Christian Siriano (born November 18, 1985) is an American fashion designer and the winner of the fourth season of American reality show Project Runway. Siriano is the show's youngest winner.
Siriano was born in Annapolis, Maryland to Joye and Peter Siriano. Along with his older sister, Siriano was raised in Annapolis, Maryland. He is of Italian and German descent. Siriano's parents divorced when he was four years old, though he has said his father is still a part of his life.
Siriano has said that his parents supported the arts and encouraged their children to pursue creative fields. As a child, Siriano studied ballet, and on a March 2008 Ellen appearance, he described himself as a "musical theater kid who loved costumes". Siriano's interest in costume design inspired him to pursue a career in fashion. He began designing clothes at age thirteen, while working as a hair washer and styling assistant at Bubbles Salon in Annapolis, and eventually began sewing clothes for the salon's annual hair shows. Siriano attended highschool at the Baltimore School for the Arts, but spent his Freshman year at Broadneck Senior High School. The school allowed Siriano to choose fashion design as his course of study, despite the fact that they do not offer it.
After being rejected by the Fashion Institute of Technology, Siriano chose to study abroad at American InterContinental University in London, England. Following the recommendation of a teacher during his senior year, he began interning at Vivienne Westwood, and later, at Alexander McQueen, whom Siriano has stated is his favorite designer. Siriano moved to New York City after graduating from college.
Before auditioning for the fourth season of Project Runway, Siriano worked as a freelance make-up artist for Stila cosmetics and made wedding gowns for private clients, as well as holding a brief intern position at Marc Jacobs. Siriano decided to audition for the show after the suggestion of a friend's mother. During his time on Runway, Siriano won four challenges, the most of any contestant that season (followed by Rami and Victorya, who each won two). Siriano advanced to the show's finals, and won a spot to show a twelve-piece final collection at New York Fashion Week. His collection was made up of Musketeer-inspired couture, featuring ruffles, feathers and headwear. During the finale, which aired on March 5, 2008, celebrity guest judge Victoria Beckham praised Siriano's collection as being a "breath of fresh air" and stated that she would be "honored to wear" any piece of his clothing. Siriano was announced the winner of the show's fourth season, winning a fashion spread in Elle magazine, a 2008 Saturn Astra, and $100,000 US to start his own label. to.people22feb22,0,2341146.column|title=Annapolis Native Wins Fan Favorite on Project Runway|publisher=The Baltimore Sun}} In a March 2008 interview, Runway mentor Tim Gunn stated of Siriano, "I really believe he is this generation's Marc Jacobs. I really do. We have found America's next great fashion designer... I'm confident.
Siriano began to receive pop culture attention during his time on Runway, primarily for his asymmetrical upswept hair-do (which Siriano called a "bi-level fashion hawk" during a March 2008 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) and his flamboyant attitude. Several of Siriano's catchphrases, such as "fierce," "farouche," and "hot tranny mess", were parodied in the media by multiple blogs and television shows like Saturday Night Live. In March 2008, Siriano appeared as a celebrity guest on season 1 episode 11 of Bravo's Make Me A Supermodel, where he critiqued the contestants' catwalks and designed an outfit for one of the contestants, Holly Kiser, to model on the runway. (Kiser went on to win the competition). On May 1, 2008, Siriano appeared as himself on season 2 episode 15 of Ugly Betty, and designed some of the cast's costumes (as Amanda Tanen 's blouse, which was sold in an auction way on internet). In June 2008, Siriano appeared in the music video for R&B artist Estelle's single "No Substitute Love."
In April 2008, Siriano signed on to design a fifteen piece collection for Puma. In May 2008, Siriano designed virtual promwear for Gaia Online's virtual prom. He appeared on Total Request Live to promote the event. As part of his prize for winning Project Runway, Siriano's first collection for Bluefly began retailing on the website in July 2008.
Siriano's first fashion line, Christian V. Siriano, debuted at New York Fashion Week on September 13, 2008. He has since shown at New York Fashion Week for the Spring 2009, Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 seasons. His entire Fall 2009 collection was picked up by New York City retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.
Shortly after the debut of his line, Siriano began collaborating on a maternity line, Fierce Mamas, with Moody Mamas founders Elise Rosemarin and Marta Abrams.
On December 4, 2008, it was announced that Siriano has signed a deal to design a line of low-cost shoes and handbags for Payless Shoesource. The shoes and bags will be available for retail in Payless stores in Fall 2009. In April 2009, Women's Wear Daily announced that Siriano partnered with Victoria's Secret to retail his own makeup line, Christian Siriano for VS Makeup.
In February 2009, Siriano teamed up with the LG Group to Create a fashion phone called the LG Lotus (LX600). LG Vice President, Ehtisham Rabbani had stated to the press that "The partnership with Christian has provided LG the perfect platform for marketing the Lotus to our more fashion-conscious customers. The LG Lotus -- like a well-crafted garment -- stands out in the crowd by fusing both style and functionality. Lotus owners know they are making a fashion statement everytime they use their phone."
In October 2009, Siriano released a book entitled "Fierce Style: How To Be Your Most Fabulous Self." The book was co-written by Rennie Dyball and featured a foreword by Siriano's former Runway mentor Tim Gunn.
In March 2008, Margaret Price, a columnist for Bitch magazine, wrote an editorial entitled, "Is Christian Siriano Making A Hot Mess of the Term 'Tranny'?", in which she expressed that Siriano's use of the terms "tranny" and "hot tranny mess" were offensive to the transsexual community and that, by using them, he was popularizing an "as-yet unclaimed slur. In a May 2008 interview with Time Out New York, Siriano responded to a question about the lasting power of drag culture by stating, "If you think of heterosexuals, they have white-trash women and trailer parks, and we have drag queens and trannies. I don’t know if I’m the one who can explain it. It’s, like, drag queens are just there. The remark garnered criticism for its derogatory slang and its comparison of transsexuality and drag queen culture to "white-trash" and trailer parks. Siriano released an apology to GLAAD in which he stated, "I mean no disrespect to the transgender community and I never will. Of his comments in the article, Siriano remarked, "I wish that my words were not taken in that way. When I was speaking, some comments that I made were not used in the article." He further commented that he is "actively working to remove" the term "tranny" from his vocabulary.
Siriano has tattoos of a squid and an octopus on his right arm that he has said are "a tribute to Maryland and the sea life". However, Siriano later contradicted this statement by saying that his tattoos "mean nothing... Totally random. And yes, it's permanent, but I'm young. In twenty years, there's totally going to be ways to remove it.
Siriano is openly gay and lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with longtime boyfriend Brad Walsh.