May 19, 2024


Unique & Classy

How Houston’s Chasity Sereal became a ‘Project Runway’ finalist

5 min read

While on the set of Bravo’s “Project Runway,” actress Taraji P. Henson had some inspiring words for Houston fashion designer Chasity Sereal, who learned how to design clothes by watching YouTube. 

Henson, who was a guest judge, said there are talented people, and then there are gifted ones, like Sereal.

That acknowledgement from a celebrity has been a tremendous boost for Sereal, who taught herself how to create ornate red-carpet-worthy gowns as a young mom of two daughters when she couldn’t afford to attend fashion design school.

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Fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, also a judge on the show, added his stamp of approval, saying Sereal has a star quality and should be a “designer to the stars.”

Although she didn’t win, she was a finalist on the fashion reality competition show in 2022, and the experience taught the 33-year-old about designing at lightning speed, finding shortcuts and competing on an international stage. 

“I’ve always been very determined, and I want my girls to know the importance of following your dreams and making them happen,” she said. 

Since returning to Houston, Sereal took some time off to decompress from the fast pace of the show, which was filmed in two months. In November, she married her longtime beau, Tirrel Jenkins.

She also embarked on a second career as an actor and is currently starring in the psychological thriller “The Reading” with Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique on BET Plus. The movie is directed by Sereal’s good friend Courtney Glaude of Houston; Lee Daniels is producing. 

“People think when you are on ‘Project Runway’ that you have all of these offers when the show is over. But I came home with no money, and I needed to recharge. Right now, I’m on a path to expand creatively and make more money,” she said. 

Sereal also hosted her first fashion exhibition, called “Growing Pains,” at the Harris County Cultural Arts Council. The exhibit featured 10 of her gowns, including several from “Project Runway.” 

“My goal is to bring an artistic expression, when it comes to fashion design. I want my pieces to tell stories. I want them to be remembered,” she said. 

Her designs are dramatic, with layers of ruffles, beads and lace, chiffon capes, midtorso cutouts with rosette sleeves and floral appliques. The exhibition reflected her resiliency, strength and vulnerability as a Black woman and mother. 

“Society places this stereotype on us that we are always strong and never needing help. These gowns reflect our strength and weakness, showing that we are flowers, strong but delicate,” she said. 

Sereal is continuing her custom design business, with a focus on bridal gowns and evening looks. But the best part of her fashion ventures, she said, is having her daughters by her side. 

“Nothing brings me more joy than to have my daughters at my shows with me. They are watching me all of the time, and they see all of my hard work. My oldest said, ‘I’m proud of you because you don’t give up.'” © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.