DENVER — Denver’s Mondo Guerra doesn’t remember leaving the runway after learning he was not the winner of season 8 of “Project Runway.”The finale came down to Gretchen Jones, Andy South and Mondo.”After Andy was gone, I was like, ‘Yes, I’ve got this in the bag. I’ve won this one.’ Then they announced it and I kind of blacked out. I don’t remember even leaving the runway,” said Mondo.
“But I said thank you to Heidi (Klum).”Months later, Klum was walking into the “Black Swan” premiere wearing a creation from Mondo.”She (Klum) told Nina she would wear the dress (the long polka dot evening gown) She didn’t go back on her word,” said Mondo. “”Heidi off the show is so different. There she’s the boss, she’s in charge. But off the show, she’s just so nice.”The 32-year-old from Denver is working on a fall/winter line that will launch during L.A. fashion week in March.He is also working to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. During the show he announced he was living with HIV. He spoke to the United Nations for World AIDS day and rang the Nasdaq bell with Liza Minnelli for amfAR, The American Foundation for AIDS Research.Looking back on his experience on “Project Runway,” Mondo said, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. My partner is an ex-Marine and he compares that to being in fashion boot camp.”Mondo is now working with Goodwill on a fashion show using donated clothing. He will judge designs from students in the Goodwill’s youth programs.People who attend the Good Exchange Fashion Show & Clothing Swap Feb. 10 at the Infinity Park Events Center will also see a look fashioned by Mondo.Attendees should bring 10 items to swap with other attendees during the night. Tickets are $10 dollars if purchased online by Feb. 8 and $15 at the door.Mondo’s parting fashion advice: “If there is something that you really love I would never give it away, because I bet you in 10 years it is going to come back.”