The Oklahoman

‘Project Runway’ competitor from Tulsa talks passion for design

- Jana Hayes The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK

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 first 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 finally 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 significance 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 first 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 first 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 terrified. 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.

 ?? ROSALES/BRAVO. ?? Meg Ferguson, a Tulsa, Oklahoma native, will be a competitor on the newest season of Project Runway. RAMONA
ROSALES/BRAVO. Meg Ferguson, a Tulsa, Oklahoma native, will be a competitor on the newest season of Project Runway. RAMONA

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