Project Runway's fourth-season fan favorite Kit Scarbo returns to the national spotlight this season via a collaboration with skateboarding and street-style brand Etnies. "It could be for a girl who loves the skate culture but doesn't necessarily skate, like me," she tells us of the line, which hits stores in January. "I'm not riding in these shoes. But it's fun and sparkly, and would I wear this." This is the first designer capsule collection ever for the Etnies Girl brand, and it features hoodies, tees, shorts, and accessories from $20 to $50, as well as footwear ranging from $12 for a pair of flip-flops to $65 for a pair of sneakers. "This started when a friend of my sister's saw that my picture was on an inspiration board at Etnies, and said that they think that young girls really look up to me," the Los Angeles–based designer tells us, explaining her rise to tween-master status. "Being on Project Runway, the feedback I got was from young girls from 8 to 18. I got fan mail and e-mails. They would e-mail me for advice and tips about designing, sketching, boyfriend problems, and problems at school, so I was pleasantly surprised by that. So I had to tap into my high-school self when I started this. I would wear this if I was in high school, at school and out."
Despite the collaboration, Scarbo still isn't a full-time designer. Most of her work comes from styling, like working for E! Entertainment Network and dressing Dancing with the Stars host Samantha Harris. "It's pretty wild, and since it's live, I have fifteen minutes to get her dressed before she goes on air," she says. "If there is a problem, I have five minutes to fix it, so my Project Runway experience comes in handy every Tuesday and Wednesday night." Her connections also come in handy, as she dressed Harris in designs by two other PR alumni: Nick Verreos (season two) and Rami Kashou (season four). "Being part of the alumni, we've become a little family. It's made networking really easy." Since the show, however, she ditched the nickname Kit Pistol in favor of her lawful name, Kit Scarbo. "I wasn't as excited about the weapon aspect of the word pistol," she says. "I thought it was starting to distract. People would ask me about gun control and NRA stuff and it was too much. This is the grown-up version of Kit Pistol."
But she does plan to return to the runway at some point. "I haven't done a proper collection since before Project Runway, but I hope to do one soon," she says, adding that her goal is to start with fall 2010 with hopes to show a presentation in New York instead of L.A. "After Project Runway ended, I thought I had it figured out. I said I wasn't going to make another collection until I had a proper space. And now I'm in this big studio with all this machinery and I'm like 'What do I do now?' As soon as Dancing with the Stars is over, I'm on it."