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Amanda Nell Perna from "Project Runway 2015" is one of the contestants in Season 14 of the Lifetime reality fashion design competition series. She originally competed in Season 9 but didn't make the cut for the final top 16 contestants. She is a 28-year-old designer from Delray Beach, Florida. She was raised though in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


It was at the University of Alabama when Amanda Perna realized that designing could be a career, and at her first internship at Oscar de la
Amanda Perna in "Project Runway 9"
Amanda Perna Project Runway 9
Renta, it was solidified. With her love of bright colors, glittery shoes and flouncy fabrics, she may come across as a privileged princess, but underneath she has a huge heart. Perna draws inspiration from European styles: romantic designs from the French and edgier designs from the Italians.

Why will she win? Perna thinks outside of the box, using her creativity to create unique pieces. With her past experiences in Project Runway, she has no fears and is prepared for any challenge that comes her way.

Amanda's favorite designers are Alber Albex, Christian Lacroix, Sophia Webster, Valentino, Aexander Wang, while her style icons are Anna Dello Russo and Rachel Zoe. Amanda's favorite past "Project Runway" designers are Anthony Williams and Mondo Guerra.

Here is an interview with Amanda:

When did you realize you had designer potential?

I always loved making things and designing things. It was at The University of Alabama that I realized it could really be a career, and at my first internship at Oscar de la Renta, it was solidified.

Have you won any awards for your designs?

I won many awards in college, and recently have been one of the three finalists for best new business in Delray Beach.

Strengths as a designer? 

Putting together a cohesive collection, mixing colors and prints, and thinking outside the box.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I choose to call it "room for improvement" rather than "weakness," but I would have to say overthinking things.

Biggest fear as a designer?

I don't believe in being afraif, it stifles creativity. The thing I dislike the most is not being inspired when I have to get a job done.

How did you end up auditioning for "Project Runway"? 

I originally auditioned for the show (after being persuaded by my friends and family) because I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself creatively. And I got cut early Season 9, but decided the time was right to go back into the game and learn/grow from the advice of the amazing judges after building my business.

Challenge you wish they'd bring back?

The one where you get to make things out of flowers, I love nature and would have a blast with this one.  

Challenge you hope they don't?

The party store challenge. They are the epitome of cheesiness! 

What's your take on team challenges?

After working in the industry for many years, I have gotten used to working with diva designers, so I don't mind a team challenge. It's so important in this industry, and often two heads are better than one.

Do you think you can win "Project Runway"?

I absolutely know I can win. While design is subjective, my tenacity, drive and ability to fight for what I love no matter how hard will help me win!


The first garment Amanda Perna ever made was a Halloween costume in high school. She says she realized she had design potential in her sophomore year in college, when it dawned on her that it was actually a profession. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama Apparel Design Program. She won the Henrietta Thompson Fashion Achievement Award there in 2008 for excellence in fashion. In the past she has worked as an assistant designer and student ambassador.

Her favorite designers are Alber Elbaz and Valentino. Perna considers amazing accessories to be a fashion must. She considers her design strengths to be use of color and free-form draping, while her weakness is overanalyzing. Over the years, her designs have been influenced by nature, people and art. When she's designing she likes listening to Pink Floyd, jazz, Andrea Bocelli or indie rock. Her favorite style icon is Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City."

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Where does Amanda Perna live? Find out here.

Age: ∼30 years old
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Current Residence: Delray Beach, FL

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