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On Tuesday night season 2 of Bravo's the Fashion Show came to a close; and Racked fav Jeffrey Williams won the pot of gold! A young fashion renegade with an afro-pompadour, a tattooed chest and a penchant for floor-grazing jersey caftans, Jeffrey sent a slew of gorgeous and innovative looks down the runway (usually just before crying to himself backstage). The season finale added dimension to Master Jeffrey—we learned about the loss of his mother—one of his constant inspirations and earliest champions, and how her aesthetic helped him come out on top.
He was good enough to answer a few quick questions for us via email—read on for thoughts on his boyfriend (not really) Cesar, his plan is for all that cash, and his favorite shops—plus his general, joyful effusiveness for just about everything.
Congratulations! We've been on Team Jeffrey for quite some time. How does it feel? Any big plans for that cash?
YAY! Haha—thanks for being on my team! Wow, it’s very surreal and I'm so excited for the future and what’s to come. OMG and I have to say it’s nice to know there's big money in the bank—haha! I really want to weigh my options, save and invest in myself.
Have you kept in contact with any fellow cast members?
Yes, pretty much all of them. Cindy calls me every day, me and Cesar are still dating ? Haha, no, we’re not dating—but I'm so glad I have him as a good friend. It's great because we all really support each other.
Tell us about your personal style—your jewelry and caftans; do you make those? What inspires it all?
Yes, I usually design a lot of the clothes I wear. Most pieces I wore on the show were from my unisex line, from my previous collection (it's so much fun). I have an artist's brain so it’s like I'm constantly getting inspired by everything around me. I love researching indigenous cultures, history, traveling and so much more.
Will you be continuing on with your established contemporary, unisex vibe or do you have plans for a shift?
I'm always full of great surprises and I love healthy change. I'm going to focus on womenswear right now but I will for sure tap back in to my unisex roots one day as a totally separate line.
What did you learn from the more experienced contestants?
The best thing was everyone one was extremely talented. So it was great to be young and just absorb everything. It was everyone’s distinct signature style and flair during the competition; it was such a plus to be with established designers like Cesar ? What a wizard!
What inspires your designs? And where are you shopping these days?
As I mentioned before, I get inspired from everything around me ? It could even be a sound. I do love indigenous garbs that have been around since day one. As for shopping, I still love going to Barneys—they have everything and it is not too overwhelming to shop there, I usually stick to key pieces. I also love shopping in Milan. I used to live there and always would be at 10 Corso Como (I would like to one day have my clothing sold there). For vintage I'm in love with Elizabeth in Milan and Eleven in Soho.
Your thoughts on Isaac Mizrahi and Iman?
Mr. Darling and Ms. Power House! These two beings were a divine honor to work with. Isaac is a New York Fashion god and really knows his craft ? He is like a walking library full of knowledge and great as a mentor. I absorbed so much from him. Iman, Iman, Iman—come on who wouldn't want to be with Iman each week? Haha! She's so honest, authentic, hilarious and extremely warm-hearted. And let me tell you she really knows fashion and has even lived it for god's sake! But I will say those days being judged by them were not sweet ? A lot of long hours and they would give it to us! Their honesty really made me focus on my strengths and work on my weaknesses.
Now what? What's next? Will you be sticking around New York?
New York is home. I've been living here for almost seven years now, I love it. But I do usually travel to Italy for a few months out of the year. I've been getting some great offers and keeping my options open and even looking for investors. As for the money, it will be in the bank and saved until the right moment. I plan on keeping this momentum flowing and growing as a designer, giving women wearable clothes and making them simply feel beautiful; and I will one day have a lifestyle brand and work internationally.