With consistency, creativity and skill, Toronto designer Sunny Fong followed his instincts to emerge victorious on last night’s Project Runway Canada finale.
Fong’s win came as little surprise to viewers or his competitors as the 32-year-old designer had racked up the most challenge wins and garnered frequent praise from the judges throughout the competition.
Despite his talent, Fong says he struggled early on to find confidence in his work.
“My biggest challenge initially was believing in what I did. I had to get over that first, after that I learned to trust my own instincts,” Fong said.
In the early stages of the competition, Fong figured he would stick to simple designs to stay under the radar as much as possible, but quickly shifted his strategy when he realized the judges meant business.
“I went in thinking I’m going to do my best but be very safe. A few episodes in, I realized safe wasn’t going to be good enough,” Fong said.
While the time constraints to produce garments on the show were extreme, Fong says he thinks the challenge really brought the best out of designers.
“Working under pressure is sort of my thing. The whole rushed, mad dash to get everything done is always the case with fashion. I think it really shows who is confident and ready to win,” Fong said.
Fong started his own clothing line, named Vawk, in 2003 but closed it after just two years because he ran out of money. Before winning he had said if he didn’t win he would probably give up on fashion forever.
Now with his win of $100,000 and a retail mentorship at Winners, Fong hopes to use all the experience he has gained from Project Runway Canada to restart his brand and keep it afloat this time around.
“I’m hoping to get my line really stable and make sure it doesn’t shut down again. I don’t want to rush it,” he said.
He has no secrets as to how he finds inspiration, although he says he gets plenty of ideas from hanging around the house.
“I get inspired from the things I see. Home decorating and interior design really inspires me because it’s a lifestyle,” Fong said.
During the competition, Fong had said the one thing he hoped for more than winning was to hear his mother say she was proud of him. He got his wish just before his final collection got revealed at Toronto’s LG Fashion Week.
“She told me that before I even won. It was a great feeling,” he said.
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