Terri Stevens, best known for her fresh-to-death fashion sense and rockstar personality on the hit reality-tv show Project Runway has been announced as Hair & Fashion Week’s Fashion Director.
Terri grew up in Chicago, and considers that city one of her influences. “Growing up in Chicago,” she has said, “I hung out with all walks of life and loved how everyone had their own unique style…I have incorporated all of that into my designs.”
She attended Columbia College in Chicago, pursuing a degree in fashion design and merchandising. While at the school, she organized fashion shows, worked at a fabric store and met designer Barbara Bates. Terri started working for Bates, moving up to an assistant designer role. Terri’s also worked for major fashion powerhouses like Nordstrom and Levi’s.
Although this experience in the world of more commercial fashion has probably helped build Terri’s classic American aesthetic, as we saw in the drag challenge (which many viewers felt she should have won), Terri also clearly has access to a less conventional visual vocabulary, and music appears to be just as much of an influence on her as fashion.
“I am rock and roll,” she had said of her style, “…if you’d throw Mick Jagger, Aerosmith, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, and Madonna all up in there, funking and break-dancing.”
Michael Jackson, in fact, appears to be a major influence, and Terri actually has been a Michael Jackson impersonator. She named her higher-end line “Michael Joseph” after Jackson, and points out how he’s had an impact on the world of fashion as well as music and dance.
“I do think Michael Jackson has started a lot of trends that people don’t give him credit for,” she says, “like the Thriller and Beat It jackets, the military gear he rocks, and his cropped pants with dress socks.”
She is also a big lover of house music and gets inspired by the creativity of fellow club-goers, and says “sub cultures are amazing sources of inspiration” for her.