So how were you selected for Project Runway?
I had my clothes in an exhibit in East Harlem at the Museum of the City of New York called Black Style Now. I was organized by Puffy. The curator told me Tim Gunn loved my clothing. I had no idea who that was because I didn’t watch the show. But he pointed out my white wedding dress. But time went on. About a year after that the producers of the show found me on My Space. I thought it was joke. But they got my information and sent me literature on it and a contract. During that time I was in one of those places as to what I was doing. It was not working. I wasn’t feeling good about myself. But it was my wife Lisha who said, “What do I have to loose? It could turn into something.” I had the attitude like whatever I’ll do it. Meanwhile seventeen thousand people auditioned for it. And they found me and choose me. And then they wanted me to cry on the show. Which I did wind up doing because I missed my family. I ended up loosing. But I wanted to leave.
And now after over 35 years in the business being named the Rising Star Award. A well known veteran. How does that feel at this stage of your career?
This is going to sound horrible but the most difficult part was actually pre- pandemic. Pre- pandemic was very challenging. I had a lot of things to do and a lot of hats to wear. And I wasn’t getting the type of time I wanted with my kids. The pandemic made us all stop for a moment and breathe, and reevaluate things. To look at ourselves, to look at what we are doing. It gave me a different perspective. The kids are going to be small for only a short period of time. Enjoy them as much as you possibly can now. It just recalibrated what I knew was important. I didn’t have children until I was older because I wanted to be able to clothe, educate and feed them. And it was important for me to have as much time with them. I didn’t want to have children until I had a certain level of success that would allow me to have more time with them. But I do know the more success you have the less time you get. It has been very fortuitous, and do know with all the problems this pandemic brought it has also allowed us to reset. If you can take anything good away from the pandemic that would be it.
You are also the co-founder of Rhubarb, an award winning advertising agency the specializes in campaigns for movies and television. How did that come about? And what are some of the campaigns?
To be honest. So many years ago I felt I needed validation. My goal was to be this by that date. But I’m 61 years old now. Maybe if I was 30 years old I’d be doing cartwheels. It’s nice that they’ve recognized me. It’s a recognizing award. Fashion designer Anna Sui presented the award. Rick Owens is one of the judges. Ralph Rucci said to a friend Epperson is such a genius. I didn’t even think he knew me. I’m thinking no one knows me. I mean my clients know me, I’m here I’m there. But but that recognition is really interesting. Who knows what can happen at this point. Every step means something. So this is just another step.