Pop Culture

Former 'Project Runway' designer Mychael Knight dies at age 39

Designer Mychael Knight, who rose to fame on Season 3 of "Project Runway," has died.

The 39-year-old fashion talent's cause of death hasn't been revealed, but according to the Associated Press, Knight had written about his struggle with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) over the years in now-deleted Facebook posts.

One of Knight's closest friends, Obvious magazine editor and photographer Jerris Madison, stated that Knight was surrounded by loved ones in the end.

Moses Robinson / Getty Images
Former "Project Runway" finalist, fashion designer Mychael Knight, passed away on October 17, 2017 in Georgia.

"Mychael died at 7:25 am EST outside of Atlanta, GA on October 17, 2017, surrounded by his loving family and friends," Madison wrote in a memorial for Obvious. "His family asks that their privacy is respected during this time of grieving."

Knight's family added one brief message via Madison's Instagram.

“We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle," the statement read. "Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy."

Peter Kramer / Getty Images
Host Tim Gunn and designers Laura Bennett, Uli Herzner Jeffrey Sebelia and Michael Knight attend the "Project Runway" season finale viewing party on October 18, 2006 in New York City.

Knight was a fan-favorite contestant on one of the most memorable seasons of "Project Runway," making his mark with sleek designs, tasteful palettes and creative use of the materials at hand (who could forget his flapper-worthy dress made entirely of coffee filters?).

He made it all the way to the finale, ending the series in fourth place.

Knight proved to be so popular that he returned for a one-off "Project Runway: All-Star Challenge," before coming back yet again for a full third season of "Project Runway: All Stars."

Madison visited Knight's apartment Tuesday and shared a photo of his sewing machine — still bearing a thread from his last collection.

"I can still feel his presence," he wrote.

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