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Posted: November 19, 2017

'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dead at 53

“Project Runway” first season contestant Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, “died peacefully
Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic/Getty Images
“Project Runway” first season contestant Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, “died peacefully" Nov. 12 while "surrounded by her loving family," according to her obituary. (Photo by Gregory Pace/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

By Carlin Becker, Rare.us

WASHINGTON —

Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, has died at the age of 53, Page Six reports.

The “Project Runway” first season contestant “died peacefully" Nov. 12 while "surrounded by her loving family," according to her obituary. The news comes just one month after the death of fellow contestant Mychael Knight, who appeared on Season 3 of the fashion competition series, at age 39. In addition to Pepper coming in third place on the series, she “designed and hand-sewed exceptionally beautiful clothes for children and adults," her obituary said.

>> Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of another member of the 'Project Runway' family, designer Wendy Pepper, this year,” a spokesperson for Lifetime, which began airing “Project Runway” after the show left Bravo, said on Friday. “Wendy was one of the original designers that sent creations down the catwalk, paving the way for other designers to come. We wish her family and friends peace during this difficult time.”

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

“She was an artist who proudly forged her own path in life,” her family wrote of her in her obituary. “She was a chef, a writer and a lifelong entrepreneur. Her wit and humor were unmatched, as was her generosity of spirit.”

Pepper, of Washington, D.C., is survived by her daughter, Finley M. Stewart, as well as her parents, three brothers, one sister and many nieces and nephews. Her cause of death is currently unclear. A funeral service will be held for her on Dec. 1 in Georgetown.

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Following her passing, many fans took to social media to share their condolences, with one appearing to quote “Project Runway,” writing, “If you really want to succeed, you’ve gotta be willing to throw yourself into the arena. #wendypepper you will be remembered for being a talented designer and a witty and humorous lady and mother.”


Related

Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion

Designer Mychael Knight, ‘Project Runway’ alum, dead at 39

Mychael Knight, the engaging designer who appeared on Season 3 of Bravo’s reality TV competition series “Project Runway,” has died.

Obviousmag.com first reported that Knight, 39, died Tuesday at his home in Atlanta surrounded by friends and family. No cause of death was given, but Knight had reportedly been hospitalized in September.

“We are still processing the untimely death of our son, brother, friend, and uncle. 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,” the Knight family said in a statement to the publication.

>> Read more trending news

Knight, an Alabama native who was born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1978, studied at Georgia Southern University and worked on the local fashion scene before trying out for “Project Runway.” He didn’t make it the first time, but in 2006, he was granted a slot on season 3 and quickly became a fan favorite.

He took fourth place for the season and went on to launch several fashion collections, including Kitty & Dick, which he previewed in Atlanta at a 2008 runway show.

He also appeared on BET’s “Rip the Runway” and worked on design projects with Starbucks.

Most recently, he partnered with fellow “Project Runway” contestant Korto Momolu for the MKKM Experience on Sept. 8 during New York Fashion Week.

Knight’s spring/aummer fashion collection, titled Mercy & Grace, featured colorful skirts, dresses and shorts that fans seemed to love. His designs have appeared on celebrities ranging from Sherri Shepherd to Iggy Azalea.

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