‘Project Runway’ competitor from Tulsa talks passion for design
Viewers of this fall’s newest season of “Project Runway” will recognize the hometown of one of the 16 competitors. h Meg Ferguson, a Tulsa native, has long been pursuing her passion for design and even owns her own clothing company called The Atelier Co. She said being chosen as a “Project Runway” competitor is a dream she never thought would come true. h Read on for a Q&A with Ferguson ahead of Thursday’s season premiere. Responses have been edited for space.
Q: How did you come to love fashion and design at such a young age? A: My first inkling that I really enjoyed fashion
was when I went to market with my grandmother for her clothing store. That is when I fell in love with styling and the whole process. Around the same time, my other grandmother taught me to hand embroider and I’ve been pursuing and learning more ever since.
Q: When did you decide to make a career out of it? A: When I was 15 years old, I went on vacation to
Disney World and went on the backlot tour at their Hollywood studios. We got to see the creative costume shop and I took a photo for my scrapbook with the caption, “My future workplace.”
Q: Where did you get your degree and what was that experience like? A: I have a degree in fashion design from Kansas
City and a degree in fashion merchandising and management from FIT. Much like the industry, it was very competitive, very intense, and very time-consuming.
Q: Tell me about your journey from college to now owning your own clothing company.
A: That was a very long 12-year journey. After being in the business of creating other people’s visions, I was finally ready to create my own vision. In October 2018, I decided to move back to Tulsa to start my own company. When my mom was killed I had to put everything on hold until the Philadelphia fashion week and “Project Runway.”
Q: What is the significance of the name, The Atelier Co.?
A: The word atelier means workroom or sew room in French. I just really loved the idea of hand-crafted clothing that considers the needs of the customers and the environment, basically the complete opposite of fast fashion.
Q: How did you end up being on the newest season of “Project Runway?” A: “Project Runway” started my first year in fashion
school. Even before going to school, I always knew fashion was going to be a big part of my life. People had always told me I needed to audition, but I didn’t believe I was good enough. After my mom was killed, I had this overwhelming feeling that my mom was pushing me to do it and for the first time I really believed in myself. I submitted my audition tape and three days later I got a call asking to come in for an interview.
Q: How did you feel when you found out you were chosen to be part of the competition?
A: Completely terrified. It was a mixture of emotions. I was proud of myself but also so scared. Putting yourself out there and opening your work to criticism is very scary.
Q: What can viewers expect from this season? A: Much like every other season, lots of excitement, drama, tears, and most importantly lots of amazing looks.