We saw it all: Fashion, Fun, and
Fierce designers. This Project Runway, as Tim Gunn stated, is perhaps the most well put together
ensemble of contestants. There was one designer in particular that we could not help but notice; Jack Mackenroth. Mackenroth debuted with his fun and sophisticated black and white dress & elf sack clothing.
As Mackenroth states in our interview, we can expect big time drama and dynamic fashion from this Ivy League graduate.
Denovo: Where did you grow up?
Mackenroth: I grew up in Bellevue, Washington, outside of Seattle; Newport Hills to be exact.
Denovo: Describe your childhood in one word.
Denovo: What did you parents do?
Mackenroth: My mother is a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center.
Denovo: What was your first job?
Mackenroth: My first jobs was life guarding during the summer and cleaning office buildings at night. Good times.
Denovo: What was your experience like at Cal [UC Berkeley]? What did you
Mackenroth: Cal was really great for me. It was the perfect atmosphere to come out; and I spent much of my time in San Francisco. I actually started out as a pre-med student for the first 2 years and then I realized that I would be much happier in a creative field, so I switched to fine arts. I double majored in Fine Arts and Sociology.
Denovo: After you gradated form UC Berkeley, you decided to go back to school; fashion school. Why?
Mackenroth: Well, I had always made a lot of my own clothes. My mother was a single parent, so we didn’t have a lot of money and I liked to go out to clubs, so if I wanted to look “cool” I would just alter something I already had. I always wanted to live in New York and my mother would only let me go if I was going to school because she thought that was safe for some reason. So I applied to Parsons.
Denovo: I read that you’re also a recognized well-awarded athlete. What’s your sport?
Mackenroth: I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was 6. My sister and I both started swimming 2 workouts a day when we were about 12. It got pretty serious from that point on. I was a decent swimmer on the national level when I was young but I am actually much better as an adult. I developed really late in life and now I’m much stronger.
Denovo: Do you still compete?
Mackenroth: Yes–I still love to compete.
Denovo: Tell us about any crazy experiences you had during your modeling years.
Mackenroth: Well there are always the casting couch experiences where the photographers try to get you naked for their own gratification. That happened a few times, but I am pretty street smart. I spent a summer in Milan and that was a trip. I lived in a tiny “model” apartment with 5 straight guys who just talked about sports and girls
and getting drunk all the time. I wanted to chew off my own foot. Plus there were so many models in the city, the castings were ridiculous. I remember going on a casting for Benneton that was four days long. Basically they saw every single model in the city for 4 positions. I didn’t get the job.
Then with fitness modeling you often have to do things like lunges with actual weights and you have to do it about 50 times so they can get the photo. By the end, your legs are falling off and you have to look like it’s no problem.
Denovo: Give us three examples of your good and bad qualities?
Good: Loyal, Intelligent, Creative
Bad: Stubborn, Self-critical, Bossy
Denovo: What part of your life do you find the most meaningful?
Mackenroth: I’m really happiest when I am making something. I also love my family and friends deeply.
Denovo: For those in desperate needs of a fashion make over, what are three items every man should have?
Mackenroth: A great pair of jeans, a perfect fitted t-shirt and a really nice watch.
Denovo: Do you have a favorite designer?
Mackenroth: It changes all the time. I have great respect for so many designers. Personally I wear jeans and t-shirts and sneakers so I’m not a big fashionista. If I spent money on clothes I would buy McQueen, D-Squared, and Modern Amusement. For women I love Diane Von Furstenburg and Carolina Herrera.
Denovo: What was your experience like with the judges?
Mackenroth: Really Great. I have a high level of respect for all of them.
Denovo: Can we expect any drama from Jack this season?
Mackenroth: Yes. Big time.
Denovo: In your opinion, what is a major fashion faux-pas?
Mackenroth: I hate when people wear their phone or head set like an accessory. Do not clip anything to your belt, please!
Denovo: How were you able to handle the pressure and tight deadlines on Project Runway?
Mackenroth: I’m actually really good at time management. Of course there are times when you start to pee your pants a little when the clock is ticking. But generally I had a good sense of what I could accomplish in the time allotted.
Denovo: What’s your favorite color?
Mackenroth: Blue, I guess.
Denovo: Did you sport any embarrassing fashion trends we should know about? C’mon, be honest.
Mackenroth: Hell yeah!! I wore parachute pants and in the late 80’s, I had long blond hair down to my shoulders. HOT!
Denovo: If you were granted three wishes; what would they be?
1. Cure AIDS. (and other diseases) So Miss America…
2. Make Republicans see the light.
3. Selfishly I would wish for lots of money–to do altruistic things
of course. And buy lots of sneakers.