Project Justin: Designers get active in latest “Runway” episode

September 6, 2013
By Bill Krueger

Designing active wear for the first time, NC State’s Justin LeBlanc paired a sleeveless jacket with charcoal gray shorts and a sports bra (trimmed in lime green) on Project Runway last night, a look that kept him in the running for the top prize.

pr12-ep8-episode13The stakes were high in last night’s competition as well, as the winning design will be produced and sold as part of show host Heidi Klum’s line of active wear. (Or “performance wear,” it was sometimes referred to. No sweat pants allowed.)

Before they could begin work on their designs, the contestants took part in an obstacle course that included a three-legged race with a partner and a tire run. LeBlanc and his partner (outfitted, appropriately, in red sweat bands) won, earning themselves an extra hour of design time and the first choice of material.

LeBlanc, an NC State alum and a professor at the College of Design, was the only designer who showed some leg and dressed his model in shorts, although he acknowledged as she walked down the runway they may have been a little too short.

LeBlanc’s sign language interpreter has been more in the spotlight in the show lately, even standing on the runway next to Klum. And the show’s website posted an interview with LeBlanc on Wednesday about his deafness and how it has affected him.

pr12-ep8-justin1LeBlanc said he was “raised in an environment of total communication. My parents hired a sign language teacher to teach us all sign language. They also provided me a speech therapist through most of my pre-college years.” He also talked about the pros and cons of cochlear implants.

Meanwhile, the show’s finale, which won’t be broadcast until later, is being taped this week in New York. We hope we have a Wolfpacker in the running.

— Sylvia Adcock ’81


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