Christian Siriano's Muses Reflect On His Decade In Fashion – M & S
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Christian Siriano's Muses Reflect On His Decade In Fashion

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.

Christina Hendricks
"I have only ever felt complete respect and admiration from Christian. He works from a place of artistry and collaboration, never from ego. He has never tried to change or fix me, just celebrate who I already am. And he treats every woman with that same respect. I feel proud and powerful when I wear Christian’s work."

Danielle Brooks
"Christian is that rare designer who designs exquisitely for EVERY woman. He puts just as much passion and creativity into a dress, whether it’s a size two or 22. When Christian chose me to be the face of his first line with Lane Bryant, he not only made me feel and look beautiful, but most importantly, he made me feel worthy. He has changed the design landscape for all women in such a special and inclusive way, and I am so thankful that he chose me to be a small part of his incredible journey."

Nykhor Paul
"Every season, Christian helps me channel my inner Cinderella! I feel bold and confident. His designs are always so strong and electric for every shape and color. He empowers women in a way that, in one of his dresses, it's as if we're living in a fantasy!"

Candice Huffine
“I’ve spent nearly two decades making my way in an industry I haven’t always 'fit' into. Christian Siriano is a designer who sees me as a woman worthy of fashion, luxury, and respect. He sees no size and no setbacks, only the beauty and truth of the women he dresses. I feel very lucky to be friends with and working alongside a man with his kind of inclusive, forward thinking. It’s with his vision and commitment that this industry will be changed forever!”

Coco Rocha
"Christian has had an incredibly impactful decade in New York fashion. As far as diversity and inclusivity, he has absolutely set the lead through his actions. His love for women — all women, regardless of skin color or size — is sincere and authentic. I've seen brands experiment with a token curvy girl on the runway, or a season where they use a few models of color — but if it’s just an experiment for a season, its not authentic and it doesn't deserve to be celebrated. Inclusivity is not a gimmick for Christian, it’s not just a just a 'trend' he is tapping into — it’s his DNA as a person. Christian has had to fight to be included in the New York fashion industry himself. For a long time, the industry viewed him as an outsider and they looked down on his pop culture moment on Project Runway. But he persisted. Through hard work, heart, and talent, he has established himself as a force to be reckoned with. And the industry is much better off for having him."

Kelly Clarkson
“I love Christian because he can dress any size of woman, and I have literally been all of those sizes. Ha! We all come in different, beautiful shapes and colors, so I’m thankful that he fills this role for all of us woman, and I hope other designers will follow his lead.”

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