Project Runway Alumni, Rey Ortiz isn't afraid to be bold and make a statement. Though he was eliminated on the first episode of his season Rey is quickly becoming one of the most visible and dynamic designers from the reality show. This proves his commitment to his craft, undeniable persistent and true talent. We caught up with Rey to talk about some of his jaw dropping looks. He recently scored big with a Fuck Trump dress at the Austin Pride Fashion Show and landed Lance Bass on everyone's Best Dressed List at last night's VMA Awards. We had to see what the man of the fashion hour had to say about his most recent accomplishments and what else he has up his designer sleeve.
What drew you to fashion?
I was drawn to fashion after being a traditional artist ever since my very first years as a kid... Later in life, after going to school for computer arts and graduating with a masters degree in CG animation, my love for fashion illustration and all things beautiful grew. All my projects from grad school seemed to be overly but naturally stylized, and somehow fashion related. One day, I woke up early (literally) and bought my first home sewing machine. I didn't even know how to thread it but after enrolling to specific classes, working hard and practicing, it became my great hobby addiction. One that hasn't gotten away after 6 years and turned into my job.
How long have you been designing?
I have been designing since very early in my life... But fashion design, 6 official years.
What was your experience like on Project Runway?
I can say that Project Runway was bitter-sweet. I went home on the first challenge so yeah, I don't think I was able to truly compete and shine. But, having said that, I have gotten a lot of attention from clients and retailers. In the end, Project Runway plus my willingness to prove myself was the key to not looking back on a lackluster experience. I really wish I had more time with Tim Gunn and getting to know the other designers.
What inspired you to design the Fuck Trump dress?
The FUCK TRUMP dress was born by my desire to put in my two cents. We need to use every last resource to keep people like him away from our society's future. It was a message from the heart and I know it matched what some Americans won't/can't say easily. So yeah, FUCK ALL THINGS TRUMP. He is a mess!
You have designed for several notable Drag Queens, who are some of the biggest names?
Well, two of my favorites like Alyssa Edwards and Bianca Del Rio... Other ones like UK's Ms Kitty, Powers, LA's Martha Beatchu and Monistat also opened the door to cool new designs. Each project is different from each other and designing always comes with fun new challenges.
What is it like designing for Drag Queens? Is it different from designing Ready-to-wear?
Ready-to-wear scares me more than designing for queens. I have to control myself and that is not an easy task. I tend to over-design so dressing real women for different real life events will always be a bigger challenge, one that I'm fully embracing because I don't want to be a one trick pony. I'm always ready for a challenge.
At the Austin Pride Fashion Show you met some notable celebrities. What was that like?
Yes, I met Viktoria Modesta, Lucianna, Lance Bass, Coco Peru among others and I couldn't be happier. When you meet them you truly realize that they are not as intimidating as you might have thought. I loved that they talked to me and allow me to be apart of the cool kids' club. Their humbleness was truly inspiring.
What was it like designing for Lance Bass and Alyssa for last night's VMA'S?
Designing for Lance Bass and Alyssa Edwards was a delight. They always talk to me by phone or text like they are my friends. No pressure but always expecting the best from me. Can't wait to collaborate again with them and MANY other celebrities. That's why I moved to Los Angeles to begin with.
Finally, anything else you want to tell us about your work?
About my work, DONT THINK YOU KNOW MY STYLE because I go to bed OVER-THINKING about how to blow you away next... I definitely have an anti cookie-cutter policy that will be in full effect until I die. Beware of more to come!
Checkout more of Rey's work at: Rey Ortiz