The fashion industry lost a visionary when Chris March sadly passed away from a heart attack on Sept. 5, sources close to the Project Runway star’s family told TMZ. He was only 56 years old. Although Chris had been battling health issues since 2017, the heart attack came as a “surprise to doctors and relatives,” the sources added. Chris starred on a number of Bravo shows, and a spokesperson from the network told HollywoodLife, “We are deeply saddened by the news of Chris March’s passing. He was a favorite among Bravo fans and the fashion community. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. He will truly be missed.”
Known for his avant-garde designs (he designed a collection using human hair on Project Runway), Chris’ fun spirit and pioneering attitude in fashion will be missed. Here’s what else you should know about the famed costume and fashion designer.
1. Chris suffered a “debilitating accident” in 2017. After a “nasty fall” in June 2017 (per TMZ), Chris was put into a medically-induced coma for weeks. The incident led to a myriad of health problems and the creation of a GoFundMe page in March 2018. “His right arm has been paralyzed and at this moment, has limited use of his hands and legs. In addition, he’s dealing with respiratory issues that demand constant care. With skyrocketing medical bills, his health insurance has maxed out and he’s in desperate need of continuous physical therapy in order to get back on track,” Chris’ friend, Nelson Caraballo, wrote on the GoFundMe page. In his own personal note, Chris added that he was seeking a new living arrangement, and confessed that he “considered suicide many times.”
2. Chris is an icon in fashion design reality television. He got his start on Season 4 of Project Runway, coming in fourth place. His designs were showcased on Bravo yet again on Project Runway All Stars, and he also landed his own Bravo spin-off series, Mad Fashion! Chris revealed how he made his Bravo debut in 2007, thanks to legendary host Tim Gunn. “I was doing a promotion for Wishbone Salad Dressing in Grand Central Station. There was a catwalk with models dressed in outfits that I had designed in vegetables, skirts made out of lettuce. It was a new product launch – Wishbone salad dressing in a spray form. The emcee of the show was Tim Gunn of Project Runway and he came up to me afterwards and said that I should try out. That I HAD to try out (!),” Chris recalled in an interview with Escama Studio, published in Oct. 2014.
3. Meryl Streep and more household names enlisted Chris’ help. The Bravo star designed Meryl Streep’s gowns for the 2010 Oscars and Golden Globes, and his list other A-list clients were just as impressive: Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Prince and Chaka Khan!
4. Chris is renown for his theater costumes. Chris has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards for his work on the off-Broadway shows The Butt-Cracker Suite! A Trailer Park Ballet (2012) and Christmas With The Crawfords (2002).
5. The fashion designer appeared on The Real Housewives of New York City. Chris is a friend of Sonja Morgan’s, and appeared in scenes with her on RHOBH.