Who Is Bishme Cromartie? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant From Baltimore

He's just 28 years old.

Who Is Bishme Cromartie? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant getty

Project Runway is back for its 17th season, and with new judges Karlie Kloss, Brandon Maxwell, and Elaine Welteroth, as well as returning judge Nina Garcia and mentor Christian Siriano, we’re excited to see what these designers will put together. Though Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are no longer featured on the show as host and mentor, respectively, the creativity of these contestants is sure to wow us.


The series premiered on March 14th, and has returned to Bravo for the first time since season five. So far, three contestants have been eliminated. And aside from all the creations we’ll see, as well as the different styles and tastes, one of the best parts of the show is getting to hear the backstory of each contestant.

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Just who is Bishme Cromartie? Here are five things to know about the contemporary avant-garde designer.

1. He’s a Baltimore native.



A post shared by Bishme Cromartie (@bishme_cromartie) on Mar 16, 2019 at 10:50am PDT

Cromartie was born in 1991 and is from Baltimore, Maryland.


In an interview, he revealed that his hometown is a source of inspiration for him: “The majority of my collections have been inspired by Baltimore in some way. I love the people here, I love the buildings we have and I also love meeting other talented people. I’m very proud to have grown up here. Baltimore receives a lot of negativity and it’s very annoying, especially when there are people here who are trying to make a difference.”

2. He’s been into fashion for decades.



A post shared by Bishme Cromartie (@bishme_cromartie) on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:16am PDT

By the time he was eight years old, Cromartie already had a knack for design, sketching and learning how to sew while staying with his aunt one summer. He eventually moved to a sewing machine from hand sewing, and began making clothing for friends.

He also he used fashion and creating as an escape from growing up in a rough neighborhood; sketching would “bring him to a place that he couldn’t explain but felt right to him.”


3. He’s dressed celebrity clients.

He’s certainly stepped out of Maryland and has gone on to dress and style celebrities like Niecy Nash, Mel B, Andra Day, Dascha Polanco, and Karrueche Tran. According to Vogue, “Bishme’s attention to architecture sculpts and celebrates a woman’s body.”

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4. He’s all about self-expression.

“I want to showcase the talent that we possess; there are many designers, like me, who are able to become household brands and dominate in the fashion industry... I want the story in my designs to appeal to my demographic, and inspire those who may not see proper representation of themselves.”

According to Cromartie’s website, “his mission as a Black designer is to encourage self-expression, advocate for representation, and shatter the expectations for people of color in the fashion industry.”


5. His career has taken off.



A post shared by Bishme Cromartie (@bishme_cromartie) on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:43am PST

When he was just 16 years old, he had his first solo fashion show. Since then, he’s been featured and published in Essence, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Forbes, Elle, BET, and Bravo.

His fashion presentation, “The Chrysalis,” was featured in New York Fashion Week. “The name came from the transitional state of the butterfly. The last two years have been my transformation. I wanted this collection to show beauty effortlessly. The chrysalis is about breaking free, being more connected with yourself, and understanding the new person you are becoming,” he said.


But he’s also had quite the journey. In an interview, he revealed what it was like becoming a designer and how he rose to the top:

“My journey as a designer has been a long and difficult one. But it’s a journey that I am still on and that I am very proud of... I’m constantly learning new things and I think that’s what helps me design the way that I do. There used to be a time that I would show up to sets for scheduled photoshoots and people would assume that I’m the assistant instead of the designer. Situations like that helped me become the designer I am today.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.