashkina – New York, NY
· Katie Kortman – Japan
· Shantall Lacayo – Miami, FL
· Aaron Michael – Jackson, MS
· Chasity Sereal – Houston, TX
· Zayden Skipper – Atlanta, GA
· Sabrina Spanta – Bloomfield Hills, MI
· Anna Yinan Zhou – San Francisco, CA
Cover Photo Credit: @projectrunwaybravo