Williams reaches red carpet, Marie ClaireBy Meghan Hollis | 04/22/2010 9:20pm
Anthony Williams, a UA alumnus from the College of Human and Environmental Sciences, as well as a star of the hit show “Project Runway,” said goodbye on April 8 as he made his second exit from season seven of the show in episode 12.
Williams was eliminated for the first time in episode 10, but he was brought back in episode 11 because Maya Luz, another contestant, dropped out of the competition.
Although Williams is done with the show, he was given the chance to have his design modeled by Heidi Klum herself on the cover of the April issue of Marie Claire during his run on the show. Williams also won the opportunity to have his design showcased by Heidi Klum, who wore it red carpet event.
Williams said he worked to make a name for himself using not only his talent, but his outgoing personality as well.
“I was known as a breakout character, which helped me along with my challenge wins,” Williams said.
Williams also said while he was eliminated from the show, it still opened up great opportunities for him.
“I don’t have an issue with being eliminated because I didn’t necessarily view it as a bad thing,” Williams said. “I have been told I am honest and I take criticism well, and I feel that I have been set up for amazing things.”
Sue Parker, professor emerita in the College of Human and Environmental Sciences, taught Williams at the University.
“I am so proud of Anthony,” Parker said. “I’m excited about his opportunity to showcase his designs and all the success he made on the show. Although Anthony didn’t win the show, his challenge wins opened a window to expose his talent.”
Travis Mackey, a senior majoring in clothing, textiles and apparel design with a concentration in apparel design, participated with Williams in the first Rock The Runway at Alabama in 2007. As the youngest designer in Rock the Runway that year, Mackey said he looked up to Williams in many respects.
“Anthony has never changed himself for anyone,” Mackey said. “What you see on the show is an honest depiction of who he really is. Anthony and his motto personally have always inspired me: ‘To thy own self be true.’”
Mackey also said getting eliminated might actually help Williams in the long run.
“In my opinion, Anthony not winning he has actually created a better opportunity for himself and his career,” Mackey said. “Anthony will not have to face restrictions bound by a contract and has exposed himself enough for everyone to become aware of how great he is.”
Anthony said he agreed with Mackey that it was more beneficial for him to leave when he did instead of continuing in the competition and potentially winning.
“In the fashion world, they do not fully respect a designer who is associated with entertainment,” Williams said. “I had an immediate disconnect from that, so now I can be recognized for my talent more than a ‘Project Runway’ contestant.”
Parker said she gave much credit to Anthony for putting such a positive light on the design program at Alabama.
“Anthony represents the program here well,” Parker said. “He has given us a chance to show others the caliber of talented students we have enrolled. The design program really is a best kept secret and truly gives students the opportunity to succeed.”
Williams said he is humbled about being an example for aspiring UA fashion students.
“I am so proud and have used the world as my platform,” Williams said. “The ladies in HES are diligent and adamant in assuring your success. The staff goes far beyond graduating for help and advice. ‘Project Runway’ was a gamble I took on my destiny. Other students have the resources to do the same”.
Like Williams, Mackey said he has had many doors open for him in pursuing what he ultimately wants: a successful career in the fashion world.
“I love this department, and I don’t think I’d be going in the direction I am now without them,” Mackey said. “The program offers its students to not only be well rounded but to have a full education opposed to most two year design schools.”
Now that Anthony’s participation on the show has ended, he stays occupied with many different projects on his plate. He is currently blogging for the upcoming season of the Lifetime show, “Drop Dead Divas.” Williams is also working with Promgirl.com and some possible investors.
“I am confident about my future endeavors,” Williams said. “The best is yet to come.”
For more information on Anthony as well as a look at his collections, visit his official website at anthonylwilliams.com.