In March 2019, the seventeenth season of Bravo’s reality series “Project Runway” debuted, bringing together sixteen designers from various backgrounds to vie for the prestigious title of “the next great American designer.” Hester Sunshine is one of the talented designers who stood out this season with her audacious, unapologetic, and unorthodox designs, despite the fact that the season included many amazing designers with an eye for detail and a desire for perfection.
The season’s runner-up, with their own interpretation of what they term art, took chances and assembled unconventional combinations to impress both the judges and the audience. Even though the programme ended years ago, fans probably want to know where Hester Sunshine is these days and what she is up to.
Hester Sunshine’s Project Runway Journey
Santa Fe, New Mexico-based designer Hester Sunshine had long harboured dreams of appearing in the programme. The 34-year-old had a bit of a rough start when he entered the competition. Hester had some confidence issues, particularly with regard to their colour and fabric choices. In the second episode, she even shared some of the blame for their three-person team’s poorly executed ensembles. But as the season went on, they quickly succeeded in swinging things in their favour. Hester began stepping up their game when they emerged victorious in the head-to-toe challenge, receiving excellent marks and a lot of appreciation from the judges.
Senior judge and reviewer on the show, Nina Garcia, Editor-in-Chief of Elle magazine, complimented Hester, saying she had grown to like the designer and their unique sense of style. Hester’s exuberant demeanour quickly came to be associated with their creations, showcasing their vision and undying ambition to fuse punk rock and art to create their own distinct visual appeal.
In the grand finale, Hecter faced off against renowned Belgian fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg as a guest judge in an attempt to win the prestigious title of best designer in the nation, with Sebastian Grey and Garo Sparo. The legendary Diane herself praised Hester for her skillful mixing and matching of three prominent textiles, and even extended an invitation for Hester to collaborate with her! They lost to Sebastian at the last hurdle, though, despite the high praise from the judges, who thought Hester had the ability and will to succeed.
Where is Hester Sunshine Now?
After leaving “Project Runway” as a finalist, Hester began focusing on their own personal development in an effort to reach all of their goals. Hester is a proponent of sustainability and frequently chooses to design clothing that embodies their eccentric punk rock persona. They collaborated with Petra Lesser to launch the upscale clothing line “Hesta,” with the goal of producing “a high-end, ready-to-wear and custom fashion line that breaks the traditional rules of pattern making and utilitarian apparel design.”
Hester also began work on their lower-end line, Sunshine By Hester, at the same time as launching their new brand under their own name, Hester Sunshine. The well-known Santa Fe-based art and entertainment company Meow Wolf and the celebrity designer also worked together to produce the non-binary clothing line MW+HS. The Jewish designer, who came out as non-binary and identifies as they/them, went on to pursue their career and made another appearance on the All-Stars format of Season 20 of “Project Runway.”
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In an interview with ELLE, the silly designer joked about their decision to return for another season, saying, “It’s an amazing opportunity for me to explore my creative abilities and I get to share my new brand HESTA with the world.” I also never decline the opportunity to compete with other elite musicians. They go on to say, “On season 17, I gained confidence in my capability and identity as a high-fashion designer,” on their approach to the game. I’ve been honing and polishing my designs and brand ever since. I’m excited for everyone to see what I can do heading into All-Stars.
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Hester works hard to design apparel that is inclusive of all body types and is gender neutral. They travel to Santa Fe to take care of their parents, who currently remain there, even though they currently live in Brooklyn, New York. Hecter also has a cute little pitbull named Bugzy as a pet companion. In terms of personal life, they are currently wed to Honey Tavassoli, with whom they first connected on the latter’s birthday in 2013. Their marriage was formally consummated in court in January 2017. Along with starting a vintage store named Tootshop together, the couple’s relationship has only gotten stronger over time.
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Hester is highly active on social media, frequently sharing information about pop-ups and their fashion line’s clothing, including first looks at sizes, costs, and release dates. We, along with their supporters, couldn’t be happy for them and wish them the best of luck in all of their future endeavours. It appears that Hester is enjoying the life they had imagined for themselves, with their loved ones.
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