The beauty of the Christian Siriano woman is that she doesn't necessarily exist. And for good reason. Because while other designers have sought to embrace diversity and inclusivity only just recently — seeing them as trends, not truths — those very principles have been a part of Siriano's DNA since the very beginning.
To ignore his Project Runway past is to not fully acknowledge the scope of Siriano's career as a designer. After winning the fourth season of the reality show, he launched his own line of ready-to-wear clothing — something that would eventually lead his portfolio to encompass bridal, shoes and bags for Payless, a plus collection with Lane Bryant, bedding with Bed Bath & Beyond, and even a fragrance. By strategically expanding into a variety of categories, Siriano didn't just build a fashion empire — he built a business. One that, despite not being lauded by the industry, was celebrated by arguably the most important person: his customer.
“For the first six years, nobody gave a shit. I didn’t have the industry on my side in the beginning,” Siriano told Refinery29 in September. “When I started, so did a lot of other people. Jason [Wu], Prabal [Gurung], early on I thought I have to be like them and doing what they’re doing and getting what they’re getting. You compare. I used to take it so personal, but it’s not always about this fabulous It person in fashion that’s changing the game. [But] if people aren’t buying the clothes, no one cares.”
It's been 10 years now since Siriano embarked on this journey, and many could argue that he is at the height of his career. From his collections to his castings to his celebrity support, many are looking to the 32-year-old as an example of how to not just do something well, but to do something authentically. To celebrate that, we gave some of his closest collaborators — ladies like Christina Hendricks and Coco Rocha and Danielle Brooks — the chance to open up about just how Christian Siriano has championed women since the very beginning — and how he's helped make not just them, but any woman who has worn his clothes, be the very best versions of themselves.