Mychael Knight, fashion designer and former contestant on Project Runway and Project Runway: All Stars, died Tuesday morning outside Atlanta. He was 39.
“We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy,” his family said in a statement made to Obvious magazine.
Knight passed away on Oct. 17 outside Atlanta after recently checking into a hospital for treatment for intestinal issues, TMZ reports.
Born in Germany on April 11, 1978, Knight divided his childhood between Alabama and New York. He studied Apparel Design and Merchandising at Georgia Southern University, graduating in 2001.
Knight quickly transitioned to work in the fashion industry with an internship at Wilbourn Exclusives in 2001 and work as a stylist in the music industry beginning in 2002. He first auditioned for the second season of Project Runway in 2005, but did not make the cut; when he auditioned again the following year, he was named one of the season 3 contestants. Knight went on to place fourth in the overall competition and win season 3’s Fan Favorite award.
After leaving the show, Knight launched his own label, Mychael Knight, on BET’s Rip the Runway and also designed custom tees for Starbucks. In 2008, he launched a female and male lingerie label, Kitty and Dick, as well as a unisex fragrance named MajK. In 2010, he debuted a Fall/Winter line at Charleston Fashion Week in South Carolina.
Knight returned to Project Runway multiple times over the years, competing in a 2009 All-Star Challenge, as well as a being a contestant on the third season of the show’s All Stars spin-off in 2013.
Throughout his career, he continued to release new collections. His Spring/Summer 2018 line was his most recent.
Bravo’s Andy Cohen was an executive at the network when Project Runway first began took to Twitter to express condolences and memories of Knight, writing, “I am so sad to hear about Mychael Knight. When he appeared on #ProjectRunway he was the sweetest guy, full of life, ambition & talent. #rip.”