'Project Runway' second-place finisher might finally be over losing

SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want to know who placed second in last night’s Project Runway, don’t click here!project-runway-emilioImage Credit: Lifetime TelevisionNo one was more surprised that Emilio Sosa didn’t win last night’s Project Runway season finale than Emilio Sosa. In fact, he could barely hide his disbelief at the reunion. Has he gotten over it since then? Calling in from a Shakespeare festival in Oregon, Sosa seems to be in a better space, though he can’t help himself from taking Nina to task on “collection” versus “line.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Emilio, it seemed like you were really shocked that you didn’t win.
: There was a lot of emotion going into that final judgment. All through the entire competition I had kept my emotions in check. I always wanted to make sure it was about the garment and not about whether anyone liked me or not. During the last judging it was all emotion. It was the emotion of my parents, the struggles of what they went through to get to the U.S., showing at Bryant Park, which was a dream I’d had since I was 14. I just wanted Heidi to announce who won at that point so we could move forward. Yes, of course I was disappointed. But we were up there for hours and hours. They just really kept me going and going and going until the end.

Let’s talk about your collection. Was it “Color Me Bad” with one or two D’s?
Just one.

The judges seemed to have a problem with all the tailoring. Do you regret doing so many jackets?
Not really. On one hand I wanted to win the competition. On the other hand, we were in Bryant Park. It wasn’t just for the audience who watches the show. I wanted to show more of a versatility. In the show, I did very well with the evening wear and the red carpet gowns. I hadn’t done pants and jackets in the competition and I wanted the world to see that I’m not just a dressmaker. I can design a woman’s wardrobe that takes her from day into evening.

Did you accept Nina’s explanation for your loss that you designed a “line” and not a “collection.”
Here’s the thing. If you go back to when Heidi first gave us the challenge, it was, “You’re going to design a line for Bryant Park.” I didn’t bring that up during the reunion because I didn’t want to get into a war of semantics at the show.

People seemed to really adore that final gold dress. Any stylists calling to borrow that for a client?
Yeah, people responded to my evening wear all season. My va-va-voom red carpet looks. No one has called about wanting to wear it yet, but hopefully.

You were quite a polarizing contestant. Did you think you’d be a fan favorite or did you know your comments would bring out some haters?
I never really watched a lot of the show. I have a thing about not watching myself on screen and I don’t really read a lot of the blogs but my brothers do. Either people loved me or hated me. Those who hated me really hated me.

Do you think it’s because you seemed to dismiss Tim Gunn quite a bit?
My interactions with Tim were left on the show. It was like two strong alpha males with very strong opinions. We didn’t agree on everything, but that didn’t mean I didn’t respect his opinion or his right to express his opinion. It’s like boxers — you spar in the ring and then you go out for a beer.

So have you gone out for a beer with Tim?

You still looked pretty upset about losing during the reunion show. How soon after the finale did you tape that?
It was the following day. I was still emotionally raw. I was like, Whoa. This is too soon to ask me all of this. And then everyone was coming after me. But it was what it was. When I went into this competition, my goal was to win as many individual competitions as possible. And I did that.

You definitely got criticism for talking trash about a lot of your fellow contestants.
In hindsight looking back, maybe I wasn’t the friendliest of guys. But the schedule is so hard and there’s so much you’re dealing with that you really have to focus. I focused on whatever challenge it was. We were all here to win. Some people just hide it differently. But I live in the South Bronx. I say what I’m thinking.

Let’s talk about the bikini, or as Tim Gunn called it at the reunion, “the silly string bikini.”
I know! And then Holly was there too! I said to myself, there’s no way I’m going to stand in front of these judges and buckle. If they see any sign of weakness I’m gone. I was hanging on — no pun intended — by a string. But I went to George, the hair guy and I said, “I want every piece of blond extension in this room.” And at makeup, I said “I want Barbarella.” We were all going to go over the cliff together. I fully committed to it. And I have to say it was pretty hot and it looked great. Some people said my finale dress was the best of the season and this was the worst. So I have the polar opposites.

It looked like you and Seth Aaron became pretty close during the season. Was it easier losing to your friend?
Seth Aaron is a brilliant designer. If I look back and think who am I going to be friends with it’s definitely Seth Aaron, Mila, Anthony, Jay, Jonathan. Those are the people I really bonded with. Seth Aaron and I made a deal that whoever wins would buy the other one dinner.

I hope you’re making him take you somewhere really nice.
We’re going to go to Sylvia’s.

Once you’re back in New York, are you getting right to work on designing a collection?
In an ideal world, I would love to have a line on HSN or QVC for the masses and then a really high-end evening or bridal line at Bergdorf’s and a moderate bridge line for Macy’s and Saks. I want to dress people. My goal is to have people riding the subway with me wearing my clothing.

Well, you’ve certainly got a plan.
And after that, world domination.

Comments (137 total) Add your comment
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  • wtffnyc

    I didn’t really like Emilio much on the show, and his clothes were hit-or-miss for me, but I actually like him in this interview. Plus, Anthony clearly likes him, and that goes a LONG way! :) Good luck with world domination, E.Sosa!

    • fannie garrett

      i still think emilio had a goog showing and as to people making nasty comments no body made more nasty comments than your third place winner but you looked right over that why? i want to know how to get a hold of emilio how do i contact him

      • Michael

        I agree. Mila was a bitch.

      • john james

        Go to the South Bronx and stand on a street corner wearing nothing but an ESOSA sandwich sign and then don’t worry about it…he’ll find you!

    • John

      I agree, I really hated him on the show, but he comes across great here. He seems like a nice guy actually.

    • emouse2009

      I liked Emilio and made room for his eccentric personality. He pushed himself hard and expected a lot of others. That is typical of perfectionists who are a little melancholy. He is smart and ambitious. And besides. Anthony loves him and I love Anthony. So, there ya go. And I think his work was stunning.

      • sph


    • dawn

      World domination?!!!! You wish Esosa… Your designs are boring, old, not stylish or sophisticated. I’d rather wear Ping’s than yours…

      • einnomc

        Do not be a hater, hater. So Emilo did not win, that does not say his collection, (sorry) his line was not wonderful, because they were.

    • Threatdown

      Yeah, but considering what a jerk Anthony has been showing himself to be lately, in that NY Post interview and on the reunion show, this doesn’t mean as much as it used to, to me.

  • DW

    I’m pretty sure no one who watched the show actually loves Emilio, so I don’t think he’s very polarizing. That ego is so huge that it’s quite easy to loathe!

    • Tea

      Fri 04/23/10 4:24 PM

      I’m pretty sure no one who watched the show actually loves Emilio, so I don’t think he’s very polarizing. That ego is so huge that it’s quite easy to loathe!”

      Well hate to tell you this DW, I loved both Emilio and Seth, I need to get a hold of them both to get a few things made I need for large events. So please don’t presume to speak for us all. That is very condescending, don’t you think.

      • Jenn

        I watched the show and thought ESOSA was the best. I knew he wouldn’t win because they always like the rockers. I liked SA but thought Emilio’s work was amazing. Id wear any of it any time.

    • Brenda Barrett

      Agreed I won’t be wearing any E. Thotha designs.

      • Brad

        HAHAHA…His lisp drove me INSANE the whole season. But thats not the only reason I didn’t like it. I found his final collection to be a bore.

      • Sue

        Brenda, grow up! It’s really quite rude (and says a lot about you) to make fun of someone’s physical imperfections. Shame on you!

    • einnomc

      hello I watch the show, and I love Emilo’s work so I just shoot your theory .

    • Mary

      I liked Emilio as well. I still like him! I think a lot of people who read message boards act like sheep and just go along with what everyone else is saying. Not me: love you, Emilio. You are a brilliant designer, and you have a great future ahead of you!!

      • chrisp cunningham

        1 emilio is more than competent and probably cool dude who thought that being a laid back type wouldn’t seem interesting on tv. snarky, behind the scenes comments aside, he was really about the work, which was more often than not, on trend, well executed, and more than mindful of the requirements of each individual challenge. He is the type of designer, that with proper management and focus, doesn’t need to win, to really win. Example- santino and austin on lifetime. Kudos and good luck.

    • OopsyDaisy

      Sorry to disappoint you. I love ESOSA’s “line” at the Bryant Park. His abrasiveness didn’t really bother me. It’s funny how I always preferred SA, Mila and Jay over ESOSA in individual challenges, but end up really loving ESOSA at the finale.

  • Eshia

    I loved Emilio and Seth Aaron since the beginning. I was rooting for them both, so I was really happy that they were the top designers. I really think that Emilio will do very well in the future. He has “it”.

    • marthetta

      Very well said.

  • AAC

    I actually respected E. Sosa on the show. His clothing was actually something I would not mind trying on if I walked into a department store. His personality was real, in all actuality none of those contestants went in to make friends, they went in to focus and win, and to be honest who doesnt want to win. The final two were the best contestants and the best man won. I wish both of them luck and hope to see the clothes all over the place soon.

    • einnomc

      Thats what I am saying…

  • Dee

    I know that the show likes to add twists and turns to keep viewers tuned in, but for the life of me, I do not understand why Emilio was not the winner. His collection and his season performances were by far superior to the other designers’ work. Emilio should have been the winner, with Mila coming in second and Seth, third.

    • Dan

      I think it was his color choices that did him any. Many of the colors weren’t pleasing and they didn’t always go together. Worst of all was the Exorcist Green. Also SA’s outfits told a story. Each outfit related to the 1 before it and the 1 after and when they were all on the runway you could really see the progressioin. Heidi, Nina and Michael in every season have loved when a designer does that for Bryant Park. I think that Emilio is talented but he dropped the ball on this one.

      • Dan

        Sorry, meant to say “did him in”.

      • joyce

        I think you are right about Emillo. He dropped the ball and lost all focus. Why on earth he decided to change from formal to office and after dinner wear one will never know.

        His red carpet designs got him to the finals and for the main event, he dicide to go from formal to jackets and skirts. Tim tried to warn him but Emillo argued with him and would not listen.

        Seth accepted Tim’s advice, remade all his designs and won the competition. Emillo had it in the bag and has no one to blame but himself. He should have continued with the designs that got him to the finals in the first place. I knew the moment his line walked the runway, he had blown it. I really feel sorry for his lost, but he simply blew it for himself.

      • D

        @Joyce-You are absolutely correct. He did some impeccable gowns during the season, why mess with what is working for you? He should have done a couple more gowns and found some way to RELATE those to the separates. That would have been a collection.

  • asia32

    If Macy’s sold his clothes, I’d shop at Macy”s.

    • residentplanningeek

      Damn straight! Make them in a size 14 tall and you’ve got a customer for life esosa! Please create a blog and website so I can follow your progress and know when and where to buy your new line of clothes!

  • JR

    I wished Emilio had presented a range at Bryant Park, instead of concentrating on what he didn’t show us during the rest of the season. He would have won.

    My grandparents were immigrants, and so I know a bit of what he’s talking about there.

    I liked him and think he was one of the more interesting and thoughtful people on the show.

    Oh, and I would love to wear that turquoise coat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • joyce

      I was Emillo’s biggest fan through-out the entire competition but the moment I say his disigns on the runway, I knew he had lost it.

      You are right he should have presented a range and mixed his beautiful formal designs with the Macy’s selection. By doing this, I’m pretty sure he would have won. He lost focus and lost the competion.

    • D

      The turquoise coat was my favorite piece of his and I would wear it too. The only other thing I liked in the whole collection was the gown. That gown was kickass.

      • joyce

        I don’t know what he could have been thinking by having only one gown in his selections. I felt so bad for him. How could he possibly think only one gown on the runway would have done the trick, when after all it was his knockout gowns that got him to the runway. All I can say is,,,,? ? ? ? ?

  • dave

    i know a lot of talented people who don’t find the need to be this arrogant. he underestimated seth aaron by way of inflating his own ego, and he paid the price for it.

    • einnomc

      You have it all wrong…hindsight put everthing in perspective, however, if you watched the show all season, you would have recalled several times when Emilo went aganist the advice that was given and won, now what are you going to say about that.

      • joyce

        Yep,,,,, you are right !!

  • MadRosey

    Emilio, I loved your clothes this season. You have an amazing talent and I am glad that your personality is strong enough to defend your work and not be bowed by critique or criticism. I did not pay much attention to the personality “stuff” that so many people love to analyze: first of all, this is a reality show, so I am never sure if what I hear is scripted or edited. Secondly, viewers see you designer during periods of intense pressure, so it seems unfair to judge solely by what we see on-screen. Hold your head high; you may not have won, but the world saw your skills, talent and drive and you will not be forgotten. Best wishes to you.

    • D

      Tim Gunn said that they cut out a lot of Emilio’s nastiness, if you care about reality.

  • weemz

    I found his prints very tacky and not innovative at all. I’m glad SA won.

  • sph

    Say what you want Emilo should have won last night – Seth’s clothes are not wearable. I am also tired of the fact that there are NEVER any BLACK judges. Level the Playing Field. I’d purchase Emilo clothes in a heartbeat

    • jd

      Well Michael is often orange. :)

    • K W

      You are bigoted. Minorities are well represented. And the only bigotry I ever saw on the show came from a black woman designer. She only dealt in african designs … and she was the only one who ever demanded a walk-off by the models … so she could switch from a white model to a black one.
      All this bigotry comes from the black community.
      It is impossible for blacks to be over-represented in every field, like blacks want.

      • Nikki

        Wow. Came back from your KKK meeting all fired up didn’t ya?

      • haha u idiot

        “All this bigotry comes from the black community.”

        Oh that’s funny.

    • D

      Bryant Park shows are not about wearability. If that were the case, Mila should have won. The shows are about high fashion; it gets toned down before it goes to the stores.

    • la

      i can’t believe you wrote ‘there are never any black judges’ omg, what century do you come from????

      • Lethe

        Do you have to be from a particular century to point out an objective, verifiable fact? WERE there any judges of color? I’m just sayin…

  • Cathy

    Seth Aaron rocked Bryant Park and deserved to win.
    Emilio is very talented, though, as is Mila.
    They all should have clothing lines – no problem with any of the 3 getting a client base and buyers for their lines.

    • llevinso

      I agree with you. Unfortunately I hated Emilio’s line last night. He’s capable of much better things. SA’s collection was amazing though and Mila’s was a pleasant surprise (where was that talent all season?). I think they all could have bright futures.

      • gfsdg

        mila a pleasant surprise? Puh-lease!

      • D

        I was liking Mila’s stuff for most of the season so I was not surprised at all.

  • Claire S. Moen

    This individual is a good designer only in HIS mind. Many people do and are working hard. His clothes have little appeal, really. The so-called E-sosa brand, is just that. It belongs on cattle. His ability to articulate or lack of ability, needs work. His narcissism really is a turn-off.

    • D

      I don’t think it is a lack of ability to articulate. It is an arrogance where he is thinking to himself I shouldn’t have to explain this to people because they should already know enough to appreciate my greatness. You are correct on the narcissism point.

  • Diane

    I like Emilo’s clothing but not the way they edited him. I wonder how much his competetive personality affected his standing

    • D

      They did him MANY favors in the editing. It was a good edit, according to Tim Gunn.

  • minnie swirl

    Emilio was REALLY unlikable for me during the finale but he seems okay in this interview. I just don’t like the way he acts like he is the only designer to ever design clothes. He is talented but so are so many other people. I didn’t like his smugness.

    • einnomc

      What is this??? a Personality

    • D

      This interview went well for him.

      • la

        i always thought emilio was the strongest contender and althought he is not an endearing person, i find him quite likable. i was surprised by his final showing as it didn’t wow me as i expected, however, it was a contest and now it’s over. good job to all.

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