Brandon Kee was a stand-out contestant on Project Runway ever since the start of the show’s sixteenth season back in August.
He was easily the favorite to win going into the season finale after repeatedly producing the goods, and being the only contestant to come out top in challenges in three separate weeks.
He was only one of only two designers — along with Ayana Ife — never to appear in the bottom three.
But who is Brandon and how did he get so good at fashion?
The 24-year-old has previously told how he has known he wanted to be a designer ever since he was 13 but it wasn’t till he studied at San Francisco’s The Academy of Arts that he realized he was actually good at it and what his potential in the industry was.
He graduated from The Academy of Arts with a bachelor’s in fashion design — specifically menswear design — just last year. Fellow Project Runway Season 16 contestant Amy Bond, who was eliminated in episode 9, also studied there, graduating in 2011.
While studying both had their collections shown in the Academy’s runway shows at New York Fashion Week.
The director of the Academy’s School of Fashion, Gary Miller, previously told its newspaper how Kee was “easygoing, worked hard and was open to new ideas and techniques”.
The pair worked together on a menswear collection Kee designed while he was studying that was based on aviation flight suits.
Miller said: “As his collection developed, so did he. He grew and saw the potential of where this could take him; he put in the time needed and was receptive to feedback and was professional.”
Kee told the newspaper he watched previous episodes of the show to learn how it worked and realized the one thing he needed to work on was his time management — something he did before filming started.
He auditioned after an old professor told him he should try his chances and sent him the application link.
Project Runway airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Lifetime.