Tenacity plus personality makes for good reality television, and for clothing designer and Union County native Edmond Newton, both of those attributes landed him a spot (after 10 seasons of trying) on the hit show Project Runway in 2015. He’s based in Atlanta where he creates his eponymous line of men’s and women’s clothing. Catch him in Greenville as a celebrity judge for the charity runway competition “Couture for a Cause” on September 7.
Hats Off // South Carolina–born fashion designer Edmond Newton lives and works in Atlanta, where he creates his eponymous line of women’s and men’s clothing. The Project Runway 2015 runner-up will be a celebrity judge at Couture for a Cause, September 7, 7–9 p.m., at the Lofts at Brandon Mill.
OK, so let’s just get to this right away: what is the most “not-real” part of reality TV? >> Wow! OK, I am not able to speak out on other reality shows, only the ones that I have been a part of. I would say the most “not-real part” would be the part that we—meaning the competitors—do not see when you are actually being filmed. Everyone always asks if we had more time to create our looks. I can say that those deadlines are real. When Tim Gunn enters the room and announces, ‘It’s time to go to the runway,’ there is no more time. The deadlines that you watched at home on your television and intense pressure that we were under are real.
Why was it so important to you to keep applying and trying for 10 seasons to get on Project Runway? >> When I first heard about the show, I did not know what to expect, because the show had never aired before. I felt in my heart that this show had been created especially for me. From there I was determined to get on it. I wanted to use it as platform to showcase to the world my design abilities; I wanted to win the prizes to expand and grow my fashion house; and I wanted to prove to everyone out there that if you have a dream and you stick to it, it can come true.
How profoundly did being on the show—especially as a runner-up—affect your career and your life? >> Being on Project Runway instantly elevated my career to a whole new level. Runway gave me the exposure that I needed to make the EDMOND NEWTON brand become global. My entire life was already full of experiences that influence a lot of the creative visions that I use today. Since the exposure from being on the show, I’ve been able to gain so many more life experiences: traveling to exotic locations, meeting fans, celebrities, new clients, and individuals from all walks of life.
Describe what your signature style element is. >> I am all about balance when designing. I always incorporate sexiness into anything that I design, whether it be women’s wear or menswear. I would say that my signature style element is sexiness.
As a success-driven man, what do you think is the recipe for success? >> You have to be so focused and driven that people think that you are crazy. As an artist, everyone may not understand your vision, but do not change or give up on it. The vision was given to you, and your challenge is to bring that vision to reality for the world to see.
What do you see happening for your career from here on out? >> I see the EDMOND NEWTON brand continuing to build and grow, providing many different elements of luxury fashion, goods, and services. I am also currently working on my book, which tells the struggle of my journey of getting to Project Runway. The book will be available in 2018 and will be available for pre-order on my site: edmondnewton.com.