2 designers with local ties are 'in' on 'Project Runway'

  • Article by: Sara Glassman
  • Star Tribune
  • July 9, 2009 - 10:40 PM

"Project Runway" has put Minnesota one step closer to being "in" by featuring a pair of local designers on the soon-to-air season.

Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman, recently of Minneapolis, and Christopher Straub of Shakopee will be featured on the sixth season of the fashion design competition, scheduled to air on Lifetime starting Aug. 20. The official announcement comes after months of speculation -- the show's conclusion was filmed during February's fashion week in New York with none of the final three designers being revealed. The air date was delayed because of a lawsuit, now settled, with Bravo.

Coleman has been featured in several local fashion shows, including "Voltage: Fashion Amplified" and an elaborate solo show of his work. Straub is best known in the Twin Cities for his Cricket Syndicate line of man panties, created from vintage T-shirts. Both left town without much warning last fall to shoot in Los Angeles. Straub made the cut after auditioning for the show four times.

"I've been known as the underwear guy in the Twin Cities. It's exciting to showcase that I do more than underwear," said the self-taught designer, who will be able to show his womenswear to the nation.

Having two designers from the Midwest on the show makes sense to Coleman. "It's really indicative of what's going on in cities billed as under the radar. We haven't necessarily been considered cosmopolitan, but it's really changing."

While his aesthetic is for sophisticated, easy-to-wear women's attire, he'll likely become just as well-known for his "in your face" hair.

"Ra'mon will probably do well based on his style of work because it's dramatic and interesting," said previous Twin Cities contestant Katherine Gerdes.

"You have two promising candidates," said Laura Kluvo, of the popular fansite Blogging Project Runway. "This is going to be the best season ever."

You can get a sneak peek at "Project Runway" at

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177

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