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Bahamian designer David Rolle claimed 2nd place at Mission Catwalk Season 3. David, who competed against Theodore Elyett, also of The Bahamas, and Renardo Lloyd of Jamaica, talks about what prompted him to enter Mission Catwalk.

“I’ve always wished I could somehow enter Project Runway. When I found out about Mission Catwalk and after watching my first episode, there was no question that I’d be a part of the next season. Being a person that loves a challenge confirmed that this was the perfect route for me.”

David was also gracious on his return home and took some time to talk to Nu Woman about his Mission Catwalk experience.

Nu Woman: What was the application/selection process like?

David: It started by sending a few emails out, letting the Mission Catwalk team know that I was interested. They requested an online submission of work from my portfolio. I was short listed and asked to fly to Jamaica seven days later for a filmed audition.  Each designer was asked to bring samples of actual work. From then, the 15 designers were confirmed.

NW: On arriving and meeting the contestants, were you nervous? What did you think about the competition?

David: I wasn’t really nervous about seeing the other contestants. I was shocked to run into Theodore at the airport because I had no clue he had applied. Alexis, I knew from Islands Of The World Fashion Showcase. I knew she would be a force. I could tell that talent, if nothing else, was present.

NW: After the first challenge completed, what were your thoughts? Was the competition at this point what you anticipated?

David: I felt like the underdog going into the first challenge. This fueled me, however, to really turn things up a notch. After seeing all of the designers’ work on stage, I knew I had a chance. The competition was as expected. However, I was not prepared to be filmed so much.

NW: Was this a friendly competition? Rivalry?

David: For the most part Season 3 was pretty friendly. A few of the designers had it out with each other but nothing that lasted too long.

NW: You are a self-taught artist. Were many of the other contestants self-taught?

David: I think it was just two other designers who didn’t have formal training. I’m not sure if the others designed before heading to school.

NW: What were some key lessons learnt in this competition?

David: More than anything, to edit. Taking away is just as important as adding. This was the most valuable lesson. I also learnt the hard way that not just because someone is expected to have your best interest at heart, means they will.

NW: What was it like competing against another Bahamian?

David: I think we gave each other a much needed competitive push. That’s as much as I think I should say. (Lol)

NW: Describe your first win in a competition? How were you feeling?

David: My first win came at the perfect time. After having placed in the top three for all individual challenges but not having won, I was excited to claim victory. This for most was probably the most difficult challenge thus far, as we were asked to reconstruct other contestants’ bottom three looks. This episode rocked!

NW: How difficult was it to complete these last pieces within that time frame? Were the designers allowed help?

David: Designing my 12 piece collection was a challenge, however time did not play a factor. We had about 85 days to complete our collection. We were asked not to seek help with construction of physical garments.

NW: What inspired the designs for the finale?

David: the Garden of Eden inspired this collection. I designed looks for my modern day Eve.

NW: What happens now? What are your immediate plans? Long-term plans?

David: I’m excited to have won a brand management contract with Global Purchasing. I look forward to working with them. I’m already working on multiple collections and looking at doing some training. I think Asia is calling me.

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