Celebrity fashion and costume designer and Project Runway season 4 star Chris March has died at age 56, according to TMZ. Sources close to the designer told the site that he died Thursday, September 5, at 1:45 p.m. after suffering a heart attack.
March had been struggling with health issues following a serious accident back in June of 2017 in which he fell and hit his head his home, which knocked him unconscious. He was found several days later.
He was placed in a medically induced coma for several weeks and woke up to learn that he was paralyzed from the knees down in both legs, as well as his right arm. He was then later placed in a nursing facility in California, where he resided since. To help cover hospital bills and medical needs, friends and family started a GoFundMe page with a goal of $100,000. His family noted that he dealt with “homophobia, shortage of rehab personnel and lack of funds” while at the facility.
Andy Cohen shared his thoughts on Instagram, writing, “This is how I’m going to remember Chris March, dressed as Lisa Vanderpump as I wear a Giggy costume he made for one of our first Halloween specials. Chris was a finalist on Season 4 of Project Runway. He designed for everyone from Beyoncé, Gaga, Madonna, Meryl, Prince and many legendary downtown drag queens (And Sonja Morgan!). He had a big booming laugh; he was a joy and delight. #RIP.”
After the accident, March had expressed on the page that he had suffered from anxiety following the accident and the stresses of paying his medical bills and had considered taking his life.
Still, the designer tried to find light. In March of 2019, he said, “In the face of all my setbacks, I try to remain positive — the leg braces are an exciting new tool on my road to recovery. I am trying to get my tracheotomy removed, and I try my best to effect positive change in this facility for myself and all the residents here. I try to add humor, glamour and a little glitter to my world.”
March competed on Project Runway in 2007 and also had his own Bravo Series, Mad Fashion, which aired for one season in 2011. He went on to compete in Project Runway: All-Star Challenge in 2009 and was the third runner-up. He even collaborated with Target in 2013 on a collection of wigs, costumes and accessories.
On Mad Fashion, March would create unique costume designs for his celebrity clients like Ruthie Davis, Chrissy Teigen and Jennifer Coolidge. He also styled Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Meryl Streep and more.
As part of his final project on Project Runway, March made headlines for designing a collection made entirely of human hair. “The collection made with human hair definitely stopped people in their tracks but it wasn’t gratuitous,” said March in an interview with Escama Studio. “I liked a lot of the qualities and texture of that medium.”
March was also known for his infectious laughter and unexpected — and genius — designs. He will be sorely missed.