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NATIVE: Tell me about top-secret reality show production. AMANDA VALENTINE: We called it TV jail. I didn’t have a phone or internet for five weeks last summer, which was awesome. I’ve learned a lot from the other contestants. There’s one guy who was the stylist for the Fly Girls on In Living Color. Growing up, I was obsessed with the Fly Girls. So the fact that we’re buddies now is just crazy. N: Post-Project Runway, are you hoping to design full-time? AV: I knew it would send me one of two ways: burnt out or totally charged up. Luckily, I came back charged up. I’m not making any money yet, but it’s what I have to do. It’s like a bad boyfriend I just can’t break up with! I get into this weird zen mode when I’m making clothes. Every business and artist I admire went through a period when they just went for it. I’ve always felt foolish taking time off from paying work, but I just have to do it. It’s a little scary at times. N: Which designers do you admire? AV: I’m obsessed with the design house Vena Cava—two friends fresh out of college, who designed their first collection out of their living room. And they’ve just blown up. Zac Posen was the same way. He borrowed money from his family. So I don’t feel ashamed of sewing out of my basement. N: How has being the youngest sibling of five influenced where you are today? AV: They’re all really successful. My oldest brother is a doctor; I have a brother [guitarist James Valentine, of Maroon 5] who’s a rock star; my sisters have four and five kids and still run marathons. Growing up in their shadows made me want to do something that nobody else in my family was doing. I wanted to do it my way. If there’s a clear path, I always resist it. I was always the rebellious one. I didn’t move to New York and assist designers like my college peers did. N: You moved to L.A. instead. AV: I had a safety net. My brother invited me out to assist the stylist on their first music video. I didn’t know anything about wardrobe styling, and it wasn’t a profes-

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Native | March 2013 | Nashville, TN  

The Green Issue featuring Nashville's Roderick Bailey (Silly Goose), Modern Arks, Kendra DeColo, Hanzelle, 8th & Roast, Ride for Reading, Ha...

Native | March 2013 | Nashville, TN  

The Green Issue featuring Nashville's Roderick Bailey (Silly Goose), Modern Arks, Kendra DeColo, Hanzelle, 8th & Roast, Ride for Reading, Ha...

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