Liris Crosse, the Randallstown native who made history this season of Project Runway by being one of the first plus-sized models to compete on the show, has won the modelling portion of the competition.
Crosse, who was a fan- and judge-favourite with her strong runway walk and bold personality, was awarded the distinction along with Jazzmine Carthon, another model, during the reunion show.
As a result of her win, Crosse will appear in an upcoming fashion spread on the digital edition of Marie Claire.
Crosse previously broke down barriers for the show walking in the finale in 2015, when Ashley Nell Tipton, a designer who specialised in plus-sized fashion, won the competition.
But this season was the first that Project Runway added an array of models of all body types, ranging from size 0 to 22, throughout the season. Crosse, who is 180cm, is a size 14.
“I feel on top of the world,” said Crosse shortly after the results were revealed.
“It’s a win for a girl from Baltimore who had a dream and stuck to it. I can’t wait to bring these hips and lips to the pages of Marie Claire for a major model diversity moment. I’m going to put my all into that shoot when it’s time!”
Crosse, who has been dubbed “the Naomi Campbell of plus-sized modelling” wrote that she was “so proud to represent plus-sized women and women of colour everywhere.”
“I’m a big believer that representation matters,” she added.
“A lot of times we don’t see plus models in editorial spreads and even less of black plus models when the opportunity is given. I’m going to continue to show the world how beautiful it is to include both in fashion.”
This has been a busy year for Crosse, who also appeared on The Steve Harvey Show in May to talk about her model boot camp programme, which teaches self-esteem and industry tips to aspiring models. She also received the Model of the Year Award at Full Figured Fashion Week 2017 held in June in New York.
But Project Runway was her most notable moment – making her a recognisable face among fans of the Emmy-winning fashion design reality show, hosted by Heidi Klum. (Kentaro Kameyama was the Season 16 winner for the design portion of the competition.)
“I thought the design competition was so interesting because they were also different,” said Crosse.
“Everyone could find a designer that they gravitated to. They all were challenged with including plus size in their collections, too.
“I’m glad that Project Runway stuck to the theme of change and diversity. I pray that more of them will adapt to more sizes outside of the competition now.” – The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service