As designers face the judges on the hit Bravo TV show Project Runway, one sentiment always rings true — in fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. With her ability to design clothing for a variety of audiences, Nancy Volpe Beringer ’88 is hoping to join the in-crowd and bring her creativity to the forefront of the fashion industry as a contestant on the shows 18th season, which premiered on December 5.
Volpe Beringer, who enrolled in a fashion design program nearly 30 years after receiving her undergraduate degree, describes her design style as all-inclusive; that is, they’re accessible styles that can be worn by a person of any gender or non-gender, age, or size. She is inspired by unique patterns and bold fabrics that allow her clothing to stand out.
“I allow the fabric to speak and work into its natural form and become what it wants to be,” says Volpe Beringer.
Her designs have been featured on the runways of Philly Fashion Week and in Philadelphia’s fashion concept store, Joan Shepp. She also designed rapper Tierra Whack’s Grammys red carpet look, which was named one of the night’s most outrageous outfits by E! News.
Philadelphia Magazine also named Volpe Beringer as a “Best in Philly Fashion Designer for Artsy Dresses” in their 2019 “Best of Philly” awards.
By appearing on Project Runway, Volpe Beringer, who runs her self-named clothing line, became the oldest contestant featured in the show’s history. While she might have gotten a late start to her design career, she believes her age gives her an advantage in the fast-paced fashion industry.
“As a newer business owner, I work relentlessly to find my mark in the fashion industry,” she says. “For me, age is just a number; but I recognize that my age has given me the wisdom and experience to be a fearless designer.”
— David Pavlak, with reporting by Nina Navazio ’21