Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
New York designer Viktor Luna worked his clothing on the ninth season of Project Runway. He cut through the competition week after week on the Lifetime Channel eventually going to Fashion Week and coming in runner up on the show.
Viktor's strong prints have been a staple in his collection and this has kept him in the forefront of fashion.
GoPride.com talked to Viktor Luna at a recent appearance at Macy's on State Street.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) It is great meeting you face to face. I interviewed you a long time ago before the show even started and I picked you of the bag to do well on Project Runway.
VL: (Viktor Luna) I remember.
JN: You lasted until the end so I was glad I picked you.
VL: At that time I knew I was lasting that long. I remember thinking I am glad he is interviewing me because it is going to last long so it would be good for you and for me. I was happy about that.
JN: You were so well spoken too. Now we can talk about the whole experience because we were limited before. How was it in general?
VL: It was amazing. I am sitting here because of that and now it is about taking advantage of it. Now it is "make it work" time!
JN: How did you become involved with Macy's?
VL: After the show I got with an agent. Macy's contacted him to hire people to do events like this.
JN: Is this your first event?
VL: This is my third one. We first did Nashville. It was the fullest that had seen it so far. So I brought the peeps (laughs).
JN: Yay, describe the event for our readers.
VL: The event is called Find Your Magic. It is a way of find out upcoming trends. They have subjects including color blocking, floral, prints and patterns, bright colors and reds. I speak about it and show people how to style them and how it works. It is not just information giving but it is a game. We play this game where I pick out two people where we play a styling moment. Whomever wins gets a Macy's gift card for $100, the runner up gets $20.
JN: That's fun. I love games like that.
VL: I love games too.
JN: On Twitter I noticed you have been visiting Chicago all over the place from the Bean to the Art Institute.
VL: I love Chicago. I have been here a few times. I had seen the Bean once but needed to see it one more time. It is so beautiful right? I took so many pictures. I am in love with it.
JN: I see you are still friends with some of the people from your season.
VL: It is inevitable. Sometimes you see them no matter what so I might as well hang out with them and enjoy them at the same time. We became like a family so it is one of those things where you want to maintain contact with them.
JN: Who was your favorite?
VL: I don't have a favorite one because they are all equally the same. I am not trying to be politically correct but they are pretty much equally nice. The ones I talk to are Olivier, Laura, Joshua Christenson, Joshua McKinley, and Bert. I think its because it takes two people to have communication. They are very much good in doing that.
JN: Well, you are a busy guy and have to run a website and design.
VL: I have to run a business from the ground up.
JN: Do you have celebrities asking for your work?
VL: Yes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and I are going to be working together. We are just doing bow ties right now. I am going to surprise him with a little something.
JN: I won't tell him.
VL: Don't say it. I am also working with Adam Lambert. I have been working with him for a while now. Since my collection I have been so busy working but now I have time to do it. Also Michael Greif, he is the producer of Rent, I am working with his daughter doing some dresses for her. There are definitely celebrities here and there.
JN: You are channeling Adam Lambert with that studded jacket you are wearing.
VL: This is so Adam Lambert isn't it? I actually did this for an event with Out Magazine. I had to make something fabulous in about two days. When I met Adam I had this on. That is when we started contacting each other.
JN: That is perfect. It is making your dream happen.
VL: Yes and that is where I met Jesse.
JN: Good thing you made it to that event.
VL: It was so funny, he asked to take a picture with me and I didn't look at his face. He even had the magazine Out with his face on it. I don't know how I didn't recognize him. I woke up the next day and was watching Modern Family and couldn't believe I was dismissing him! I wasn't rude but I didn't make a big deal of it.
JN: You do a lot of prints on fabrics. Is it a difficult process?
VL: For me it was easy because I did it many times. On the show it was more of a challenge because there were more prints involved and more different looks. It is pretty easy the process of making it. Now I can have someone else do it for me. The difficult part is matching them and doing it all together to make it cohesive.
JN: So you are doing men's clothes as well as women's?
VL: I am doing bowties, jackets, shirts, and pants. Oh, I do bags as well. This is one of them.
It is shark stingray. This is a preview for the men's collection. I want to focus more on the boys because I like to dress. I want to bring that strength that I bring to the women into the men's. This was a preview. It was in collaboration with Joshua Christenson. We came up with something we both can do. I think the next collection will be all me. I want it to be really strong and really cool.
JN: Good, because everyone focuses on women's clothing.
VL: I want to do about 60 percent women and 40 percent men. I know many designers that try to dominate one side before they dominate the other. I am feeling a little dangerous. I want to go there.
JN: Yes, go there! So why weren't you on Project Runway's All Stars?
VL: The filming was the exact time that we were filming our season. I remember seeing some of the contestants that were in the same building when we were filming it. It was impossible because nobody knew who I was.
JN: I knew Tim couldn't do both shows.
VL: Yes, it was either their show or our show. He gave us a speech and said that he decided to be with us because he loved us.
JN: Tim's a super guy. So when someone wants to buy something do you want them to reach out to you on your website?
VL: This is how it works. I am trying to pre-sell my collection because not everything is going to be made. I am going to put it online. People can pre-select what they want and pay for it. We will put it under production so the item picked will be made. They can avoid the fact that when it comes out in stores or when I am selling it the item is not there because it was not reproduced.
JN: Sounds like you have a whole team working for you.
VL: I have an assistant who does everything from sales to marketing then I have interns too. Pretty much it is me and my assistant running the show!