Anya Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway!

Entertainment Oct. 28, 2011 AT 9:45AM
Anya Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway! Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for HP

Anya Ayoung-Chee is a cut above the Project Runway rest!

The Trinidad-born designer took top honors on Thursday's finale of the Lifetime hit, praised for her "easy and effortless" Fashion Week collection.

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"You did it, girl! [On] the first day of auditions, who would have thought then that you would be stand here today as the winner of Project Runway?" host Heidi Klum told the stunned designer after declaring her this season's champ.

"What an absolute dream come true! This is an absolute turning point in my life and I'll never, ever be able to forget it," Ayoung-Chee said after her win.

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The 29-year-old former beauty queen almost didn't make the finale, but was given a last minute pass on the penultimate episode and invited to show her collection for the judges even after landing in the bottom two alongside Kimberly Goldson.

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Once it came time for her designs to be judged by Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and guest judge L'Wren Scott, Ayoung-Chee's garments were praised for being flawless, but the group worried that the designer -- who learned to sew just before appearing on Runway -- may not be able to produce diverse look.

Still, they declared Ayoung-Chee to be this season's winner, over Joshua McKinley, Viktor Luna and Goldson.

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For her efforts, Ayoung-Chee will earn $100,000 from L'Oreal Paris to start her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel and the opportunity to design and sell a collection on Piperlime.com. She also pocketed $10,000 after being declared the fan favorite designer from votes cast on Twitter.

Tell Us: Did Anya deserve to win Project Runway?

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