Anya Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway

Anya Ayoung-Chee
Anya Ayoung-Chee
October 28, 2011

Many Trinbagonians held their hands to their chests in anticipation of the nail-biting Project Runway finale. When Anya Ayoung-Chee, Trinidad and Tobago’s representative won, social networking sites and blogs were abuzz with praise, mostly from Trinis, for her victory. Many of them also spent time justifying her win to other commentators who felt that Anya lacked the dexterity and the know-how to win the show.

Anya entered the competition with only four months of sewing experience underneath her belt and may have been perceived by some as an underdog. However, armoured with Heidi Klum’s support, Anya’s charm, confidence and physical attractiveness seemed to spellbind the judges and competitors alike. She was, from the onset, a favourite.

To her credit, she proved herself a more than competent designer and was an apt competitor learning quickly some skills required to make it to the competition’s end.

Last night, Anya was crowned the ninth Project Runway winner, for which she will receive US$100,000 from L’Oréal Paris, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on She was also voted fan favorite via Twitter, earning a $10,000 prize. Earlier in the season, Anya won a US$20,000 cash prize from L’Oreal Paris and an “advertorial” in Marie Claire magazine in the “This if for the birds” challenge.

We commend Anya for victory and her overall conduct on the show.

The WINNING collection displayed by Anya during the season finale of Project Runway season 9.
Related news:

Beauty takes Runway prize
Anya Ayoung-Chee made it work. And won. The 29-year-old former beauty queen (Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe 2008) was crowned the ninth Project Runway champ Thursday night. Ayoung-Chee was also voted fan favorite via Twitter votes, earning a bonus $10,000 prize. (She pocketed another $20,000 earlier in the season during a challenge inspired by birds.)

Anya Ayoung-Chee Wins ‘Project Runway’ After Showing Lack of Confidence
Anya Ayoung-Chee has been named the champion of “Project Runway” season 9, beating out three other remaining contestants. The 29-year-old designer initially looked like she almost gave up her shot at winning the coveted title as she told Tim Gunn that she was not 100 percent happy with her collection.

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The best explanation why and how Anya Chee won Project Runway Season 9 is that everyone from Heidi Klum to Michael Kors has a bit of a girl crush on Anya. She’s pretty, tall, and she’s got a fancy vocab interwoven with a really cool British Island accent. And Anya likes prints.

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This jovial island girl with the very sexy Caribbean accent and tenacious spirit was exactly everything I expected. With no cameras, no editors and no commercial breaks, she was everything you saw on TV – real laid back, funny and engaging. No pretense here, just Anya, in her true form…up close and very personal.

‘Project Runway’ Winner Anya Reveals All
In a shocking turn of events, underdog Anya Ayoung Chee won Project Runway last night! The judges met Anya this season, Trindad’s former Miss Universe-turned-fledging-fashion designer, and were attracted to her aesthetic but very wary of her lack of practical skills.

Project Runway Winner Is Already Getting Calls from Celebrities
When she auditioned for Project Runway, she admitted she’d only been sewing for four months, but now Anya Ayoung-Chee is a bona-fide designer – with more than $100,000 in the bank.

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There, I said it! One of my co-workers thinks that statement might be too nice, she thinks the show was rigged. And she presented convincing evidence, more on that later.

Project Runway Winner Anya Ayoung-Chee on Good Morning America

News Update: October 29, 2011

Celebration as former Miss T&T wins ‘Project Runway’

Anya rules Project Runway
Former T&T Miss Universe representative Anya Ayoung-Chee pulled out yet another last-minute win and managed to steal both the Project Runway competition and the fan favourite competition.

‘Anya, you’re a boss!’
Pandemonium erupted on the rooftop of the Carlton Savannah Hotel in St Ann’s on Thursday night as fans, family and supporters of Project Runway finalist Anya Ayoung-Chee reacted to her victory.

Tobago designer: A victory for the Caribbean
Local designers in Tobago have given Anya Ayoung-Chee the thumbs up on her victory in Project Runway, and for her naming her winning collection Tobago Love.

Rewarding Experience
Back in April, when METRO featured Anya Ayoung Chee on the cover of Issue 5, she spoke about her renewed passion for fashion. It was around that time the young designer applied to be on design reality show Project Runway and got accepted.

Govt to transform fashion industry
Minister of Trade and Industry has announced Government’s intention to transform the fashion industry, following the recent triumph of local designer Anya Ayoung-Chee.

Anya’s win: ‘Govt may get much needed push’
Anya Ayoung-Chee’s international success on Project Runway should encourage the Government to stop the talk shops and spring into action with respect to its support of the local fashion industry.

Now to fashion a booming industry
Like the rest of the nation, we join in congratulating T&T’s former Miss Universe contestant, Anya Ayoung-Chee, who emerged as the winner of Season 9 of the hit American reality television series, Project Runway, on Thursday night.

18 thoughts on “Anya Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway”

  1. How does the saying go?
    about “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and Anya sure as hell did.

    I admire her determination to:”MAKE IT WORK”and she certainly showed “some class” even when the going got tough.

    So continue on the path of being ‘poised,cool, sober and focussed’ and you will certainly have our support here in Trinidad and Tobago. Right now you are certainly the ‘darling’ of our twin islands, so keep your head up.


  2. Congrats Anya Ayoung-Chee, you conducted yourself brilliantly on the show and although you were not my favourite, I am pleased that you have won. Hats off!

  3. I think overall that technically Viktor was the strongest designer of the four. He has good technical ability and can develop a collection of variable pieces easily, ranging from his signature jacket look, to gowns, well-crafted pants and jerseys. However, he seemed to lose his confidence after hearing he was so predictable and ‘commercial’ and tried to go more sexy-loose-edgy in the final fashion show. This reminded me a bit of Joshua really, which did not work for Viktor. Joshua is an artist in his own right and they played him up for his unpredictability, maybe a bit more than is good for his development as a designer. However, good on him for having the most ‘out there’ materials – red plastic and neon green cloth. As for Kimberly, I think her collection was not cohesive and her ‘urban look’ missed the mark in terms of richness and quality which she is known for. Maybe she was not sure if it was an urban black or urban white market she was going for. In the end Anya’s 10-piece collection was fresh and flirty. Where she was not able to sow complicated, intricate or witty designs she used her good eye for patterns to fill in what one desired in terms of variability in design styles.

  4. “British Island accent?” Is that what is spoken in Trinidad?
    Congratualtions Anya … talented and beautiful – a winning combination.

  5. Dey say ‘sex sells,’ as well as,’to each his own’,’and no one best proves that more true ,than Tiger Woods cuz , a la , ‘Sistaz Calibasian in Chief,’ Anya.
    Did we hear here say in answer to a question on her race, when still a struggling T&T Miss Universe contestant, from an Indian / Afrikan dominant country,that “Trinidad & Tobago is unique in its ethnic make-up because it is a country with people of all races. I am of mixed origin, mainly Chinese, Indian and Caucasian, and although my particular mixture is a minority, I represent the unusual combination of ethnicities that defines us as a people?”
    We luv , and forgive you guyl. Thanks for representing. Let’s just say kim kardarshian ain’t have nothing on you career wise, ennnt? $5US million ,for her sex tape , now you..? Well.. we will fill in de blanks. Drop it like you hot Anya!
    Ain’t it nice to get some new distractions from the mundane T&T issues of run away crimes ,unemployment, corruption, blatant unleveled playing field ,injustices , and racist undercurrent sentiments , which remains the norm in our nation? Her Majesty Queen K is doing her thing out their in Australia, and Sistaz Anya , back home in Zoo York USA ,her place of birth, sorry … I mean Trinidad her adopted country.

  6. Well, well, Neal did you mention ‘Racist undercurrent sentiments’?

    Man,it’s quite evident that you know of what you speak.

    Okay, so is this your way of saying:

    ‘Congratulations Anya for
    “making it work” in spite of remarks like mine?’

  7. What Anya’s Accomplishments Means for National and Regional Building
    Sankofa: miss universe 1977 a point of reference of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s global successes before 1977 and after. Today our nation celebrates again with Anya Ayoung Chee’s victory on Project Run Way. Indeed she has run away with the prize. Again our nation turns eyes. Well done Anya. Coincidentally, the mammoth task of hosting the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting was taken up by the then government. All these successes suggest that, it is high time this great Republic Trinidad and Tobago and our Caribbean region stand up in terms of our potential. What we believe, will motivate where we allocate funds in our budgets and what we offer as an educational curriculum. What we believe will also influence how parents and teachers dispense lessons in homes and schools. Mind you, this is a call for every citizen of the region not only teachers and parents.
    Is it time to be serious about regional integration? If, as individuals we can turn global heads, how much more we can accomplish as a united force. Thanks to our achievers out there in the world, those who get the spotlights and those in their behind the scene zones but making serious positive impacts, on the global map.
    Coming back to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, time for an attitude of nationalism. Time to make another global leap of success. The ethnic and class issues needs to be resolved asap. One such way is to invest not so much in school buildings but in school curriculum and teacher training. Life is more than the academic subjects; therefore schools have to also include religious, moral, and social lessons with emphasis on nation building and ethics. We need to foster national pride and grab every opportunity to celebrate such. Politicians urgently need to stop the social destruction of our nation and region by the way they play politics with racist poison and the deadly sin of greed, greed for power and wealth. Citizens need to constantly look in the mirror and strive to do the right thing. When we fall we have to get up. We also have to help each other up and continue the process to build a proud nation a proud region. Thank you Anya, beauty queens, sports achievers, academics, inventors, entrepreneurs, all of you who make our nation proud, our region proud by truly designing and modeling who we are as a nation and as a region.
    Sankofa Tuzinde 28th October 2011
    In reflective Celebration with Anya Ayoung Chee and the people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for winning Project Runway 2011

    1. Michael Francis Grandison aka Sankofa, spoken (written)like a true visionary, should the majority of us ‘like-minded thinkers’ refuse to be intimidated, our NATION can attain its full potential.

      1. joyce you’re on. we must advance as a collective force if we are to really make a global statement.

  8. I am too old to watch “Project Runway”or any other similar show, but “Good Morning America” is the show I dress to, to go to my weekly poetry group. She was on this morning- personifying all that is beautiful about Trinidad and Tobago. Her slender tall model on the show, was me, in an earlier incarnation. I cheer for TnT every chance I get, and today, I loudly cheered for Trinidad and Tobago, and the blend of cultures and races that produce our unique beauty.MAy God Bless Our NAtion.

  9. Congrats Anya,you made us EXTREMELY proud as always.
    TnT is sooooooo proud of you.
    GOD bless you always!
    We love you!

  10. I’m not a Trini gal, I’m from Belize, but I’m a huge fan of Anya. From the beginning I was cheering for her. I’m so very happy she was and inspired us all to keep pusing and great things will happend in the end. On the show, she was graceful, clam and has intregity. When she lost her money at Mood, she cried, by she came true with the winning look. She totally ROCK and a true artist in her own right. CONGRATULATIONS Anya!!! Last evening was ” Pure Madness” LOL Loves her!!!

  11. Anya, I am happy I got to witness your win. Although I left T&T at a very young age, I am always proud of the creative talent that comes from my home land. I am extremely proud of you for overcoming your adversity with so much grace. I know your family is proud of you, especially your brother Pillar who inspired you to reach for your dreams. You also demonstrated kindness, warmth and integrity to your fellow competitors. I was amazed by the correlation of the last 4 having either lost a mother or a brother giving you all wings. You are an inspiration for many who will learn from your extraordinary journey. Congratulations!

  12. PM: Anya a fine example
    Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday congratulated fashion designer Anya Ayoung-Chee for her international success saying that it was her hope that the young people of the country are inspired to follow their dreams and make them a reality.

    PM praises Anya’s special win

    Anya focusing on the work ahead
    With as much as ten inches of snow expected to blanket the city of New York by last night, Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee said she remained indoors yesterday and got “the most sleep she’s had in the last week or so”.

  13. From the first time I watch project runway featuring anya, it was awesome and I do remember her showcasing her striped designed bobi styles. Thanks God and she did win. She deserves a that!

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