Philadelphia native Dom Streater won Project Runway Season 12. This week, she answered some questions about what comes next.
Where does your artistic influence come from and when did you start making clothing?
I grew up in West Philly at 58th and Chestnut Streets. I was very much an artist since I was a child. As long as I can remember, I was always painting and drawing. My mom was very supportive of it. I grew up in a good atmosphere that nurtured my interests. When I was younger, I remember we didn’t have a ton of money. My mom was a single mom. If I wanted new clothes or if I didn’t have something, I would make them.
When we were kids, my brother and I were allowed to pick one thing from the huge JCPenney catalogue every Christmas. When I was 8 or 9 years old, that Christmas, I picked a sewing machine. It was a tiny pink sewing machine. I would make clothes for my Barbie doll. That’s the first thing I remember designing as a young person. I kept every sewing machine I ever owned.
How did you get on the television show Project Runway?
There were times I was ready to give up. I didn’t think I was ever going to get a job. I had already applied to Project Runway Seasons 10 and 11 and was not cast. Maybe I would stick with animal care and that would be my career, I thought. Last year, I was an alternate finalist. No one dropped out before they started filming. This year, they asked me to apply again and I got lucky. I made it. It was a tedious application process. It was so long and a lot of work. We started filming this season in June of this year and we got done mid-July. It started airing in July and ended a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky enough when I got back that I had so many requests for commissions that I didn’t have to do that (animal care) anymore, which is awesome. With the added bonus of winning, I don’t have to do the animal job anymore.