Behind the scenes with the models of Project Runway New Zealand

Project Runway NZ Model Interviews

Project Runway New Zealand model Christina Zingel. Image by Tom Hollow.

Project Runway New Zealand has captured the imaginations of New Zealand over the past 12 weeks with the 14 talented designers sending creative designs down the runway each week. Those designs have been modeled by the beautiful models from local modeling agency Red 11 with the models enjoying their own spin-off show Models of Project Runway NZ available on TVNZ OnDemand. The long days of filming and pressure of doing a television show bonded the models and designers and it was up to the models to present each designer’s vision on the runway each week.

To find out more about what the experience was like for them and which designers they loved working with we caught up with models Christina Zingel, Gracie Lambert, Rael Wright and Tia Harris.

Christina Zingel

How would you describe your Project Runway NZ experience in five words?
An experience I’ll treasure forever.

What was runway day and judging like for you?
Runway day had me filled with excitement and anticipation. It was a chance to showcase my designer’s garments to the judges and bring their vision to life in front of the camera.

Predicting what the judges would think was extremely difficult. The models and I struggled to determine which designer would have the winning look each week. Judging was an emotional roller coaster! The models became close with the designers on the show which always made it difficult to hear the criticism from the judges.

Which designer did you work with most and what was your working relationship like?
Kerry Ranginui was the star of the show in my eyes! I was lucky enough to be his model for multiple challenges and because of this I got to witness how much of his heart and soul he puts into all of his work. We became very close and still are after the season wrapped!

My favourite moment when filming the show was when the designers had to incorporate the model’s input into their garments. It was really interesting to see what everyone came up with and watch it come down the runway.

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
Seeing myself on TV has been surreal. Having actually filmed the show for three months and then suddenly be sitting at home watching it all on screen is crazy. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to show more of my personality in interviews, give viewers a chance to really get to know me.

What is next for you?
Next I will be travelling to Greece and the rest of Europe. I aim to continue working, pursuing modelling and the performing arts in 2019.

Project Runway NZ Model Interviews

Model Gracie Lambert.

Gracie Lambert

How would you describe your Project Runway NZ experience in five words?
It was cool and fun (haha such a hard question).

What was runway day and judging like for you?
Runway day was super fun because I felt like a million dollars in any of Benjamin’s designs and I was really excited for the judges to see them!

Which designer did you work with most and what was your working relationship like?
I worked with Benjamin the most! I’m so stoked we got parked together in the first episode because we hit it off straight away! Even though he still would have won without me I still like to think I had a little bit of input into his designs hehe.

What has it been like seeing yourself on television and is there anything you would do differently after watching the show?
It’s been so weird seeing myself on TV but also cool at the same time. I don’t think there’s anything I’d do differently. It was pretty funny to watch the Models of Project Runway and see that my critiques are basically the same as the judges so I don’t feel too bad about being ruthless behind the scenes hahaha.

What is next for you?
Just want to keep modelling and working in the fashion industry as much as I can because I love it!

Project Runway NZ Model Interviews

Model Rael Wright

Rael Wright

How would you describe your Project Runway NZ experience in five words?
Fun, new, creative, crazy, exciting.

What was runway day and judging like for you?
The first one was very exciting and surreal as we had no idea what to expect! I really loved walking the runway and it was always so interesting to hear what the judges had to say about the final looks.

Which designer did you work with most and what was your working relationship like?
The first few episodes I worked with the lovely Beau. We had a really good relationship from the get go! He had me in mind when creating the looks and always made me feel so comfortable. We are both really positive and calm people so we had a really easy going working relationship.

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
Besides sushi catering it would probably be filming some of the behinds the scenes stuff for the spin off web series; Models of the Runway. It was just the best working with all my good friends and we had some many laughs throughout filming!

What has it been like seeing yourself on television and is there anything you would do differently after watching the show?
It has been so weird! I’ve received so much support and positive feedback. I feel really happy with the over all outcome I don’t think I would do much else.

What is next for you?
Hopefully international modelling in the new year!

Project Runway NZ Model Interviews

Model Tia Harris.

Tia Harris

How would you describe your Project Runway NZ experience in five words?
Friends! Fun, educational, new and creative.

What was runway day and judging like for you?
A lot of the days were very long. We would shoot the fittings on a different day to the runways obviously so that was good because we only needed to be at the workroom for a couple of hours on fitting days. However on runway days, we had to get makeup and hair done, do our final fittings and then get moved from workroom to the place they actually filmed the runway so that took up time. On top of that, they had to get lots of shots and lots of camera angles so by the end of the long filming days everyone was quite tired. Although the days were long, all the other models are my friends and the crew members got along with us pretty well so it was really fun to be surrounded by cool people every day.

Which designer did you work with most and what was your working relationship like?
I don’t think I worked with one designer more than others because I was chucked around a lot between them haha. I liked that though, because it meant I was able to get a chance to work with a lot of them. I got along with all of the designers I walked for, but I got along with Kerry and Judy very well! I walked for Judy twice and I walked for Kerry once in the final.

What was your favourite moment from the filming of the show?
My favourite moment, I’m not gonna lie, was our lunch break. Not only because food (yum) but mainly because we could all sit around talking and have a laugh. Also, one of our agents Jo would usually come in on our lunch break and check up on us and we all love her so that was fun! Other than that though, actually being on the runway is always a good time, it’s fun being able to rock an outfit as well as you can.

What has it been like seeing yourself on television and is there anything you would do differently after watching the show?
I thought it would be weird seeing myself on tv but for me its really not! I think its just because you can literally post yourself everywhere (like on social media) these days. For example I have a YouTube channel, so it was almost just like watching my YouTube videos but instead of me blabbing to the camera about skincare products, I was modelling some awesome and talented people’s clothes and anyone watching TV2 could see me hahaha.

What is next for you?
I love modelling, so I am hoping to just keep working on it and see where it takes me. I really enjoy making YouTube videos too, but currently that’s just a hobby. It would be cool if that went somewhere as well! I guess I just have to keep going with both of them and see what happens the harder I work!

Images by Tom Hollow.

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