When the oh-sew-sew-stylish "Project Runway" returns for it's 15th season Thursday, September 15 on Lifetime-TV, the fashion design competition will have a contestant from Miami.
Venezuela-born Roberi Parra, who moved to South Florida in March, will go stitch-to-stitch with 15 other up-and-coming designers. The returning judges are: uber model Heidi Klum; "Marie Claire" editrix Nina Garcia; fashion designer Zac Posen and moda mentor Tim Gunn.
Here's more about Parra.
Favorite hangout – "We actually I like to go to the sea. I'm an observer ... and I like the feel of the sea. I go to one place where I can sit and have a coffee and see people walking by and see how they are using clothing and their relationship to clothing."
Favorite way to decompress – "I really have to have contact with nature, a place with some green and trees and silence and peace. And then I discover that when I relax, that's when all these ideas come to my mind and you get all excited again."
Should it be a dress or a building – "I really love architecture and geometry. My grandfather was an architect. In the beginning, when I finished high school, I wanted to study architecture. But it's hard to see a final product when you're an architect. You have to wait a long time to see a building done. In fashion, it was much easier to get a product done.
Best advice from grandfather he never met – "If someone is covering something with flowers and sparkles, you have to be careful, because maybe someone is trying to hide something from you. I never got to meet him but we had loads of sketch books and things in the house and I got to read most of them.
How that affects his use of prints – "I love prints and the use of color, but I really like to use them in a really thoughtful way. That's the way I use prints, not to hide, but to enhance."
Schooling with good company – Parra studied fashion design at the Instituto Brivil in Caracas and Central Saint Martins in London, a prestigious design program with alumni such as Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Posen.
Auditioning in a 2016 way – "I got a casting call notification on my Facebook feed. I did the video on my phone while walking home. 'Why not,' I thought. A few weeks later I got an email, 'Congratulations.'"
Takeaway from "Project Runway" – "It's a journey, but it's also your own personal development. You end up realizing you are capable of doing things that you didn't think you were capable of doing."