Korina Emmerich from "Project Runway 2014" is one of the contestants in Season 13 of the Lifetime reality fashion design competition series. She is a 28-year-old designer who is currently living in Brooklyn, New York, but was raised in Eugene, Oregon.

Here is an interview with Korina Emmerich:

Describe your family:

I come from a really creative family. Growing up my dad was an art teacher, my stepmom was a drama teacher, and my mom was a nurse. My two older sisters and I were constantly working on art projects, crafts and reading books. Music was a huge part of my upbringing. The things that are most sentimental to me are song lyrics and the memories they bring up. We pass down albums, not material things. A couple staples in our family are Heart's "Dreamboat Annie" and Paul Simon's "Graceland." Those albums are my childhood. My family is a huge support and raised me and my sisters to be confident and to go out and get what we want. Today one of my sisters works in the culinary industry, and the other is a makeup artist. We grew up to do what we loved, because we weren't taught to settle and knew the value of hard work.

Current occupation?

I manage a high-end consignment shop in SoHo called Roundabout.

Past jobs?

I've always worked on the retail side of the fashion industry.


Zombie! A black and white tuxedo cat!


I was named Korina with the purpose of calling me Kori for short. If I hear someone yell out "KORI!" I know it's someone I grew up with. Also my dad is the MASTER of nickname giving. I had tons of nicknames including Keena (because my sister couldn't say Korina), Kokanee (after the salmon because we all had fish nickname), Kokomo (after the Beach Boys song), Korina, Korina (after the song), Koach (I guess because my dad was a football/wrestling coach for a while), Kochina (a variation on Koach).

When did you realize you had designer potential?

I've always been an artist. I remember becoming obsessed with my oldest sister's old copies of Marie Claire she had lying around and reading the same magazines over and over again, secretly ripping out pages. By the eighth grade, I sat thinking what I wanted to do and definitively decided to be an artist, using fashion as my medium. It was a very thought-out decision. I'll never forget that thought process.

First garment you ever made?

The first thing I ever made myself was my Jingle Dress Regalia for powwows (I was 13 or 14). My sister was a Fancy Dancer (shawl dance), and I always wanted to be a jingle dress dancer. I thought they were the most beautiful dresses on the powwow circuit. It was a combination of all of my favorite power colors — red, orange, and yellow with gold jingles (probably around 300-400, it was very heavy). The jingle dress is known as the healing dress and the prayer dress. Each jingle has a prayer, and when you dance the prayers are released. The first time I danced my jingles started falling off one by one (a nod to my inexperience in sewing). I was devastated. It's a big deal for regalia to fall apart at powwows. The whole community reassured me it was ok and supported me. I clamped all the jingles, and they never fell off again. I'm not sure that I ever would have sewn again if it weren't for the outstanding support of everyone that day.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Apparel Design form the Art Institute of Portland.

Have you won any awards for your designs/work related to design?

I won a Dr. Marten's competition for redesigning the classic eight-eye steel-toed oxblood Doc into a heeled boot called "Hell on High Heels." I was also chosen as one of six to show in Portland Fashion Week after graduating.

Strengths as a designer?

The design process is my strength. Coming up with a concept and idea.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I'm not the strongest seamstress.

What are your influences?

I'm heavily influenced by music. Every collection I've done has been inspired by a band or genre. I did a collection called "Purple Haze" inspired by Jimi Hendrix, a collection called "Hot Love" inspired by Marc Bolan and T. Rex, a collection inspired by "When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin. Brazilian psychedelic bands like Os Mutantes inspired my last collection.

What's playing on your iPod when you're designing?

Recently I've been listening to Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, Talking Heads, The New York Dolls, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Television. David Bowie, Iggy Pop and the Stooges. I'm working on a lot of custom leather jackets so I have to keep in that mindset.

Favorite material or fabric to work with?


Item you're most proud of designing?

My motorcycle jacket.

Favorite designer(s)?

Alexander McQueen will forever be my favorite designer and artist. Right now I love Phoebe Philo, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Comme des Garcons, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Balenciaga.

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Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: ∼30 years old
Hometown: Eugene, OR
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY

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Who is she dating? What do you think of her?

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