A 2013 UC grad reached the finale in the fashion design competition on Lifetime television, “Under the Gunn.”
Asha Daniels, DAAP ’13 and a Cincinnati native, placed third with her five-piece collection of clothes shown during the finale of the “Project Runway” spinoff, on April 10, 2014.
Daniels started as one of 15 competitors on the show, hosted by “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn. Each week, one of the designers would win the challenge, and one designer would be eliminated. The show was filmed at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles in November and December 2013.
Through the 13 episodes that aired, Daniels won one challenge – creating a look for Disney Channel teen star Zendaya. The alumna was also one of the top two designers in three of the weekly competitions. Her appearance in the last show was somewhat a surprise as the judges decided to increase the number of finalists from three to four – they felt Daniels was a strong designer and should be included rather than eliminated.
A graduate of St. Ursula Academy in Walnut Hills, Daniels as a UC freshman joined Honors Scholars program for academically talented students. As a child, she attended UC’s award-winning preschool, the Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center – one of the oldest demonstration preschools in the United States.
In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the St. Ursula Ensemble Theater and Sisters in Cultural Unity, a school organization she led as president her senior year. Daniels served as a student mentor at her high school and at Beech Acres, an agency dedicated to strengthening children and families. Daniels was also co-founder of a youth dance and drama after-school program.
When Daniels came to UC, she was a recipient of a Cincinnatus Scholarship and one of four Presidential Scholars. Daniels interned at fashion-giant Marchesa after graduation.
In 2009, UC grad Althea Harper, DAAP '08, was a finalist on season six of "Project Runway." After leaving the show, Harper moved to New York City, where designer Tory Burch invited her to become a part of the label's design team. Harper now manages her own fashion line.