Project Runway Junior Contestant Sami Johnson Dishes On The Show, Fashion, And The Future


The first ever season of Lifetime’s Project Runway Junior kicked off in the Fall and introduced the world to 12 of the best aspiring teen designers and fashionistas in America.  Among those contestants was Sami Johnson, a bubbly 16-year-old from Westlake Village, California who has been dishing out fashion advice since she was just three years old (She was clearly born to be a designer!) Sami chatted with Thrifty Minor about her experience on Project Runway Junior, her personal style, and much more. Read on to see what she had to say!

What sparked your interest in fashion and design? 

Nothing in particular made me interested in fashion. I’ve just always loved clothes from a really young age. I would inspect my mom’s outfits before she left the house when I was three years old!

Sami (left) pictured with Project Runway Junior judge Kelly Osbourne (right).
Sami (left) pictured with Project Runway Junior judge Kelly Osbourne (right).

It’s so incredible that you were cast for the first ever season of Project Runway Junior! How did you find out about the show? 

Thank you! I have a fashion program at my school that I’m in. The Project Runway producers know about it so every year they come looking to cast people.

What was your favorite moment from the show? 

My favorite moment of the show was when Tim Gunn first made his appearance. I was so starstruck and in awe of him.

How has being on Project Runway Junior made you a better designer?

Project Runway Jr. has helped me find my voice more as a designer and made me pay more attention to my construction.

Where do you get inspirations for your designs?

I get inspiration for my designs everywhere. I can be walking down the street and see some street art or competing at a dance competition and feel inspired by the movement.

If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?

Classy, daring, and strong.

What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

Stay true to your own style. Don’t try to design how you think people want you to.

What are your wardrobe must-haves this Winter?

My Winter must-haves include blanket scarves, thigh high boots, and a statement coat.

What advice would you give to teens who also want to pursue a career in fashion design?

The fashion industry is harsh, so you have to have a thick skin.  When someone critiques your work, you have to be able to stand by your work, but also take the advice if it’s beneficial and not get defensive.

In the next five years, what do you hope to accomplish?

In the next five years, I hope to have just graduated from one of the colleges I’ve applied to and have a job in the fashion industry.

Can’t get enough of Sami? Get to know the teen designer a bit more in this video! And be sure to follow her on Twitter  and Instagram to stay up to date with her fashion endeavors!


Olivia is the founder and editor-in-chief of Thrifty Minor. In addition, Olivia serves as a Teen Diaries Teen Reporter and Her Campus High School Ambassador. When she's not blogging, you can find her catching up on the latest issue of Seventeen or binge-watching episodes of Empire. You can follow Olivia on Twitter and Instagram at @thriftyolivia!

  • Tamara Holder || Baydian Girl

    She’s right about needing to have a thick skin and about staying true to your design style! It’s great to know that such a young woman has a great head on her shoulders. Thanks for writing!

    • Thrifty Minor

      So happy you enjoyed the post!