Fashion and the Yoga PC: A Chat With “Project Runway” Designer Joshua McKinley

We recently had the privilege of sitting down with "Project Runway" fashion designer Josh McKinley to talk fashion, technology and the ultimate article of clothing--confidence.

We loved seeing you at the Lenovo Yoga launch event in October.  Can we tell our fans what you presented?

I was so privileged to be a part of the Lenovo launch event and could not have been more humbled to help demonstrate the use of the Yoga from a fashion design standpoint. The technology and flexibility of Yoga is definitely going to be a game changer for the design world! Its flexibility and user-friendly functions are a huge asset for designers on the go. 

Could you tell us more about your sketches?

What’s great about the “Skitch” app that I was working in is that, even if you are still sketching by hand, you can upload your sketches and photos and take wonderful notes via the application. From a presentation standpoint, it’s great to be able to polish the image and take notes on the fly when a design concept pops into your mind.

What were some of the most interesting questions you got asked at the launch event?

I think the most interesting question was “Can this computer really change the way you approach design?” Simply stated, the response to that question is “YES.” If we allow ourselves to be open to change and simply welcome it, there is no telling what abundance of greatness can come our way. I firmly believe that Lenovo Yoga is doing that—enforcing change—and as a designer that is beautiful and wonderful for me. I’m on board.

How does technology play a role in your design process?

There really is no way to escape technology, so I always do my best to embrace it. It’s when really unique products like Yoga come around that you know technology is working with you and not against you. It’s imperative to know the latest technology in my field because it’s so competitive. As a designer, I feel it's extremely important to not only be on top of the latest trends but the latest technology. It’s a way to further a new process in dyeing, a way to manipulate patterns and a way to connect across the globe with factories, so I am all for the growth of technology.

Which Yoga feature are you most excited to use?

I think what excites me most about the Yoga is that you are able to use it as a tablet as well as in standard laptop mode. Sometimes it’s nice to know you have the convenience of writing an email quickly, and then you can jump back to tablet mode to sketch.

How will the Yoga change the way you work?

The Lenovo Yoga is really great for me because I am always on the go and can be inspired at any moment. It’s really a versatile, lightweight computer to carry around and design wherever I am. I am flexible, and I like my computer and lifestyle to be that way too!

What are the major sources of inspiration for your new line?

It’s never really one thing that is the main inspiration or focus for my collections. I think what makes me unique as a designer is that I let many inspirations be the focus. It’s the way that I am able to mesh them together that truly makes my brand stand out as being unique and extremely personal. Whether it’s a color, print or a design detail, I always find a way to give it the “McKinley” twist!

What was your favorite part about being on “Project Runway All Stars?”

I would say getting to share what I love with millions of viewers. Most importantly, it’s humbling to be able to inspire individuals through your work, and I am grateful to “Project Runway” for giving me that opportunity.

What types of designs will we see from you this season?

The designs you will see this season will really depend on the challenge. Challenges can be very different each week, so it’s really all about being able to manipulate yourself to the requirements of that challenge while still putting your signature style in it. I definitely will not disappoint in the glitz and glam department!

How has your fashion sense changed over the years?  How would you describe your style now?

I don't necessarily think that my fashion sense has changed over the years so much as it has “evolved.” I have been able to hone in on the things I like and polish my look over the years. I still love bright colors and over the top prints. I still unbutton my shirt to the point of my navel being exposed and am not afraid to be the individual that I am. I think the change that you experience over the years comes in confidence, which has definitely grown for me. If I can be remembered for saying two things they would be: “More is better!” and “Confidence is an article of clothing!”