Who is Christian Siriano?
Christian Siriano is one of the most sought-after names in the fashion industry in today’s times. Breaking barriers with his trail blazing ideas and collaborations, Christian shot to fame overnight after winning a reality show. Born and brought up in a surrounding full of women, he learnt to appreciate the art of dressing up very early in life. He is one of the few designers who works with women of all sizes. Not kidding! Christian Siriano dresses up women starting from Size: 0 going all the way up to Size: 28. Curvy supermodels are a highlight of his ramp shows. He accepts that it is a big task catering to so many sizes, but takes immense pride in being inclusive. According to him this should come naturally to any fashion brand, as clothes are meant for people, and people come in all shapes and sizes. He is also one of the very few designers who havw been consistently doing four shows every year for over a decade. He understands the power of presenting a collection with all the oomph and pizzazz, and is practical about accepting that his customer can be anywhere. Although he has a posh store on Saks Fifth Avenue, he has brand collaborations that sell affordable clothing. A hands-on designer who is old school, believes in making quick decisions and uber confident about his style, Christian Siriano is a true-blue fashionista!
Childhood & Early Life
Born in Annapolis, Maryland on 18th November 1985, Christian Siriano is the second and youngest child of Peter Siriano and Joye Siriano. He has an older sister Shannon.
His mother and sister have been a huge influence on making him the person he is today. He generally talks about observing and learning about women by watching his sister, who was small and his mother, who was curvy; yet both having to deal with the same kind of problems when it came to clothes.
After graduating from Baltimore School of Arts, Christian wanted to pursue his further studies in Fashion Institute of Technology. But, FIT rejected his application, and he had to go to London to take up a course in American Intercontinental University.
Following this, he got through an internship with Vivienne Westwood, and later with the Alexander McQueen studio. This exposure set up his work ethics and till date he tries to stay true to the learnings he had during these internships.
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Christian Siriano moved back to New York after finishing college in London and started working as a freelancer. He made custom wedding gowns for elite clients and took up another internship with Marc Jacobs.
During this time, he auditioned for the fashion reality show Project Runway. He got through and eventually became the youngest person to have won the show. This, was a turning point in his career.
Christian started his own brand ‘Christian Siriano’ and presented his first collection at the 2008 New York Fashion Week.
His eccentric and whimsical sense of fashion caught the eye of many, and he was in high demand with celebrities who wanted to wear something different for their red carpet appearances. He has dressed Priyanka Chopra, Juliana Moore, Gwyneth Platrow, Emily Blunt, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Oprah, Christina Hendricks, Tina Fey, Gigi Hadid, Alexa Chung, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, JLo, Heidi Klum, Sarah Jessica Parker and even then First Lady Michelle Obama, to name a few.
Apart from couture, Christian collaborated with several retail brands like Payless Shoes, Puma and Starbucks. He also did collections for Spiegel and the Home Shopping network.
He co-wrote a book Fierce Style with Renie Dyball, which was released in October 2009.
He opened his flagship store in 2012, on Manhattan’s Elizabeth Street, and launched his new concept store ‘The Curated’ on NYC 5th Avenue in 2018.
One of his most talked about looks was Billy Porter’s Tuxedo Gown for the 2019 Oscars. Christian talks about how this was an ensemble he had put together in less than a week.
He has worked as a judge for Season 17 of the Project Runway, and currently hosts a show called So Siriano on Bravo, where he invites his guests like Ashley Graham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Leslie Jones, Billy Porter, SIA, and Drew Barrymore to discuss current trending topics.
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His brand is also making masks in-house to cater to the huge demand during the Corona Virus Pandemic.
Initially frowned upon by fashion critics, Christian Siriano’s collaboration with Payless ShoeSource, is one of his major deals that he grabbed in 2008. He designed a line of budget hand bags and shoes for the global mass market brand and continues to make multiple collections for them. This was one of his major break through when he was fresh out of college.
Awards & Achievements
Christian Siriano was the youngest person, at only 24 years of age, when he appeared on the 40 under 40 list of Crain’s New York Business in 2010.
He was featured in Forbes elite list of ’30 under 30’ in the year 2015.
He won the ‘Designer of the Year’ American Image Award in 2016, and also bagged the title of ‘Designer of the Decade’ from ‘Couture For a Cause’ in the same year.
After being rejected once, Christian Siriano was included in the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) in the year 2013. This is an esteemed group of less than 500 fashion designers working in the line of clothes and accessories.
Family & Personal Life
Christian Siriano is gay and had gotten married to Brad Walsh, a music producer, songwriter and singer, on 9 July 2016, in Connecticut. But the couple separated two years later.
After four weeks of his separation Christian met Kyle Smith who is PR professional, and they have been dating since then.
Even though Christian is known for his outrageous fantastic creations, he likes to dress in simple clothes that he picks up from stores like Zara and Sandro.
Christian Siriano’s name was misused on Craigslist to run a scam, asking women to audition for modelling. After these listings were taken down, there was another post asking money form models who wanted to work for Christian’s brand. The designer had to make an announcement on his social media handles warning everyone to not fall into this trap.