It’s time for Anthony Ryan Auld to make it work.
The 28-year-old LSU alum and Baton Rouge resident is one of the 20 designers?chosen to compete on “Project Runway,” which begins airing its ninth season at 8 p.m. July 28 on?Lifetime Television.
As part of the competition, Auld?can’t talk with anyone for the next few weeks, but that he was chosen for the popular show is not a surprise to those who have seen his work.
Whether it’s a black lace and feathers gown or an intricately woven and pleated cocktail dress, Auld creates designs that are inventive and technically precise.
“Ryan is an incredible talent. I don’t know that you get another student like that in a lifetime,” said LSU Assistant Professor Lisa Barona McRoberts, who taught Auld several senior-level classes in the LSU College of Agriculture’s Textile, Apparel and Merchandising Program. “He has a boldness and freedom in his design.”
Auld had tried out for the show once before, and McRoberts said he was an even stronger candidate this time.
He’s been perfecting his designs over the past two years and has the awards to show for it. In 2010, Auld beat out hundreds of other students to take the Best of Show prize in the prestigious Fashion Group International Dallas Career and Design Competition.
That win earned him a scholarship for a summer workshop at the Paris American Academy in France. He also took top honors in a competition sponsored by Cotton Inc. and in one by the LSU student fashion organization Hemline. Earlier this year Auld pocketed the $1,000 first-place award in a Vitaminwater design contest.
Auld, the son of Lydia Brumfield, of Baton Rouge, and Tony Auld, of San Antonio, Texas, describes his work as “ready to wear with a twist; fashion forward and runway appropriate but still marketable.”
As talented a designer as Auld is, “Project Runway” calls for more than the ability to make a gown out of a garbage bag or stitch a skirt from lettuce leaves. You have to stand out in a group often crowded with outrageous personalities.
Auld, who molds his hair into a faux hawk and tucks his skinny jeans into rugged boots, drawls a Southern accent and exudes friendly charm with just a hint of drama.
“He’ll be a hit on the show,” McRoberts promised. “He’s going to be the wild one. The other contestants are going to hate him because he’s so talented or love him because he’s so talented and he’s so nice.”
Auld and the other 19 contestants are going to have to prove they have a winning TV persona in the first hour of the competition.
During the premiere episode, the designers must go in front of judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and mentor Tim Gunn to make a case for why they deserve to be in one of the 16 coveted spots this season. Once they are chosen, the 16 designers will barely have a chance to celebrate before being handed one of the toughest first challenges in the series’ history, according to information from Lifetime Television.
Filmed on location in New York, each 90-minute episode will feature demanding challenges as the designers attempt to make the cut to show at New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.
“I can’t imagine he won’t place in the top three,” said McRoberts.
The winner of “Project Runway” gets $100,000 to start his or her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on http://www.Piperlime.com.
“Above all,” Auld has said, “I want my name known in the fashion industry before 10 years is up.”
Looks like he’s on his way.