• December 22, 2014

‘Project’ contestant has Temple connection

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Posted: Friday, August 1, 2014 4:30 am

TEMPLE — “Project Runway” fans can root a little louder knowing San Francisco-based designer Emily Payne really is a Temple girl.

Emmanuel Tobias of Dallas and Samantha Plasencia of San Antonio also made it on the 13th season of show, even though Tobias was sent home the first episode.

Payne hopes being on the show will be the boost she needs to accelerate her career.

“I got on there for the exposure,” Payne said. “I just wanted to be able to do my own line.”

In fact, visits to her online boutique, leathertongue.net, have begun to pick up after just one episode, even though, as a middle-of-the-pack contender, she didn’t get much play.

“I barely have anything up right now — I’ve been busy — but there’s been a lot of activity,” Payne said.

Payne moved to Temple when she was 2 with her parents, Freddie and Carol Lim. Her father, a doctor of internal medicine, came here to work at King’s Daughters Hospital.

Payne attended Temple schools, graduating from Temple High School in 1991.

This is not the first rodeo for Payne. She tried out for the first season of the show.

“They asked for two pieces and I thought I’d just wear them,” Payne said.

The judges didn’t agree. They wanted to handle the pieces and check the construction, so she was sent home.

She tried again and did not make it, but felt it was for the best, since her daughter, Devon, now 6, needed her.

During the taping of the show, she was not able to see her family.

“It was tough,” Payne said. “That was the worst part. It was really hard not to talk with them every day.”

Payne’s husband, Isaac, also is in the fashion business.

He is a senior supervisor at Levi, managing a high-end heritage line of clothing at the company’s flagship store.

“Emily’s the hardest working and most persevering person I know,” Isaac Payne said. “She has been consistent throughout.”

Isaac Payne waves flags for her talent, too.

“Her dresses are elegant … and edgy. There is a juxtaposition that she puts into her pieces. She has a really keen eye for the future of fashion,” he said.

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