‘Project Runway’ stylist Mychael Knight dead at 39

Mychael Knight, of Project Runway fame, died early Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia, while surrounded by friends and family, according to a family friend. He was 39 years old.

The famed designer was born on April 11, 1978, in Nuremberg, Germany, though he spent his childhood in Montgomery, Alabama. He went to Georgia Southern University for his undergraduate studies and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising in 2001.

That same year, Knight interned at Wilbourn Exclusives, beginning his career as a fashion stylist before auditioning for Project Runway twice: once in 2005 and again in 2006 after being rejected for its second season. While Knight placed third overall in the third season of the show, he received the Fan Favorite Award.

The next year, Knight launched his label, Mychael Knight, on BET’s Rip the Runway, designing custom tees for Starbucks before going on to break into the fashion industry on several other levels. His lines have included Kitty & Dick, a lingerie label and MajK, a unisex fragrance.

Knight has since reappeared on Project Runway in 2009 for their All Star Challenge in which he and several other favorites from previous seasons competed for $100,000 and then again in 2013 as a contestant on season three of Project Runway: All Stars.