Last night’s Project Runway Season 16 finale took pretty much everyone by surprise — not least the eventual winner, Kentaro Kameyama.
Kentaro went into the finale as a real outsider with Brandon Kee way ahead in the odds after a season which saw him go from strength to strength.
But when it came down to the final collections at New York Fashion Week there were only two in it at the end — Kentaro and Ayana Ife, the show’s first modest fashion designer.
Kentaro eventually walked away with the crown, but took his win in humble fashion. He said: “Winning Project Runway is like a dream come true. Probably I’m going to have a little more opportunity, but I’ll just keep myself humble and work hard and do my best.”
This morning he posted a picture of himself on his Instagram which was taken on the day he headed off to start taking part in Project Runway at the start of the season.
He said: “l had no clue what was going to happen being on this show… Thank you for all your support and cheers, l couldn’t be happier. l will continually do my best and make more beautiful things…”
At 38, Kentaro was one of the oldest of all the contestants in Season 16. He lives in Los Angeles and studied at the FCI (Fashion Careers International) Fashion School in the city.
Originally from Gifu, Japan, he first studied at the city’s Kano High School and later at the University of Southern California as well as Oklahoma Wesleyan University after moving to the US.
As well as a fashion designer, he is a classically trained pianist. According to his Project Runway bio he first realised he had potential as a designer when he was just five years old.
He took part in the show after being egged on by his friend Joe. He said his main weakness — which he managed to overcome to win Project Runway — is that he can “only function fully at night.”
In a premonition of what was to come, he was also doubtful of his chances during the season in general — but said if he got down to being a finalist then he would win.
Asked if he thought he could win Project Runway, he said: “I don’t know…I am confident to win if I got chosen to be the last three or four designers to showcase my full collection at the NY Fashion Week.”More: Project Runway