Cleveland's Project Runway contestant gets second chance

6:27 AM, Jun 1, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Valerie Mayen is now competing for a spot on Project Runway Season 12. 

Mayen, a former contestant on Season 8, is up against two other designers in an online "Runway Redemption" battle. 

Fans, through online voting and tweets, will ultimately decide which contestant gets to pack their bags and go to New York where the show will be filmed over the summer.

"I really I think did the best that I could, but I think there's still a small part in me that didn't have the confidence that I have now as a designer," said Mayen referring to her past experience with the reality show.

"Coming back a second time would be really exciting for me in the sense that I know I've grown up in my own personal style, my aesthetic, and my design skills."

In preparation for the show's notoriously tough challenges, Valerie has been practicing around the clock to be able to handle whatever the judges throw her way.

"My sewing ability has definitely improved like 110 percent," said Mayen.  "Some people might argue that you're prepared for it more but I can also say that I'm afraid they might hold me to a higher standard."

With the show offering a grand prize of $100,000, Mayen says she would use the money to help others and grow her small clothing store called the YellowCake Shop in Gordon Square.

"I'd be able to give some money to a couple charities and I'd be able to put some money towards production," Mayen explained.  "I think that's something that a lot of people confuse with the fashion industry, they think it's such a shallow vein self indulgent industry...but I'm not trying to change the industry, I'm just trying to apply it in a different way for me and for Clevelanders."

YellowCake will be hosting a cash mob on Saturday to raise money for the store in Valerie's absence should she be chosen for the show.

If Valerie is not selected, all proceeds through fundraising efforts will be donated toward cancer research. "I think team Cleveland slash Valerie might have a good chance," quipped Mayen.  "If Cleveland is good at anything it's at backing their own."  

To vote for Valerie Mayen, click here or tweet #runwayvalerie.


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