Taiwanese-American fashion designer Olivier Green was eliminated halfway through the most recent season of Project Runway, but he made a name for himself with simple yet individualized designs that he hopes will attract investors.
In a recent interview with Central News Agency in New York, the 23-year-old designer said that, after leaving the show, he had been busy designing and was looking for financial backing to launch his own brand.
Green was the youngest designer during the Project Runway season, which was broadcast from July 28 to Oct. 27 in the US, and he finished eighth among 16 contestants, perhaps not the ideal launching pad for a new fashion line.
However, his style of integrating different textures and materials, from leather and wool to plastic and cambric, into classical designs caught the attention of the judges during the show and that is the direction his collection is going to take, he said.
Instead of using vivid colors, or bold and wild designs like most young Western designers, Green’s simple and restrained designs reflect his Asian roots.
Designs are a way of “having my own voice,” he said.
Unlike most designers who enjoy a life of partying, the reserved Green said he enjoys walking around looking at different structures and that he had drawn inspiration for his fashion aesthetic from architectural design.
Green, who has dyed blond hair and speaks English more fluently than Chinese, was born in Ohio, but he lived in Taiwan until the age of 16, when he moved to the UK to further his studies.
It was in the UK that his life underwent major changes.
Green said he became depressed because it was the first time he had to live independently.
He decided to change his Chinese surname — his Chinese name is Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) — to Green to help him overcome the depression and find himself again.
Prior to moving to the UK he had pursued his interest in music, but he later decided to switch to a fashion design and he eventually moved to Milan, Italy.
Though his run on Project Runway did not end the way he had hoped, he said competing on the show allowed him to grow and present his works to important figures in the fashion world.