Fashion designer Tyler Neasloney is leveraging his viral comment about the Kushner family for a good cause.
The Project Runway contestant was recently eliminated from the show after he asked, “Not even to dinner with the Kushners?” when Brandon Maxwell told him he couldn’t see fellow judge Karlie Kloss wearing the look Neasloney, 29, created for her “anywhere.” The quip has since gone viral.
On Monday, the New York City-based designer shared that he has created a black t-shirt featuring two unique lettering formats, both emblazoned with the quote that cemented his place in Project Runway history.
“Politically driven evening wear 💅🏻,” Neasloney captioned an Instagram post showing off the designs — one in regular block lettering, and the other in “eye exam”-style text. (Both shirts go for $35 on his website.)
What’s more, “50% of proceeds from these shirts benefit the @aliforneycenter for homeless LGBTQ youth,” Neasloney added. “The young people who call AFC home are true inspirations.”
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During the episode, Kloss’ stylist and guest mentor Karla Welch presented the challenge to the designers: Dress Kloss, 27, for a CFDA event in Paris using only recycled, donated clothing from a Goodwill store.
After the runway reveal of his garment, Neasloney landed in the bottom group and explained his design to the judges. “It’s made from four pairs of pants. I was going for a very traditional Montauk, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Americana vibe,” he said.
“It’s definitely ‘wearable’ in some place that is neither Paris nor Montauk or Martha’s Vineyard. I cannot see Karlie wearing it anywhere, honestly,” Maxwell said during the judges’ critique. The remark led Neasloney to reply, “Not even to dinner with the Kushners?” — a reference to the family of Kloss’ husband Joshua Kushner, who is the brother of presidential aide and Ivanka Trump‘s husband Jared Kushner.
After a visibly shocked reaction to his comment, Kloss got back to business and told Neasloney of his creation, “This is not what I asked for. The fabrics are poor choices. I think they look cheap. The pockets are ill-placed. And if this is your aesthetic, than that’s that. But this is about my aesthetic and the influence of my stylist. You really missed the mark here on all accounts.” Neasloney could be seen tearing up in response to Kloss’ words.
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Neasloney explained during an interview with Bravo‘s The Daily Dish that he joked about Kloss wearing his design to “dinner with the Kushners” after already having had “awesome banter” with the supermodel and her fellow judges Maxwell, 35, Elaine Welteroth, and Nina Garcia
Neasloney then went on to reveal that since the episode aired, he has felt “misunderstood.”
“That’s what is bothersome about some of the coverage, both press and Twitter, is a lot of people are treating it as this non sequitur,” he told The Daily Dish. “It was non sequitur; it was entirely related to the aesthetic of the look.”
“I’m not a nasty person. I thought we were on a friendly enough playing field. So Karlie, at the end of the day, she’s human, so I don’t want her to just hate me or feel awful about what I said,” Neasloney added.