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Woodward grad Anna McCraney wins Bravo’s “Fashion Show”

Woodward Academy grad Anna McCraney won Bravo’s “Fashion Show” thanks to retail-friendly clothing and high caliber craftsmanship.

Her creations will be sold in the retail market and she pockets $125,000.

She was the favorite fairly early on, the only contestant who never finished in the bottom two. She also won the weekly challenge twice. The public liked Anna, too, and gave her a commanding 56% of the vote, far more than the two more niche designers, Daniella (25%) and James Paul (19%).

“I’m thrilled,” she said on the show. “I’m so happy because I worked so hard for so long… I’ll always do fashion whether I have a million dollars or 20.”

Her high school art teacher Chris Greenway at Woodward sent me an email bursting with happiness.

“I am really proud of her for winning. She deserved and earned it. Anna was the best at art and design, craftsmanship, and knowledge of her craft’s history,” he wrote. “Her use of color “WOW”! I am so proud of her. Hard work paid off and the public really enjoyed her designs. The art department at Woodward has been pulling for her and supports her in her fashion career.”

McCraney, 30, now lives in New York City but grew up making clothing in high school she sold at stores in Little Five Points. Greenway recalls how her paintings in his classes were packed with “bold colors that reminded me of fabric.”

Over the years, she said she did plenty of ready-to-wear clothing, which prepared her well for this show, which focused on designs that people would actually buy.

The judges critiqued her final collection only for a lack of cohesiveness, not because they disliked the dresses. McCraney, in an interview earlier this week, said she had a hard time editing her creations down to ten. “It would have been more cohesive if I could have shown 20,” she said. [She knew she had won by the time I spoke with her Tuesday but couldn't tell me at the time.]

During the show, she stayed out of the drama that Reco, Daniella and Merlin, among others, generated. “It’s a talent-based competition and that was proven when Reco was eliminated,” she said, adding later that she was hurt by his anti-Anna on-camera comments she never heard until she saw the show.

“I don’t have the TV personality,” she said during the finale. “I’m not that person with the witty remarks.”

She also never felt comfortable in front of the cameras. “People tell you that you forget about it after awhile,” she said in her interview with me. “I was always aware a camera was there.”

Reco, on the other hand, tried out for “Project Runway” every year, she said. “He talked about not only wanting to be a designer but also being famous. That’s not something I’m necessarily interested in.”

“I thought her final collection was gorgeous,” said Keith, one of the contestants during the finale. “I love how she paid homage to all what she did during her time on the show.”

“She knocked off herself,” Merlin said.

“She learned so much. She was celebrating it. I got that,” said Haven, one of her closest friends on the show.

McCraney plans to put the $125,000 back into her business. “It will propel everything forward,” she said.

“I don’t regret anything,” she said near the end of the interview. “It was a great experience. I would totally do it all over again. I’m just glad I don’t have to!”

“The Fashion Show” is a blatant copycat of “Runway,” an attempt by Bravo to steal some thunder from the show it lost.

And while its ratings are not bad, “Fashion Show” pulled in less than a third of what “Runway” normally did in its final season on Bravo. It averaged 1.2 million viewers a week entering Thursday night’s finale.

Nonetheless, I presume Bravo will keep “Fashion Show” alive to counteract “Project Runway,” which is moving to Lifetime next month.

28 comments Add your comment

Traci

July 24th, 2009
1:44 am

Don’t hate on recco Anna. He is very talented. He probably would have won if the judges allowed his collection to be voted on.

paula cohn

July 24th, 2009
2:12 am

I am so glad that Anna won. I love her fashion line. She puts in all of herself. She is down to earth and real. I am so HAPPY for her. YEH, ANNA! Congratulations!

Chardonnay Nicole Thomas

July 24th, 2009
3:50 am

CONGRATS ANNA!! I am so happy for her. Although Rico was my favorite all season, when it came down to the last few, I really thought that Anna deserved to win!! I wish her all the success in the world and if I can actually afford her fashion line, I will definitely be a consumer!! I love her designs; she remembers that women want to look like women and be beautiful, while all the while staying in style. I am also someone who loves color and has never been afraid of it!!! All the best!! By the way, the money prize should have been more, $125,000 is next to nothing after taxes!!

Nathan B

July 24th, 2009
4:56 am

Anna was indeed the best, and Daniela a close second. Anna has class, and I am glad she won. Congrats to you both!

Whatever

July 24th, 2009
8:32 am

Reco is a much better designer. He should have won this contest hands down. The judges must have a stigma.

Get Real

July 24th, 2009
9:13 am

Only one person could win. If Rico had won, someone else would have been griping. You can’t please everyone. I guess now people are going to claim racism. After all, that’s the answer to everything these days. What does being a boring person have to do with style? The girl has talent. Instead of dissing her, why don’t YOU get out there and try it? I’m glad she won, if for no ther reason than to make you haters ticked off.

Sonytennisstar

July 24th, 2009
9:22 am

Anna has very fresh clever designs. I am scared that she is only 30 – I thought she was 45+ and this was her last chance for fame/ and fashion cred. I love her feminine designs; I however dislike her strongly. She says she stayed out of the drama she did not! She had the not as subtle as they thought they were Mean Girl clique- Haven, Daniella, Anna- they were haters. You have to be confident if you did not feel Reco was real competition – why did they sandbag him in the designer competition? They tried to break him constantly and that was an ugly side of Anna after that episode is when I cheered against her if you have talent stay in that she did not need to try and take Reco out like that. Before that she and Reco were my faves and I do think dark horses but after that I was done! The only thing that saved Anna was the fact that she did a celebration of older projects because her designs went down at the end as well! The evening gown was but ass ugly! I also did not like the final dress that got her in- I feel she changed up 180 who she was to play the game and win!

LaVonda

July 24th, 2009
9:23 am

I actually didn’t like Anna the person, but I did like her designs towards the end and I think her designs would conform to different body shapes. Congrats.

Josie WALSH

July 24th, 2009
9:42 am

I grew up in NEW YORK!s garment district,although Daniellas selection was very smart & fashionable,Anna!s style & practicality was the sure bet. God bless her for it

LaVonda

July 24th, 2009
10:16 am

Sonytennisstar, I totally agree with you. She was very much so involved in drama and was very sneaky and conniving with it. I guess that’s why they call it a competition. And I thought she was much, much older than 30, at least 45. When it came to designing, like I said before she got better towards the end, but I actually think her choice in fabric and fabric design, put over the top, at least for me. But when she purposely paired the designers with real designers that they didn’t know and then stated it on camera, I was done with her. Reco’s heart was in it. He wanted it more than the rest but I think the judges truly didn’t want him to win. My opinion.

kiki200

July 24th, 2009
11:51 am

You have to be kidding. Her clothes are not even mall worthy. Wal/KMart at best. Yucch… Check out how many comments she got on bravo Tv site, and how many Reco got. Fashion is about what sells. And hers won’t.
I’d say. Don’t quit your day job.
Reco was robbed.
Bravo now proves their racism. It was subtle for a bit. Check out Fern MALICE’s face when she to or about Reco. Racist Cow. Now totally obvious.
Bravo banned from my tube and most of my friends.

X

July 24th, 2009
11:53 am

Simmer-down…. No one is crying racism… But what I am crying are ratings…. For sure ratings was boosted to see Rico eliminated. No way should James Paul been kept over Rico. “They” needed the eccentric- artsy fartcy to stay in the competition for variety and the Knock-off King was exposed which left the door open for James Paul. No disrespect to Anna, for she deserved to win. She also deserved to win over the best 3 and that included Rico.

Ripley

July 24th, 2009
12:04 pm

Reco’s style is 1980’s “Dynasty” flash and bling – not atractive then or now and his final collection contained some very poorly executed items.

Both Anna and Danielle deserved to be there. Were it not a popularity contest to so many viewers, I think Danielle would have won hands down. I wish the judges would vote next time and leave the public out of it.

And regarding the drama: both Reco and Merlin constantly referred to the female contestants as “b’s”, not classy friendly or acceptable where I live. And they also tried in every way to undermine them, particularly early in the season so don’t fret about Reco getting back some of his own from the ladies. There is a definite bias in fashion design, but it is not race, it is gender. Every season of Project Runway and Top Chef, I’ve seen the females take tiwce the criticism the males do, usually for no justifiable reason. I didn’t see that on The Fashion Show, thankfully.

Congrats Anna

July 24th, 2009
1:05 pm

I too think that Reco was robbed of his chance to be one of the final three, and I agree that the decision to eliminate him was all about the ratings. That said I am glad that Anna won over Daniella and James Paul. Her designs IMO were the definitely the best of the three–I loved many of her final pieces and I could see myself wearing many of them as opposed to Daniella’s or James Paul’s.
Congrats Anna and good luck Reco. I know this won’t be the end of the road for you.

Alice

July 24th, 2009
1:11 pm

Reco deserved what he got and Anna deserved to win. I can’t believe anyone would suggest that Reco was victimized by anything – the females, Bravo whatever… Reco was the biggest b**ch of all. A talented b**ch but not as talented as Daniella or Anna. Also, this show is way better than PR. EVERYONE’S a b**ch on PR and I wouldn’t want to buy any clothes from anyone involved in that show.

Ms M

July 24th, 2009
2:22 pm

I’ve read many of your comments and it appears everyone has their own winner. Unfortunately, there could only be one for this show. However, they’re all winners simply by qualifying to appear on the show. Congratulations to all and especially the final 4! That’s a huge accomplishment. The general public is fickled these days about spending their hard earned dollars and will spend on whatever it is that makes them happy, so if the designers aren’t listening, the public will not buy. I think Anna won fair and square. I would definitely buy her fashions. Although Reco’s fashions were great, let’s face it, the final fashion show revealed he didn’t have what it would take to remain on top – that being working under pressure in an effort to remain on top. He will STILL fly high because he is now well known in the fashion industry thanks to Bravo TV. Let’s not throw daggers but instead send well-wishes for all of the designer’s to continue to thrive and design the best fashions ever!!!

Jane

July 24th, 2009
2:47 pm

Anna did deserve to win the competition. I like so many of her designs and I will probably try to purchase several at the Bravotv.com website.
Congrats Anna !

lantana

July 24th, 2009
4:59 pm

This show was such a poor imitation of Project Runway and I am dissappointed in Izac M. for hosting it. A couple of episodes back he said a “knock off” was the cardinal sin of fashion, yet his show is a blatent copycat with less talented designers.

chris

July 24th, 2009
9:32 pm

I dont like Kelly Rowland in the Fashion Show!. She lacks class and knowledge about fashion. Her views are far out from real fashion. I hope next season, she wont be there.

lisa

July 25th, 2009
8:59 am

Reco was eliminated becaus of two things. One – a model’s a** was hanging out of one of his dresses. WAAAAAAY too short. Two – the last model could not even walk in that hideous wedding dress. It looked like he sewed a hula hoop into the hem. Bottom line the clothes have to be wearable and ay least two of his designs were absolutely not wearable.

lisa

July 25th, 2009
9:03 am

kiki200 is a loser with a persecution complex. she (?) will never succeed in life because of it.

ArtsDiva

July 25th, 2009
9:34 am

Regarding Reco, all I have to say is…Jennifer Hudson! Can’t wait to buy your clothes man! Can’t wait!

TB

July 25th, 2009
9:49 am

Proud of Anna being from Atlanta, however, girlie looks way over 30. She should get more sleep or a major makeover, don’t know which but something. And I loved Reco, but he definitely crashed and burned in the finale, and I can totally believe Anna when she says that he was playing to the cameras, it was quite obvious.

bevvie

July 26th, 2009
12:08 pm

I preferred Reco, so I forgot to watch the finale. I would like to say that the writer of this article should have proofread more carefully. There were errors throughout the article. And Anna does look older than thirty.

ajie

July 26th, 2009
11:42 pm

this is last time I will ever watch( the fashion show) Reco should have been in the final 3 forger next season this was it for me.

diana

July 29th, 2009
8:52 pm

Reco’s designs were high end HO. He should have been cut sooner. Anna’s stuff seemed redundant,
the same design over and over. The cup dress was the best. She showed great originality there.
who else ran? John Paul designs looked like he was on acid most of the time.
Oh well, when does Project Runway start again? The looney Spanish guy made a great coat
on the “travel clothing” challenge.

Annie

July 30th, 2009
11:47 pm

Congrats Anna! And Traci, the only way Reco would have won is if this had been 1980. His collection was dated, and let’s face it, he had catty comments to say about most of the other designers. I’ll admit his designs on the show were fresh, but his collection was so horribly dated, it was a shame. James Paul and Daniella were my faves. JP is a designer that most people will not get or appreciate, but he will contribute so much to design. As far as Daniella, I was pulling for her to win. I’m in my 20s, and her collection was hip, fashionable, and forward-thinking. I think Anna won because her designs were more accessible to the public, perhaps not the most fashionable or innovative of the 3, but the most accessible.

M.J

August 1st, 2009
4:36 pm

As, always Bravo has proved that Blacks cannot win in their competition.
As a Spanish American I can see this very clerly. Project Runway is another example of the Best Person not winning.