Two Lansing Runway Designers to Compete on Project Runway

Grand Ledge Twins Continue to Succeed in Highly Competitive Fashion Industry

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and The Runway are excited to support two hometown designers as they compete on the Emmy Award winning, fashion reality show, Project Runway produced by Lifetime Network.

Grand Ledge twins Claire and Shawn Buitendorp were first introduced to The Runway as students in the Lansing Community College (LCC) Fashion Technology Program. The Buitendorps graduated from LCC in 2011, and are no strangers to success on a national stage. The twins have dressed singer Katy Perry more than 25 times, and recently competed and won the VH1 hit reality show Twinning.

“Beyond the physical space and technology, the Runway is a place where we can meet with other designers to collaborate, instruct, and mentor. We love to give back, but we also have access to knowledgeable consultants in sales, textiles, merchandising, and other important aspects of fashion,” Claire and Shawn said. “Our goal is to be on every red carpet imaginable, every stage imaginable, and have more talent wearing our garments. We dream big and do big, and the Runway has been an invaluable resource throughout our journey.”

Lansing’s Runway opened in 2014 as one of only 6 fashion incubators in the nation. Over the course of two and a half years, The Runway has grown membership and tenancy to include local, statewide, Midwest region, and even international audiences. Throughout this time, and as their brand Shock and Awww has grown, the Buitendorps have continued to utilize and support The Runway.

This month, Claire and Shawn will compete against each other and 14 additional contestants on season 16 of Project Runway. Claire and Shawn will become the first relatives to compete on the show, but not the first from Michigan. In 2012, Melissa Fleis appeared on season 10 of Project Runway making it to the final round, and securing the number three spot.

The Runway will be hosting viewing parties to follow and support the Buitendorps throughout their time on Project Runway.

“The fashion industry is notoriously competitive with less than 25% of designers surviving their first year. The Runway is proud to see Claire and Shawn enjoying success, and we are happy to be a part of it. We are looking forward to cheering them on as they explore this exciting opportunity,” said Joe Carr, LEAP Startup Innovation Manager and Director of The Runway.

The first viewing party will kick off on August 17 at 8 p.m. at Studio C! located at 1999 Central Park Drive, Meridian Charter Township, MI 48864. The event will also include a Q & A session with the Buitendorps at 9 p.m. Register for free tickets online.


About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.