31 years old // Independent fashion designer; assistant curator at the Museum of Science and Industry; contestant on Project Runway, season 4 // Raised in Homewood and Hazel Crest; lives in Lake View
No one in my family gets very surprised about anything: "Oh, so you're on a show? What do you want for dinner?" // Every once in a while, when you're doing back-to-back fittings and sewing until 2 and 3 a.m., you ask yourself, Why am I doing this? Then a bride comes to pick up her dress and says, "That is the hottest goddamn dress I've ever seen!" That's why. But it takes a whole hell of a lot to get there. // My grandmother refused to teach me Dutch.* She said: "Bah. Everyone in Holland speaks English better than you anyway." And she was right. But she was a very cantankerous old woman. // I'm not snobby about how much you spend on clothes, but I am snobby about taking pride in your home. Some people throw a 1970s burlap armchair next to a cable-wheel coffee table. And these are 40-year-old gay men. They should know better! // I've got no morals when it comes to ice cream.
* Steven studied Dutch at the University of Wisconsin and, later, fashion design at Columbia College. His resumé also includes a stint at a Jamaican restaurant and in a glue factory, and as a French translator for a psychological testing company.