This season of ‘Project Runway’ may be the lowest rated to date because of its weekly team challenge format, but there’s definitely one contestant that I’ve had my eye on since auditions. Brooklyn native Samantha Black (nicknamed Sammy B), known in the fashion world as Sammy B, has been bubbling under the radar for the last few years with her unique approach to design and construction. For me, minority contestants on the show aren’t as widely recognized as their counterparts of other races, but Samantha’s talents have been widely recognized – possibly moreso than underwhelming season 9 winner Anya Ayoung-Chee. With buzz already surrounding her Sammy B Designs throughout the industry, a look at some of her best designs to date (before and on the show) is necessary.
Before the show (Jail Stripe collection): This intricate piece features perfectly placed stripes along with a baggy bolero. While the hair and makeup plays a large role here, Sammy’s experience with prints are commendable.
Before the show (Body/swimsuit collection): Sammy’s golden bodysuit is exceptionally tailored, and has been referred to as a standout in her body/swimsuit collection. The decorative and handwork is noticed immediately and gives her model much more shine than her expensive choice of gold beading.
Before the show (Technicolor collection): Technicolor is often hard to pull off tastefully unless you’re a vintage designer living in SoHo. The Bronx native adds her own flair by incorporating colorful beads into the straps on her flirty dress.
Before the show (Urban trends collection): Out of all of Sammy’s previous works, this collection best translates her idea of ‘high fashion’. Her aesthetic bravely includes tasteful layers, unorthodox accessories, and bold colors – all meshed into perfect collaboration of design techniques.
Before the show (Vintage prints collection): My favorite of her previous works includes a vintage, pastel print on a beautifully crafted women’s suit. While the print sells most of the garment, the heart shaped back cut-out brings out her true New York style influence.
On the show (Episode 1 [‘There Is No I In Team’] – 3rd place overall): As an outfit inspired by New York construction, Samantha had no problem impressing the judges during week one.
On the show (Episode 4 [‘The Ultimate Hard and Soft Challenge’] – challenge winner): Taking materials from both a flower shop (soft) and a bargain-priced hardware store (hard), Samantha brought new definition to the pencil skirt silhouette and won her first challenge.
On the show (Episode 6 [Senior Fling] – 2nd place overall): Here, Samantha designed a trendy outfit for a senior citizen of her choice (aged 70 or over) to given them a makeover. She opts for a style similar to her own and becomes the runner-up in designer ranking.
On the show (Episode 8 [Take It All Off!] – 2nd place overall): With designing an easy-to-reveal outfit for male strippers being a first for the franchise, Samantha took it as the opportunity to design a well-polished mens ensemble. The outfit, upon trial and error, proved to be the most effective in terms of a #dramaticreveal, making both the garments and the male model’s body a hilarious highlight for judge Nina Garcia.