For Kevin Christiana, the Project Runway payoff is finally here

Fashion designer Kevin Christiana is the antithesis of fashion. That's because he's not into the usual hobnobbing, fake flattery, and hype that goes along with the territory.

I met him a couple of years ago at an opening night Fashion Week party. After a couple hours of the enforced socializing, he was already over it, and eager to sneak away to a dive bar. Like the down-to-earth New York world he inhabits, Kevin is a designer who would rather create clothes for real men and women out on the streets rather than costumes for runway models. Coming from a large Sicilian family and raised in New Jersey, he's an instantly likeable guy whose passion for the craft is overwhelming, two qualities that will go far in his success in this business.

You most likely know him as the contestant who left the show too early on Season 4 of Project Runway, aka the best season of PR ever. And recently you've seen him as Rachael Ray's personal "Style Buddy," featured regularly on her show. While other PR alumni may have evaporated into the nether, Christiana has been working hard ever since. Recession be damned, he's launching not one, but two new lines this fall. And it's finally his turn to take the spotlight.