Season 18 of Bravo's fashion competition "Project Runway" boasts a cast of contestants with a diverse range of backgrounds and talents -- among them a 33-year-old from Hillside who was inspired by his grandmother to pursue a career in fashion.
Shavi Lewis, one of 16 contestants this season, grew up in a creative family that included a mom with theater training and a musician father. But when his grandmother made a sequined jacket for him when he was seven -- he'd wanted it for a choir concert -- Lewis discovered his career.
Creating his own clothes from a young age, Lewis took classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York while still a high school student and later attended Clark Atlanta University. For the last five years Lewis has had his own brand and his creations have appeared on the red carpet at the Emmys. He also works as creative director for an Italian menswear company.
The guest judges this season includes Laverne Cox, Kiernan Shipka, Rachel Brosnahan, Leslie Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Lindsey Vonn, Thom Browne, Ashley Longshore, Marni Senofonte, among several others.
The new season premieres Thursday on Bravo.
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