Last night, Daniel (Team Nicole), Hunter (Team Jessica) and Cassandra (Team John) faced off in their final fashion challenge to determine who will be the winner of the second season of Fashion Star. We chat with winner Hunter Bell, the designer behind Hunter Dixon by Hunter Bell, to get her take on being on a reality TV show, her current collection and more.
The Fashion Spot: What made you audition for Fashion Star?
Hunter Bell: Right place, right time in my career. I almost closed the business, and then out of nowhere, a few industry friends encouraged me to audition. It was the best decision for so many reasons. The mentoring I receiv
HB: Best part was learning about my competitive self, growing as a designer and being challenged. Worst part was seeing the experience come to an end.
tFS: What's something people might not be aware of when it comes to being on a competition reality show?
HB: The time constraints! Also the work hours are exhausting – almost like cramming for college finals EVERY day.
tFS: Thoughts on your co-stars? Do you think you'll stay in touch with anyone from the show?
HB: Absolutely. I am close with a ton of the contestants and see them regularly. Especially Daniel, Cassandra, Jesse R and Garrett – we all support each other immensely.
tFS: What would you say to someone hoping to get on a show like Fashion Star?
HB: I think the best advice is to stay true to yourself because it's the only way to show the real you .
tFS: How important is personality vs. talent?
HB: I'd say both are equally important, but I think in the end, talent wins the mark. It's good for the contestants to understand time management, pattern making, construction and supervising a team.
tFS: Favorite host/mentor?
HB: All of the mentors were incredible! However, Jessica (Simpson) and I worked closely together and I adore her. I hope to stay in touch with her!
tFS: Favorite challenge/episode?
HB: Showstopper — challenge 1 was a huge night for me and I loved my dresses!
tFS: Anything you wish made it to air that didn't? Anything you wish hadn't aired?
HB: I wish the show allowed the viewer to really understand the time limits you had per challenge. Also, the contestants had wonderful friendships develop over the show and there were funny inside jokes, more laughter than the show aired. They should air bloopers next season.
tFS: How did you get into fashion design?
HB: I started taking art classes at a very young age. I always loved fashion as a child too. I decided to major in fashion design in college and then intern for Rebecca Taylor and Nanette Lepore in NYC junior and senior year.
tFS: Getting your name out there as a young designer is incredibly difficult. Aside from the show, how have you worked to overcome that?
HB: Networking with industry friends. Staying in front of the buyers by participating in the trade shows. Staying determined to be relevant in the fashion world by challenging myself with each collection.
tFS: Can you tell us about some of your favorite pieces from your current collection?
HB: I'm currently loving from my summer collection the colorblocked Bliss dress, white textured Tulip dress and the Summer Coral Arden dress. Such great dresses for all occasions.
tFS: What do you consider to be spring/summer essentials for 2013?
HB: Head to toe all-white and graphic black and white prints.