Mychael Knight, a designer and finalist on Project Runway died on Tuesday at age 39.


Knight died surrounded by family and friends outside of Atlanta. His official cause of death has not been released, but it is known that Knight struggled with irritable bowel syndrome for five years, and also shared in now-deleted Facebook posts that he also suffered from chronic abdominal pain, “leaky gut,” and extreme fatigue and exhaustion.

Knight appeared on the third season of Bravo’s Project Runway and finished in fourth place. He later returned for Lifetime’s Project Runway All-Stars, and came in eighth.

“We are saddened to hear about the passing of a member of the Project Runway family,” said Lifetime spokeswoman Dee Perez. “It’s a loss of a great talent and we wish his family peace and solace during this difficult time.”

Knight’s friend Jerris Madison, the editor and photographer of Obvious Magazine, also shared a tribute – “He was innovative, unapologetic, kind and giving. He made sure that anybody who was in his core circle, his family, his friends, didn’t have to want for anything. He was just an amazing man.”

Despite falling in fourth place in 2006, Knight won the fan favorite award. The following year, he introduced his own self-named label on BET’s Rip the Runway. He also designed a custom line of tees for Starbucks. In 2008, Knight launched a lingerie label for men and women called Kitty & Dick, as well as unisex fragrance MajK. Madison adds that Knight’s exposure on Project Runway helped him get future jobs and helped people see his talent.

“He died doing what he loved,” Madison said. “And you can see that in his final collection presented (last month) at New York Fashion Week. It was amazing. The industry has lost a true innovator. Mychael was just getting to that point where people were saying ‘Hey, I remember this guy.’ He was about to be huge and really wanted to capitalize on affordable sportswear for women of all sizes.”

“Mercy + Grace” #MychaelKnight #SS118 #NYFW #MKKMExperience 📸 | @obviousmag

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