Mondo Guerra won it all last night, when he was named the winner of Project Runway All Stars. But this Denver designer has always shown that he was a cut above -- generous to other designers and supportive of causes close to his heart, including Colorado AIDS Project, the beneficiary of last night's watch party. Because, as Mondo revealed on Project Runway, he's HIV positive.
We put Mondo, born in Denver 33 years earlier as Armando T. Guerra, on our cover in advance of his first appearance on Project Runway, in July 2010. He was the first Denver representative on that popular show, and he did the city proud, even if he wasn't the ultimate victor. But he won many fans not just with his designs, but his revelation that he's HIV positive:
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Mondo got his start in fashion as a kid, taking thrift-store clothing and repurposing it for his own designs with scissors and a glue gun. After graduating from the Denver School of the Arts in 1996 and taking art and music classes at Community College of Denver, he started designing seriously in 1999. And Denver's designers are serious indeed, with a lot of homegrown talent working hard to make the industry work here.
Mondo's win has Denver looking good.
A different Denver designer has been honored every year in the Westword MasterMind awards. Read about the latest honorees in "Westword's MasterMind Awards for 2012."