Randallstown native Liris Crosse wins model competition of 'Project Runway'

Liris Crosse, the Randallstown native who made history this season of “Project Runway” by being one of the first plus-sized models to compete on the show, has won the modeling portion of the competition.

Crosse, who was a fan- and judge-favorite with her strong runway walk and bold personality, was awarded the distinction along with Jazzmine Carthon, another model, during the reunion show, which aired Thursday night.

As a result of her win, Crosse will appear in an upcoming fashion spread on the digital edition of Marie Claire. Crosse previously broke down barriers for the show walking in the finale in 2015, when Ashley Nell Tipton, a designer who specialized in plus-sized fashion, won the competition. But this season was the first that “Project Runway” added an array of models of all body types, ranging from size 0 to 22, throughout the season. Crosse, who is 5 feet 11, is a size 14.

“I feel on top of the world,” Crosse texted The Baltimore Sun on Thursday night shortly after the results were revealed. “It's a win for a girl from Baltimore who had a dream and stuck to it. I can't wait to bring these hips and lips to the pages of Marie Claire for a major model diversity moment. I'm going to put my all into that shoot when it's time!”

Crosse, who has been dubbed “the Naomi Campbell of plus sized modeling” wrote that she was "so proud to represent plus size women and women of color everywhere."

“I'm a big believer that representation matters,” she added. “A lot of times we don't see plus models in editorial spreads and even less of black plus models when the opportunity is given. I'm going to continue to show the world how beautiful it is to include both in fashion.”

This has been a busy year for Crosse, who also appeared on "The Steve Harvey Show" in May to talk about her model boot camp program, which teaches self-esteem and industry tips to aspiring models. She also received the Model of the Year Award at Full Figured Fashion Week 2017, which was held in June in New York.

But "Project Runway" was her most notable moment — making her a recognizable face among fans of the Emmy-winning fashion design reality show, hosted by Heidi Klum. (Kentaro Kameyama was the Season 16 winner for the design portion of the competition.)

“I thought the design competition was so interesting because they were also different,” Crosse wrote. “Everyone could find a designer that they gravitated to. They all were challenged with including plus size in their collections, too. I'm glad that 'Project Runway' stuck to the theme of change and diversity. I pray that more of them will adapt to more sizes outside of the competition now.”

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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