Sereal Moments

Project Runway Star Chasity Sereal Is Fashion’s Next Best Couturier

Sereal chats with Houstonia about her journey that led her to the final four.

By Danielle Wright

Houston designer Chasity Sereal.

"IF BEYONCE, IF J.LO, IF ARIANA GRANDE, all of these top performers could see this, the orders will be flooding in," says designer and Project Runway guest judge Tommy Hilfiger to contestant Chasity Sereal. From creating custom gowns for locals to debuting a couture collection as a finalist for the show's 19th season, this Houston local made it to the big screen. 

"My stomach was in knots, and I said a prayer to calm myself, " says Sereal as she describes the feeling of standing before the judging panel awaiting the winning decision. "All four of us did so great. I knew that the judges would have a hard time deciding who to choose, but for Tommy Hilfiger to see MY DNA in my brand just from one show spoke volumes."

Sereal began her journey experimenting with clothes using ruffled church socks in her early years, repurposing them to create 80s-like prom dresses. In 2009, she was ready to launch her first label creating custom prom dresses, wedding gowns, and birthday ensembles. The designer developed a signature style for intricate beading and illusionary fabric cut-outs.

"When I first started, I didn't have a lot of knowledge when it came to fashion designers. I would literally spend days watching fashion shows on Youtube, and I stumbled across Alexander McQueen and probably watched 10 of his shows after. He was so artistic and told such powerful stories whether people liked it or not on the runway. It was more like a theatrical performance-meets-fashion," Sereal exclaimed.

However, the Houston designers late father, who inadvertently revealed her designing destiny, is her biggest motivator. She recalls being intrigued by his sketches. "He would always have this little notebook at home and would say, this is going to be a big break. I'm going to sell this invention to somebody, and we're going to make millions," she exclaimed. "Unfortunately, he never lived to see that, but it just lit a fire in me to propel forward and go nonstop for my passion because I didn't get to see him follow his."

Sereal's winning look for "Haute Hair" challenge.

After cultivating an extensive clientele list, including reality tv star Tami Roman and gospel singer Koryn Hawthorn, and presenting two runway shows at New York Fashion Week, the self-taught designer fixated on auditioning for the hit Bravo television series, Project Runway. Although the pandemic had mixed impacts for many, it was perfect timing for Sereal to chase her dreams. While her family cared for her two daughters, she bet on herself and, in 2020, was welcomed to Project Runway with a congratulatory Zoom call. 

"When I got accepted, I can't remember how many interviews, but they were all Zoom. I had to package a collection's worth of pieces and send them to be reviewed. I got the call about two weeks later and was picked up and flown to New York, met some of the designers, and then we were ready for our first challenge," says Sereal. 

Sereal and Jean-Baptiste winning look for the "Are Your Fur Real" challenge.

After being in the bottom two for the first challenge, Sereal made an incredible comeback, making her a force in the competition and a fierce competitor. During the show, she was referred to as the Queen of Beading by Nina Garcia, impressing judges like Taraji P. Henson, Precious Lee, Billy Porter, and Esteban Cortazar. Sereal won three challenges in the competition, positioning the self-made designer as a fan-favorite. Though her journey consisted of victories and setbacks, Sereal's designs triumphed, landing her in the final four, where contestants participate in a NYFW runway finale. In front of guest judge Tommy Hilfiger, Sereal introduced her collection, Rebellious Reflection by saying, “Growing up, I didn’t fit in, whether it was society, family and even the fashion industry. This collection is a story about the black sheep that blossomed.” 

Although Sereal didn’t win, the designer joins other Houston competitors on Project Runway, like Chloe Dao, season two winner, and Alan Gonzalez, the season 18 contestant. With the buzz of the latest show, the haute designer returns home to Houston. 

“If it's just easy to make a lot of pretty clothes, then I don't think it would have been a cohesive story,” the designer concludes. 

For more information on Chasity Sereal, visit online. 

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