Eliminated ‘Fashion Star’ contestant Ross Bennett says his best advice came from Nicole Richie
It was down to contestants Orly Shani, Nikki Poulos and Ross Bennett for elimination in week eight of the fashion-reality competition “Fashion Star.” Unfortunately for Texan-born designer Bennett, it was his final runway as the judges chose to give the ladies another chance to prove themselves in the competition.
Bennett started off strong during the series, but as the weeks went on he chose to ignore the advice of celebrity mentors Nicole Richie, John Varvatos and Jessica Simpson.
In a recent conference call with CTV.ca, Bennett defended his right to disagree with the mentors by saying he wasn’t designing for them, he was designing for himself.
“I did say some comments on the show…for example last week with John Varvatos, how I said I’m not working for John,” Bennett begins. “That kind of came out of context incorrectly. It was more the fact I really wanted to present three different looks, and sometimes designers and other people don’t see eye to eye on creations. My wife and I go back and forth all the time on stuff. I kind of had to stick to my guns and stay true to who I was.”
During the episodes where Bennett disagreed with the designers, he was not purchased by any of the retailers (Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and H&M). Bennett hinted on the show he was aggressively pursuing a bid from Saks, but unfortunately did not get his wish. However, Bennett is not disappointed with his experience on the series.
“I have to stick to my guns and who I am as a person and as a designer, and really just follow through with my dream,” he says. “If these stores don’t like it then there are thousands of other department stores in the county and in the world that I could always go (to).”
However, Bennett didn’t ignore all of the advice he received on “Fashion Star.” He says there is definitely one suggestion he plans on applying to his brand going forward.
“The best piece of advice that sticks to me every day is kind of what Nicole Richie said when I did the lingerie: ‘you gotta step outside of your comfort zone once in a while’,” he says. “You know, try and have a little shock value once in a while in your pieces.”
Now that he’s finished with the competition, Bennett will be focusing on his own brand, The Ross Bennett Collection, and plans on debuting two new lines this year.
“Right now, I am in the process of building a fall 2012 collection that’s more of an equestrian style – you know, jacket and trousers and things like that,” he says. “I’m also, launching my men’s custom bowtie and accessory line – it’s called the Dark and Dapper series, and it will be released this weekend.”
“Fashion Star” airs Tuesdays at 10pm ET on CTV two. You can watch episodes online at CTV.ca