Hawera man to hit the screen in New York

Sean Kelly grew up watching the show

BRAD ROBERTS
Last updated 05:00 07/07/2014
Sean Kelly
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
PASSION FOR DESIGN: Sean Kelly, a 23-year-old from Hawera, is to appear on Project Runway, the New-York based fashion show hosted by Heidi Klum.

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A 23-year-old man from Hawera is to appear as a contestant in the 13th season of Project Runway, the New-York based fashion show hosted by model Heidi Klum.

Sean Kelly grew up watching the show with his sister Hannah.

"I am really proud of Sean and he has always gone the extra mile to get ahead especially when getting the internships with [Danish designer] Henrik Vibskov in Denmark and [London designer] Alexander McQueen in London," Hannah said.

Filming is under way for season 13 of Project Runway and Sean Kelly, who lives in New York, is off limits to media during filming of the series.

Kelly's mother Margaret said he would watch Project Runway even if the family was watching the All Blacks in the other room.

From a young age Kelly was the typical dairy farm boy, waking up each day at 4.30am to help milk cows but, as he grew, he found his passion for design and fashion.

He had an exchange year in Denmark in Year 12, which his parents Margaret and John credit as the starting point of his design career. Kelly was deputy head boy of Hawera High School in Year 13 before going on to study design at Massey University in Wellington.

Hawera High School deputy principal Wendy Armstrong said staff were delighted with Kelly, given his skills and talent while being a student at the school.

"Sean was an excellent role model and had good communication skills and related well to all. He had the ability and motivation to achieve whatever he wanted to do," she said.

TV3, who have been showing earlier seasons of Project Runway, have no plans to air the program at this stage.

- Brad Roberts is a Wintec journalism student.

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