The Denver Post Ostrow: Denver’s Reality Designer Basks in Limelight

“Project Runway” may launch takeoff
Joanne Ostrow
The Denver Post
Mondo GuerraMondo Guerra in the Beauty Bar during a viewing party for “Project Runway.” (David Zalubowski, Special the The Denver Post)

Away from the cameras and not wearing his trademark oversized glasses, fashion designer Mondo Guerra exudes warmth and wisdom.

“I use the glasses as a device,” he said.

Denver’s first contestant on “Project Runway,” a standout personality onscreen, is clear-eyed about his sudden national exposure. He admits to suffering anxieties at the start of the reality competition.

“Everybody’s so good. For the first few days I was really insecure. I come from Denver! I’m self-taught!”

He’s also earnest when talking about the confidence he’s gained from the grueling experience.

Celebrating after the latest episode of “Project Runway,” in which he was not heavily featured, Armando T. Guerra, 32, debriefed friends and fans gathered for the regular Thursday night screening at Beauty Bar in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“What happened to my airtime in this episode? Seriously?” he asked the crowd. “I think they’re saving me for something really big.”

He’s sworn to secrecy — filming wrapped three weeks ago — as the competition continues.

Co-hosting a fashion show with the Fabric Lab during commercial breaks, Guerra dedicated last week’s challenge to his sister Tanisha, in honor of her quinceañera.

“She never had one; this is her dress.”

When fashion guru Heidi Klum judged Mondo’s creation a success, the bar erupted in applause.

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