Project Runway's Kenley Collins: "Jail Inspired Me"

08/28/2009 at 02:48 PM ET

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Kenley Collins first gained notoriety with her ’40s-inspired fashion and fiery attitude during Project Runway‘s fifth season. The designer, who was the second-runner-up, hasn’t had the easiest time breaking into the fashion world. In an interview with the The Daily Beast, Kenley recounts facing accusations she copied designs, a stint in jail and what’s next for her. “I never ripped off any designs–I mean, we weren’t even allowed outside resources,” Kenley defends herself. “When I was off [the show] I looked at the Alexander McQueen dress they told me I knocked off and was like, ‘Ugh! Why’d you have to make that dress McQueen?!’ But honestly? I’d never even seen it.” Then in March 2008, the budding designer landed in jail for two days after allegedly assaulting her fiance by throwing things at him — including a cat and a laptop. But, Kenley made the best of her situation. “Jail inspired me!” she says. “It made me appreciate freedom. As soon as I got out I made a kick-ass line and did a photo shoot with 10 of my pieces.” Now, Kenley is scheduled to show at Spring 2010 Fashion Week with a 15-piece recession-friendly collection designed to flatter a range of body types. “The entire collection is silk, but I wanted to make it affordable, you know — for the recession and all, “says Kenley, whose line was inspired by Amelia Earhart. And that’s not all, the designer has also been filming a reality show that focuses on her design line, so don’t expect any outside drama. The show has yet to find a home, but we will definitely be tuning in. To hear more of what Kenley has to say and to take a peek at her designs, visit You can also shop her designs at

FILED UNDER: Project Runway
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Showing 40 comments

LBW on

She wears leaves in her hair…that’s not pretty.

Meg on

There are so many typos in this story…

Louise on

Kenley was cuckoo, but she made Runway so fun to watch…. and her clothes (aside from the mermaid dress) were my favorites.

HTH on

What a joke!! Did anyone check out the prices on her line? 54 dollars for a headband. Hilarious.

KC on

If Kenley wants to be taken seriously she needs to stop acting likes a spoiled child. Some anger management classes couldn’t hurt. Who throws things at someone??? I do not believe that she does not look at well known designers work. How could someone trying to make it in the business not!

kim on

This chick is a psycho!

Anna on

Her voice is just as annoying as the clothes she designs.

Jenny on

Even if I thought she had the best designs in the world, there is no way I would buy her clothes. She’s just far too obnoxious for me to ever want to support her. What a psycho – I feel bad for her cat.

cheyenne on

she’s a yo-yo

Melissa on

I would never buy anything from someone who would harm an animal.

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