Project Runway’s latest winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee…

Photographs of Project Runway’s latest winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee…

Anya Ayoung-Chee
Anya and Varun...
Anya in my living room...
Anya and Ataklan at Redbones, Kingston. Notice the neckpiece by Kristy...
Anya had fans long before Project Runway...here she is posing with one...
Flavour of the month?
Party, my place...
and you can hardly see her in this hat at the launch of ARC magazine at Alice Yard

So since she’s the flavour of the month and since i have some photos of her I thought I might as well post some images of Anya Ayoung-Chee, the designer from Trinidad and Tobago who just won the 9th season of American reality television series, Project_Runway. It was Ataklan (“…one of the best lyricists, songwriters and freestylers not only of his generation but in all of Trinidad at present”) who introduced me to her some time back in Trinidad when she was just emerging from the ignominy of having had private, personal video footage broadcast to all and sundry by unscrupulous folk of the worst kind. I was struck by her looks of course and her flagrantly innovative personal style but complementing these was her personality, the warm intelligence of someone totally comfortable in her skin.

The nation of Trinidad and Tobago watched with bated breath last Thursday as Ayoung-Chee negotiated the final round of Project Runway and against all odds won. She had already won several challenges earlier in the season as well as the US$10,000 fan favourite prize so there’s really not much basis for the numerous people complaining on Twitter and Facebook that Project Runway had become Project Anya or that Anya had ‘stolen’ the show from Viktor or Joshua. Their clothes were more conventional, predictable and tame compared to Anya’s collection which boldly retrieved the tropical from cold storage. Judge for yourselves…


Finally Anya is going to put the $10,000 she won to good use. As she said in an interview on the Project Runway Blog:

“I decided to use the money to set up a microfinance loan program for young creatives in Trinidad and Tobago. I’d like the fund to grow to be across the Caribbean. I grew up in a way that really didn’t encourage creative careers as a viable way of making a living. I grew up thinking I should become a doctor, or something more “conventional.” I’m very lucky to have parents who supported my real desire to become a designer, but a lot of young people grow up thinking that they can’t do a creative job for a “real” living. So I want to bridge the gap between the people who want to do something in a creative field and provide a way for people to make a viable career.”

More power to her! Let one of her tweets be the last words here…

@AnyadeRogueAnya Ayoung-Chee

 Thank you all the people I have not yet mentioned! Your dedication to the future of young Caribbean creatives will not be in vain!!

Author: Annie Paul

writer, editor and avid tweeter anniepaulose@gmail.com

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