The Struggles of Christian Siriano

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Is everyone over Christian Siriano? Though his spring 2009 collection was critically acclaimed, he's having trouble selling those $650 pants and $2,500 dresses. Economy be damned! Intermix will carry a few of Siriano's pieces in two stores, one in New York and one in L.A. High-end retail buyers from places like Bloomingdale's and Saks wrote up orders for the collection but decided not to place them. The fashion director at Bloomingdale's told The Wall Street Journal they decided to buy collections from Milan and Paris, which limited the number of new labels they could bring in.

Siriano won $100,000 from Project Runway — but he had to spend $40,000 of it on his runway show. So how does a budding designer bolstered by reality-TV exposure make a living these days? Endorsement deals! Just like the Hills cast does all the time! Siriano signed a six-figure deal with LG Electronics (the same company that makes the Prada cell phone) to promote one of its phones and design a scarf to hold the phone. But he's turned down other deals to maintain his image, including a $20,000 offer from Bertolli to design an oven mitt. In total, he's passed on $120,000. He also gets $10,000 to $20,000 to appear at events and make speeches, but he recently lamented his schedule was far from booked. "I am like, 'Am I out? Is everyone over me?'" he said. No, darling. We're not over you. But maybe it's just that no one can afford you.

Project Siriano [WSJ]