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Timothy Westbrook from "Project Runway" is one of the contestants in Season 12 of the Lifetime reality fashion design competition series. He is a 24-year-old designer who is currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but grew up in Wanakena, New York.

Here is an interview with Timothy Westbrook:

Describe your family:

I have many families depending where I am. My immediate family — my father, mother, sister and I — are very close. We sometimes love so much that it makes us fight, but we
Timothy Westbrook in "Project Runway 12"
Timothy Westbrook Project Runway 12
are constantly proud of each other. I recognized recently that the one thing that we all have in common besides blood is our inability to recognize our own accomplishments. All four of us are proud of the things we've done, but we have an equally humble approach to life. We do what we do because we love it and for no other reason; we don't act for approval or for respect or appreciation. We simply live to be happy and continue on with that joy. Because that closeness has crossed generations, I am close with most of my cousins. There is a chance I might have to miss my two favorite cousins getting married this summer. It's difficult to have to make the decision to not go or maybe not be able to afford to go. My father's grandmother, Great-Grandma Mildred Stephany, passed away at the age of 101 in 2007. She had 6 children, 29 grandchildren, around 80 great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren too many to count. My father just retired after 18 years of serving as the Director of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry Ranger School. The annual summertime alumni reunions have been a major part of my life. The Ranger School family is built into my support system of love and guidance. The town I am from is also very tight-knit. In a town of 60 year 'round, you get very close. We still have the good guys and the bad guys in town, but at the end of the day we all still stand up for the same core values. Then there is my Syracuse family. I was a part of an amazing group of friends that will be together forever. But then there were many subgroups and professors and administrators that I became quick comrades with. When I moved to Milwaukee about 15 months ago I built a new circle of friends out there that I refer to as my Milwaukee family. I was a part of an event that usually brings in 150 people, and over 400 people showed up. That is how big my new family reaches. I know that all of these groups will be glued to the television throughout the season.

Current occupation?

I am currently the proprietor of Timothy Westbrook Studio. I am my own boss and look at the space as an artist studio. I have 10 college apprentices who I am training in my studio. My team also includes a Director of Media Relations. We a presenting a fashion show September 21 at the Milwaukee Public Museum, which is essentially Milwaukee's Museum of Natural History.

Past jobs?

The two most unrelated jobs were potentially my favorite. I worked as a housekeeper at Packbasket Adventures, an classic Adirondack lodge in Wanakena, New York, my hometown. After that I worked in the shipping department of a paper mill. It was essentially large-scale retail and an amazing learning experience. Through college I was a TA for various garment construction and "eco-fashion" classes. After graduating I got a job in the alterations department of David's Bridal and then switched to a non-bridal consultant. In 2012 I was named The Pfister Hotel's Artist-In-Residence in Milwaukee. For a year I was my own boss, setting the pace for my own projects and challenges. Through that experience I have given lectures about sustainability in the arts at local businesses, colleges, high schools and arts organizations, and at the GreenBiz Forum NYC 2012.


"Imphy Woois." When I was a toddler I couldn't pronounce "Timothy Louis," so I would say, "Imphy Woois loves Fwoot Woops (Froot Loops)" — foreshadowing, I'm sure. My mom lovingly calls me "Imphy" whenever she gets the chance. A former co-worker of hers, after hearing the story, loved to call me "Imphy Woois."

When did you realize you had designer potential?

When I was nine years old I spent the entire summer drawing dresses. I have been drawing since I can remember, and my grandmother taught me how to sew when I was nine. I loved to play with my sisters' Barbies, and all of a sudden there was a connection when I was nine. I realized that I didn't just have to mix and match Barbies' dresses, I can make dresses for them; then I realized that I could make dresses for big people; then I realized that it could be a job. 

First garment you ever made?

When I was nine I hand-sewed a dress for a Barbie. When I was in eighth grade I made a gown for a friend for Winter Ball. In 2010 I made my first wedding gown for a private client, worn on 10/10/10.

What's your design training/schooling, etc.?

When I was five my grandmother taught me how to sew. In my sophomore year on high school at Hugh C. Williams High in Canton, I took a "Fashion Design" class where I learned how to use patterns. In high school I interned at the St. Lawrence University Costume Shop under the direction of Sabrina Egeland. Under the direction of Sue Dean I costumed the middle school and high school musicals in my senior year. I studied Fiber Arts and Material Studies at Syracuse University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Have you won any awards for your designs?

In eighth grade I won Best Male Outfit, Best Use of Materials, and Audience Choice in a wearable-art repurposed-fashion show competition in 2002. I won Best Construction for a repurposed-fashion design competition in September 2012. In November of 2012 I won Staff Favorite in a steampunk costume contest. I won the position of Artist-In-Residence for 2012-2013 at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

Strengths as a designer?

I'm ready for anything, and I know my voice. I never hear "no," I only hear of one more way I can't do it, which in the long run means there must be another new solution. I have a naive optimism and a never-ending supply of adrenaline and excitement, passion and devotion to myself, my goals and those around me. I am not competitive. I understand that in order to make yourself look good you should not focus on making others look bad.

Weaknesses as a designer?

I'm young and I have a lot yet to learn.

What are your influences?

I think that the project and the client push the motivation of the project. The Adirondack Mountains have always been an aesthetic inspiration. Ever since I created costumes for "Annie Get Your Gun" in high school I have loved the 1880s. During my time as the Artist-In-Residence at the Pfister Hotel I have been heavily inspired by the Victorian period. Art Nouveau offers a great parallel to the work that I am creating. At the turn of the 20th century Art Nouveau was a rebellion of the rise of the Industrial Revolution and was influenced by and influenced the social reform of women in politics. Now I rebel in the rise of the technological revolution and use symbols to express my feelings in the social reform regarding gay rights. So I would say classical styles and political activism and sustainability influence my work now.

Item you're most proud of designing?

Woven cassette-tape cloth.

Favorite designer(s)?

Alexander McQueen.

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Where does Timothy Westbrook live? Find out here.

Age: ∼27 years old
Nickname: Imphy Woois
Hometown: Wanakena, NY
Current Residence: Milwaukee, WI

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