By Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-In-Chief
Five years after graduating from Lasell, Sonjia Williams is making a name for herself in the fashion world. Williams, a member of the class of 2007, is a contestant on the current season of Project Runway and is making a strong impact on the show. But before she took her talents to TV, Williams had a memorable presence at Lasell.
“To see a Lasell graduate accomplishing so much at such a young age, it’s inspiring,” said sophomore fashion design major Erin Sanders
During this season of Project Runway, Williams won a challenge in which she constructed a garment meant for a “Woman on the Go.” The piece had to be an outfit that would be appropriate during all times of the day, whether at work or out at night. Williams’ winning piece, and others that she created thus far on the show, resembled the designs that she showcased during her time at Lasell.
“She was a great draping student. So she took the skill she learned here and really applied it. She said to me in a text that she could never have done this without the education she received at Lasell,” said Professor Lynn Blake, the Chair of the Fashion Department, and a professor who worked with Williams during her time as a student.
While at Lasell, Williams proved to be a productive and talented student. When asked to complete a dress for Blake’s class, Williams was reluctant to start as she was not sure where to begin and had not even bought fabric. However, a week later, when the project was due, she came to class with two dresses, claiming that she could not pick between them.
“That never happened before and it hasn’t happened since,” said Blake. “She was so like a sponge. She wanted every ounce of info you could give her. She really searched for perfection.”
This enthusiasm for design continued into Williams’ final year at Lasell when she presented her senior collection. The collection was displayed in a unique way and was wearable, but very fashionable, Blake said. To the professor, it showed that Williams was on track to be successful.
On Project Runway, Williams showcases a style that echoes her work at Lasell, but is more matured and defined. She tried out for the show in 2007 after graduating, but failed to make it far due to her lack of defined style. But, today it seems that she has found what she lacked.
“She’s just getting more and more glamorous every week. She has a real marketable style. Marketable, but with a twist,” said Blake.
To students, watching Williams’s success is moving. Reginah Sanyu, a fashion communications major, followed the designer since the start of this season and said that she wants Williams to do well because she is part of the “Lasell family.”
“I feel like she is almost paving a way for other students, because seeing her success is going to inspire the students and show them that they can be something once you get out of Lasell. As long as they work for it,” said Sanyu.
In addition to the ultimate prize of winning the competition, the contestants on the show can also win the “Fan Favorite” prize of $10,000. To vote for Williams as Fan Favorite, go to http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/project-runway/ and vote by using Twitter.