You haven’t seen the last of Baton Rouge designer Anthony Ryan Auld on “Project Runway.”
Look for the winner of “Project Runway All Stars II” tonight on the opening episode of season 12 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime (Cox Cable 26).
The appearance on the New York-based show is only the latest twist for Auld, an LSU graduate who took the All Stars title seven months ago.
“It’s still kind of hard to believe,” says Auld of his big win. “A lot of the really hard work started after the show.
“I’m still working on the Nine West capsule collection,” he says of the “Runway” prize. “It’s a slow process working with such a big corporation.”
Auld is also busy writing his monthly columns for Marie Claire magazine, another of the “Runway” prizes. And show sponsor Brother, in addition to awarding Auld a sewing studio and $150,000 in prize money, has produced a limited edition Anthony Ryan Brother sewing machine.
“It’s kind of funny to see your face on a sewing machine box,” says Auld with a laugh.
Things were humming along pretty well for the 30-year-old designer until April, when he found out he again had testicular cancer, a battle he fought in 2009. Auld has undergone surgery and, to play it safe, two rounds — a total of six weeks — of chemotherapy.
“A lot of guys won’t talk about this,” says Auld matter of factly. “I say I’m neutered … You wouldn’t believe the questions people ask me!”
Now sporting a bald head and an extra 20 pounds, Auld’s latest project is getting back in shape.
“Lean and mean, that’s my new motto,” he says. “I’ve never been a fan of working out. I was watching ‘Girl Code’ the other day and one of the characters, a heavyset black girl, was talking to another girl who was talking about how she got high from working out. The black girl said, ‘So, what you’re telling me is you’ve never gotten high.’ ”
To help him get fit, Auld has turned to pal Mary Katherine Rodrigue, who lost her husband to cancer and was one of the first recipients of his Roar Foundation’s grants. “She’s got me all charted and color-coded,” he says, laughing.
At his Beauregard Town studio, Auld is developing his next collection to show in New York, London, Milan, St. Louis, Tokyo and Berlin fashion weeks.
“I’ll be gone the whole month of September,” he says, “but I hope to show my collection here, maybe sometime in October.”
And his roster of high-profile clients is growing every day. He recently sent designs to LoLo Jones for appearances on the ESPYS and “Fashion Police” with Joan Rivers. Oscar-winning actress Abigail Breslin, star of “Little Miss Sunshine,” also is a huge fan of “Project Runway All Stars II” and is turning to Auld to help define her fashion look.
“She freaked out when she met me,” says Auld, who sent her the requested look books. Breslin also turned Elle Fanning, another fan of the show, onto the designer.
Locally, Auld’s legions of fans will be able to get an up-close look at his creations in January at an exhibit at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, where 40 to 50 of his garments will be on display and, if things go as he hopes, some of his “Project Runway” alumni will also be featured.