Although I am very far from a fashionista, I am a huge fan of Project Runway and have watched it since Season 1. In Episode 2 when Sebastian won the challenge is when I called him as the winner. There was just something special about his vision, the way he designs, and the way he tailors his clothes.
Sebastian, who lives in South Florida, comes across as a real down to earth sweet guy on television and even sweeter in person.
We caught up with Sebastian to get all the details on his Project Runway experience and to dish on his upcoming projects.
Do you remember the first time fashion got your attention?
The first time fashion got my attention was when I was in Colombia. My dad owned a leather shop and I was always around leather. Sometimes I would take little pieces of leather and make jackets for my cousins Barbie’s.
I realized I wanted to be in fashion when I was in ballet school, and I saw how the seamstresses constructed the outfits and how they expressed so many emotions without saying anything. It made me want to design clothes.
What was the first piece you were proud of?
I guess the first piece I was proud of was when I was working for Andreas Otalora as his assistant and he gave me the opportunity to make a piece for his collection. It was going to be in a runway show, so I was very proud of it.
What made you move to the United States?
When I was in Colombia I was working with many designers, but I was looking for new opportunities. I came here a few times for the designers and fell in love. When I moved here it was rough, because I didn’t speak one word of English.
How many times did you apply to be on Project Runway and how did it feel when you found out you were chosen?
I only applied once. I was watching the show in Colombia with my mom, and when I moved here I applied. Twenty minutes after I submitted the application they called me—it was mind-blowing.
On the first few days of filming did you scope out your competition, and who did you think they would be?
No I never saw people as competitors, but I saw good designers. I was really impressed by the work of Bishme.
How did it feel when they announced your name as the winner of Project Runway?
It was one of those moments that you feel it’s not real. I think I passed out for a second, and then I reacted. I knew it would change my life!
One of the most touching things I have seen on Project Runway was Nina’s comments to you after they announced you as the winner. How did that feel?
Coming from Nina, it was one of the moments when your chest gets full of happiness and joy. She is one of my fashion icons. To feel that she was so connected to my story was amazing.
What was some of your favorite pieces you made on the show?
From the final collection my favorite piece was “Werregue Leather Gown,” and from the season my favorite pieces were: the piece I made for the “A Human Challenge,” and the piece I made for Nicole (sanitation worker) from the real workers of “New York” challenge. I made her an engagement dress. I also liked the “What We Care” challenge, when each designer had to pick a cause and I chose racial equality. I wanted to send a message that no matter where we came from or what our nationality or skin tone is, we all are the same and have to treat each other with respect and love.
How hard was it to keep the secret that you won?
It was not too hard, because the finale was just filmed a couple weeks before it aired. They also train us very well.
Tell us something we would be surprised to know about you?
I think you saw all of me on Project Runway…I am an open book.
How did you meet your husband, and when did you know he was the one?
I met him three years ago, and I knew immediately. When I saw him the first time I knew this was it, and from day one we never separated.
What are you going to do with the prize money?
I started to fix my website and I am starting to make a capsule collection. I am also going to fix my parents’ house in Colombia and pay the debts there. I am just going to keep working and hopefully putting out clothes everyone loves.
What does the future hold for you?
A lot of people are reaching out to me for red carpets. I also got contacted to make costumes for a movie. A lot of brands are looking for partnerships, and I think the sky’s the limit.
For more information on Sebastian, go to: JhoanSebastianGrey.com or Sebastiangrey.us or on Instagram.com/Iamsebastiangrey.