On Friday I had total pinch-me-am-I-dreaming moment when I had the opportunity to sit down for a mini phone interview with the winner of Project Runway, Season 9:
Anya Ayoung Chee (interview arranged by the lovely people at HP)! I was scheduled to chat with her for 15 minutes, but my excitement and nerves took over and I squeezed in all my questions (at least the ones I could remember) into a quick 8 minute call (oops). I hope you’ll join me in getting to know this talented designer a bit more:
Hi Anya! Congratulations on your win and thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today! My readers and I have a few questions we would love to ask you. Firstly, You are so poised and relaxed on camera, where does your apparent inner peace come from and how do you stay upbeat and positive amidst all the craziness?
ANYA: I just began meditation recently and it has really helped me to feel centered. I also lost my brother about 4 years ago. When you go through a tragedy like that and come out on the other side, it has a way of bringing you closer to what is important. It gives you so much perspective.
I heard that you have 5 brothers! As someone with a lot of siblings (I have 6 sisters and 1 brother) I’m curious to know, if you feel that your upbringing has shaped or had a lot to do with who you are today as a designer and person?
ANYA: Having a large family has definitely effected me, especially in the way I collaborate. You learn to be flexible and find your own voice. Also being the oldest, and the only female I have always wanted to be a person that my brothers can look up to. That’s why I have pursued my passions so strongly. I want to be a roll model to them.
When we met in New York at the Project Runway / HP party, you mentioned that you are also a graphic designer. Do you feel that that background influences or helps your design process today?
ANYA: Absolutely. I love prints and definitely feel that that comes from my background in graphic design. When we had the HP challenge to design our own fabric, that was the best. I forgot that we were even taping a show. I didn’t want it to end! The possibilities with that technology are endless!
Yes, and you just won an amazing tech suite from HP! How do you see it effecting the further establishment of your brand?
ANYA: I can’t wait to start using it! I know that it will definitely be used to help me manage my business. As for the design side, there are so many new things to learn and use towards my business and I’m so excited to get started.
It’s all so exciting! Now that Project Runway is behind you, what is next for Anya?
ANYA: From day one I’ve been passionate and committed to developing my brand. When Michael Kors told me (in the final episode of the show) that he could really picture Anya shoes, Anya bags, and Anya clothing that meant so much, because that is what I have always wanted to work towards!
Thank you so much Anya! Congratulations again on your win and we can’t wait to see all the wonderful places you’re sure to go in the future.
See more from Anya Ayoung- on her website. See recaps and images from the show on Lifetime, or check out my snapshots from her runway show in my post here. And finally a massive thank you to HP who invited me to be a part of this awesome experience!
Photo credits: Top image from HP | Runway image by me, Ez Pudewa