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COVER STORY: FGI of Philadelphia catches up with Jay McCarroll

Jay McCarrollIn 4 days, Jay McCarroll, the 1st winner of Project Runway, will reunite with fellow winners – Pamela Ptak and Dom Streater, for an event presented by FGI of Philadelphia. As a sneak peek to next week’s meet and greet, Jay revealed the best moment on Project Runway, what he thinks about Philadelphia’s fashion industry, and life after the show.   

Be there next Tuesday night to meet Jay, Pamela, and Dom in person.




FGI of Philly: What was your favorite moment and cherished memory from the show?
JM: I would say that winning was, of course, probably the best moment of my participation in the show. Aside from that, as far as garments made or challenges are concerned, I would say that the Banana Republic challenge where I made a dress inspired by the Chrysler Building was probably the most gratifying and satisfying moment. I say this because it was a moment where I was suffering from a genuine design block and I feel there was some kind of divine intervention at work there. I also enjoyed learning how a television show is put together and the Magical Elves crew (who was the production team at the time before the show changed networks) were an amazing group of people to get to know and work with!

FGI of Philly: What do you think of the renaissance happening in Philadelphia’s fashion industry and what opportunities do you see for the future?
JM: We have a long and accomplished textile and apparel production history in this city that is slowly trying to make a comeback. My only wish is that the many smaller groups who are doing their thing in spurts would join forces to create larger more effective experiences for not only designers but for students and manufacturers and everyone else along the chain. We have all of the resources here to do so, but nothing is connecting and keeping these people connected. We also need to create a collective mission statement on what we are trying to accomplish/offer the world that other places aren’t. Philadelphia suffers from a bit of an identity crisis given its proximity to NYC. Obviously it is hard to compete with the industry in that city but we can certainly offer the world something they can’t or aren’t. That could either be aesthetically or technically in regards to local manufacturing, sustainability or technological innovation.

FGI of Philly: What amazing things are you currently working on?
JM: Well, I’m still teaching at Philadelphia University which I really enjoy. I am always working on some little projects here and there and still working on my own stuff. I just worked on a cool project this past summer with David Byrne from the Talking Heads and St. Vincent. That was a lot of fun!


To see and learn more from Jay McCarroll, purchase tickets to this event at fgiphiladelphia.ticketleap.com