Fashion designer Mychael Knight, who competed on Project Runway and Project Runway: All Stars died on Tuesday at age 39, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Knight's family confirmed to Obvious magazine that the beloved star was surrounded by family and friends outside of Atlanta when he passed. The family also issued a statement to Obvious, which read:
"We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. Mycheal meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy."
So far, the family has not confirmed the cause of Knight's death, but Deadline reports his Facebook account indicated he had a history of abdominal pain and fatigue, likely caused from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Jerris Madison, friend of Knight's and the author of the Obvious article, remembered Knight as "passionate, outspoken, direct, kind, and unapologetic."
Knight began his career designing high-end clothing in 2001, after he earned a degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. After a few years of honing his skills, Knight starred on Project Runway's third season and won the Fan Favorite award. In 2009, he competed in a Project Runway All: Stars Challenge two-hour special and later competed in a full season of Project Runway: All Stars in 2013.
Though he never won the competitions, Knight inspired countless designers who admired his vision, his work ethic, and his authenticity. He was living proof that seemingly unreachable dreams could be attainable.
Most recently, Knight appeared at NYFW.
Knight had a large celebrity following, including actress Sherrie Shepherd who shared a heartbreaking Instagram post honoring her late friend's life.
"My heart hurts so much today bc I lost my friend, my little brother @mychaelknight . I was a fan of Mychael's since I first saw him on #ProjecctRunway & when @jawnmurray finally put us together, it was a match made in #heaven," she captioned the photos. "We clicked immediately & Mychael said he was going to be my stylist for the long haul. He had a wicked sense of humour and was the most creative man I knew."