On the Runway with Rei


Photo courtesy of Lifetime

This article has been rewritten to update the Project Runway viewing party location and setting in light of controversy that has arisen with its original location, Clubhouse Jager, since we went to press with the piece. Please note the location change to be able to watch along with Samantha.

Du Nord Craft Spirits is opening its doors (and its distillery) for fans of Project Runway to watch local Samantha Rei compete against 15 other designers. Du Nord Craft Spirits is known for its own small batch distillery where they produce gin, vodka, liqueurs and whiskeys. Everything is milled, mashed and distilled in Du Nord Craft Spirits distillery, and many products include locally sourced ingredients. From cocktails to ice cold beer, Du Nord Craft Spirits offers many reasons to stop in, and now they have one more reason—Project Runway night.

Project Runway follows 16 contestants as they compete for the title of Project Runway winner. The top four contestants show their designs at New York Fashion Week, and all contestants are at various stages in their careers. This year is the show’s 16th season and features a familiar face of Minneapolis, Samantha Rei. Rei is undoubtedly a fan favorite of local Project Runway fans. Du Nord Craft Spirits will be hosting Project Runway night, so you can see some of fashion’s most talented designers create new pieces and present them to a panel of judges.

Samantha Rei. Photo courtesy of Lifetime

Rei has auditioned for Project Runway a few times in the past, but thanks to a little encouragement from her friends, this year she decided to audition again, earning her a spot on this season. Each week, the episode follows the same format, but contestants are given new challenges. However, Rei has no problem rising to these challenges as she has been designing professionally since 2000. “I started designing under my old label ‘Blasphemina’s Closet,’ one of the first Lolita labels in the U.S. I rebranded in 2013 under my own name,” says Rei.

Although Rei herself has years of experience in fashion design, she is a firm believer that no one is done improving and learning in his or her fashion design career. “Be patient. Be creative. Innovate, don’t just repeat. Obviously, create what’s best for yourself and your clients, but keep it fresh for them and yourself. Be true to yourself. Trust your vision, but never stop learning and growing,” she says.

Come to Du Nord Craft Spirits on Thursday night to watch Rei and her fellow contestants in Project Runway at 7 p.m.


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