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Who Is Rakan Shams Aldeen? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant

Photo: bravo
Who Is Rakan Shams Aldeen? New Details About The 'Project Runway' Contestant

With Project Runway’s 17th season off to a great start, fans and critics alike have enjoyed the unique creations we’ve seen from the designers. Though the series originally began with 16 hopefuls, four have so far been eliminated. But who will win this season, as well as the amazing prizes?

With a $250,000 cash prize, a feature in Elle Magazine, $50,000 to put towards a studio, and a mentorship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America on the line, these designers will be tasked with showing off their skill sets and what makes them stand out above the rest.

New judges Karlie Kloss, Elaine Welteroth, and Brandon Maxwell have replaced Heidi Klum and Zac Posen, while Christian Siriano acts as the designers’ mentor, replacing the incomparable Tim Gunn. Nina Garcia, however, remains on the judging panel. And with four contestant being eliminated so far, who has what it takes to make the cut?

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Who is Rakan Shams Aldeen, and what does the modern couture designer bring to the table? Here are just a few things to know about this designer, his background, and his style.

1. He’s from Syria.

Originally from Syria, he fled the country when the Civil War broke out, moving to Lebanon. But his interest in fashion began at a young age. At only five years old, he began sketching every dress he could imagine and developed a certain taste for fashion design.

2. He received multiple degrees.


A post shared by RAKAN (@rakanshamsaldeen) on Mar 31, 2019 at 7:16am PDT

Rakan Shams Aldeen is a couture designer from Syria.

Before fleeing Syria, he began studying architecture at the University of Kalamoon, but eventually moved to Lebanon to study fashion design and pattern making at l’Ecole Superieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode in Beirut. After graduating, he moved to Istanbul and in 2015 graduated from Vakko-EsMod Istanbul. During every year of his education, he was awarded the jury prize for design.

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3. He created his own brand.

Aldeen moved to Chicago in 2017 and created his own brand, RAKAN, which is “a luxurious modern line dedicated to strong, confident women who desire to be unique.” Along with his business and design partner, the two also created LamRak Atelier, a couture line. Aldeen worked as the head designer for two years, and participated in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul. He was also the winner of 2018 Fashion Challenge X.

4. He has a very specific style.


A post shared by RAKAN (@rakanshamsaldeen) on Mar 13, 2019 at 5:55am PDT

He has very specific sources of inspiration.

Though he’s a conceptual designer, he’s inspired by his surroundings, particularly history and architecture. His designs all have meaning and reason, and “he always loves to play with different volumes and materials to create unique designs.”

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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.