Analysis Of Jay Mccarroll's Project Runway

Topics: Family, Marketing, Harry Potter, Fashion, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows / Pages: 4 (764 words) / Published: Jul 16th, 2016
Jay McCarroll, baby-faced and hoodie-clad, works in the sort of space you’d expect from a fellow who dreams in fabric. It’s outfitted with four sewing machines and oceans of material arranged in brilliant spectral sequence; his spring 2007 collection hangs on a rack in the corner, anchored by a quilt skirt so audaciously outsize it could easily double as a bedspread. But bedding itself is missing from this studio, as is a kitchen and a shower, which matters more in this case than it ordinarily would: Though he’s the first- season winner of Project Runway, Jay, 32, is still homeless in New York.

“I haven’t been living anywhere for two years,” he says. “I sleep at other people’s houses. I sleep here if I’m drunk.”

Jay was one of the Bravo
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One would assume he’d be a money magnet after his star turn. Certainly Jay assumed as much. “You don’t think I took the fucking bus to New York the day after I won the show, thinking someone was going to come up to me on the street and say, You’re awesome, here’s money?” he asks. “I thought that for two years. But I’ve given up on that.”

Had Bravo not invented Project Runway, Jay would probably still be back in Lehman, Pennsylvania, where he ran a vintage-clothing store (before that, he was producing online porn). But because of the show, Bravo and Bravo watchers expected quite a bit more from him. Project Runway wasn’t some competition gimmick like Fear Factor or The Amazing Race, where the contestants’ skills only served the needs of the show. Jay’s talents were practical and real, and Bravo gave him a platform to showcase them. If he couldn’t succeed in the aftermath, why were we watching? Of what use was the show?

That’s pretty much how Jay saw it, too. He’d worked for five straight months, with zero pay and little sleep, to appear on Project Runway and create a collection for Bryant Park. Audiences adored him. The show owed much of its success, let’s face it, to him. So what did Jay get out of
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Business did not. On the show, Jay was wicked and entertaining and cheerfully provocative, but he hardly had the means, savvy, or professional temperament to navigate the New York fashion world. (His first voice-mail message to me, ever: Hey Jen, this is Jay McCarroll … Um, I am free tonight and all day tomorrow to do this bullshit. Fucking call me, would you?) “A week after I won the show, I met with two ladies from Banana Republic at the top of the Soho House, which is like, big time,” he says. “And they were like, ‘Oh, we can give you numbers for factories to get your clothes produced.’ But that was totally not anything like what I needed. What I needed was someone to sit down with me and say, Here’s how you start a fashion

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