EXCLUSIVE: Mondo Guerra Dishes on 'Project Runway All Stars!'

When Mexican-American fashion designer Mondo Guerra ended season eight of Project Runway as runner-up, we were crushed. But now Mondo is back as one of the contestants on Project Runway All Stars, premiering on Lifetime tomorrow at 9 p.m., (EST). The talented designer spoke to Latina.com exclusively about the intense new season, and how his Latin culture influences his designs!

How does it feel to have another chance to win Project Runway?

I didn’t go back the second time thinking about winning. Everyone on the show is super talented. Everyone on the show has gotten the chance to branch out. They’ve all been focused on their own projects and pursuing their careers in fashion. They have had time to really hone their skills. So going back, it was really about sharing what I’m able to do. I mean, you always want to get the most going into a situation like this and continue to have an overall positive attitutde on the competition because anything can happen and {there are} definitely some curveballs thrown at you.

Is the competition more intense the second time around as All Stars?

I think it’s intense because all of the contestants have been on the show before and they kind of know the ropes. I really feel like the challenges were designed to push us creatively. It was definitely more intense the second time around. I think it’s easy for me to go back and think, 'Wow, this is going to be a piece of cake because I’ve been here before. It’s not my first time at the rodeo.' But actually, it was definitely a lot tougher especially after season eight and the reaction of the decision, going back from that profound reaction, it was a little daunting. It’s like 'Oh my gosh. Here I am again. I’m doing this for so many more people other than my family and friends now.'

What was it like facing new judges?

Going back, we didn't know there was going to be a whole new team. The new judges are Issac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman, and mentor Joanna Coles. It was nice to get back there and have a fresh set of eyes. It was a second chance to really prove yourself to the judges. I know how much everyone loves Tim {Gunn}, but it was nice to get a woman's point of view and a different person in the workroom. It was really pleasant to have Joanna come in and work with us. It was nice and very welcoming!

Has your design style changed at all since last season?

As a designer, one should always be recognized for their point of view and aesthetics. Going back on the show I wanted to show that I didn’t have to use pattern and color as a touch. I think that the audience is going to be surprised by the choices I make this year. It’s a new season and new judges. So why don’t I extend and challenge myself a little bit?

How do your Mexican roots influence your point of view in design?

For me, it’s really easy. All I have to do is walk outside my door and up the block and I see a beautiful church that brings back so many memories  of where I come from, where my family was raised, and who I am. That’s inspiration! Culture alone provides so much inspiration with the colors and patterns, and just the playfulness of it.