Project Justin: LeBlanc eliminated from Project Runway All Stars

January 16, 2015
By Sylvia Adcock

NC State’s Justin LeBlanc made it to the ninth episode of this season’s Project Runway All Stars, but was eliminated in an emotional broadcast last night.

LeBlanc’s elimination comes on the heels of a victory last week, when he won a swimsuit/resortwear competition with a flowing bright blue dress and a black one-piece swimsuit with lots of strategic cutouts.

But this week was a little different. The show started with the seven designers at an aquarium on Long Island, each choosing some form of sea life as inspiration for an avant garde challenge.

leblanc1LeBlanc chose yellow scroll coral (choices from other designers included shark, lionfish, anemone and a seahorse). In the workroom, he appeared under stress and said he was concerned about his fabric choice — so much that two competitors came over to offer words of support and even extra fabric.

In the end, the designer inspired by a seahorse won, and Justin’s garment — a skirt and top with ruffles on the front and a sort of peplum-plus-shoulder-pad look — got the lowest score from the panel of judges.

LeBlanc is a perennial favorite among the other designers, and backstage, most were in tears after he was told he had to go home. He teared up a bit too, but had some nice words to end his time on the show.

“I wanted to be a source of inspiration for other people who think they are at a disadvantage, and I just wanted to give them hope,” he said. “I hope I did.”

LeBlanc was born deaf and has had a cochlear implant since he was 18, and was accompanied by a sign language interpreter on the show.

Meanwhile, LeBlanc has been busy since the show was taped last summer. He’s teaching at the College of Design, and spent a weekend at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Nev., as guest of a company that makes 3-D printers. (He often sports a 3-D printed bow tie.) In November, he was a featured designer helping to open a new art venue in Denver, Colo. And we can expect to see more soon.

To find out more about LeBlanc’s inspirational story and life outside Project Runway, check out the next issue of NC State magazine next month. The magazine is a benefit of membership in the Alumni Association.

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One Response to “Project Justin: LeBlanc eliminated from Project Runway All Stars”

  1. Teresa Alvarado says:

    Justin:
    I love your courage and sensitivity. I cannot wait to see how far your talent will take you. As a fellow North Carolinian (I live in Jacksonville), I am thrilled that you teach at NC State as they have one of the best art and design departments. I hope that your students realize how fortunate they are. I envy them. I also wish that I could actually purchase more of your clothes and designs. I especially LOVE the gray shawl coat you showed in your Charlotte collection. I was devastated when you were disqualified on All Stars as I really wanted to see your collection and frankly I wanted you to win. Continue to be true to yourself and you will be more than just inspirational, but also the successful designer you deserve to be and are to many of your fans.

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