Project Runway wrapped up season fourteen on Nov. 5, crowning Ashley Nell Tipton the winner of nearly $300,000 worth of prizes. Tipton’s final runway show was inspired by Mexico City in the 1950s, full of hand-dyed pastels, floral crowns, and lace. The major factor separating Tipton from her competition was that her collection was entirely plus-size, the first of its kind on Project Runway.
Tipton’s career on Project Runway found her on the top and bottom, judge’s score-wise. She began the season by making a name for herself, winning two of the first three challenges. However, in the recent weeks leading up to the finale, Tipton lingered at the bottom, with designer Kelly Dempsey leading the pack. This led many people to believe that Dempsey was the obvious winner, causing an uproar on social media. Critics of Tipton’s collection claim the sole reason she won was due to her entire collection being plus-sized. In response to these sizeist critics, Tipton has stated, “My collection was cohesive. My collection was wearable. My collection can also go for straight-sized women. I’m a talented designer and that is why I won.”
Tipton's goal for the future of her brand is “to be in reach for every plus-size woman out there. Sky’s the limit.” Tipton has a unique take on plus-size fashion, with bold, bright, and daring designs and colors. “I love color and I’m very inspired by curvy women and helping them feel good in their clothes,” explains Tipton. “I want to offer plus-size women the opportunity to wear fun colors and to avoid the pitfalls of only wearing black because many curvy girls think it is the only color that is slimming.” Tipton is currently in the process of shopping her line at department stores, agencies, and investors; Project Runway fans are waiting see what bold designs Tipton creates next.