Jonny Cota, center, with Making the Cut hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. All photos courtesy of Jonny Cota
As of Monday, April 27, 2020
Jonny Cota forged a career of being on the outside. His downtown Los Angeles-headquartered Skingraft fashion label was designed for people with avant-garde tastes.
But Cota may have officially been bequeathed the title of fashion insider. On April 24, he was named the winner of the first season of Amazon’s fashion competition/reality show Making the Cut.
During the show, he competed against 11 other designers in fashion capitals such as New York City, Paris and Tokyo.
The show’s judges, which included Naomi Campbell, Carine Roitfeld and Nicole Richie, gave high marks to Cota’s Metamorphosis collection, which he presented for the show’s finale. The collection featured print pieces such as Middle East inspired check print. Also presented, denim and leather pieces which demonstrated a zest for experiment and taking chances, while staying rooted in Skingraft DNA, Cota said.
“It was the hugest honor of my life,” he said of his Making the Cut win. “I promised the judges that I would not let them down and I would make them proud.”
The show’s prizes include $1 million to invest in the development of Cota’s fashion business. Cota also started selling diffusion brand Jonny Cota Studio on Amazon.com.
The Amazon reality show was the first time that he appeared on television. “The first few episodes I was a little uncomfortable,” Cota said. “I wanted to be the cool guy with leather jacket. I talked with a monotone voice. But soon I relaxed and forgot the cameras were there. I felt the real Jonny Cota was there. The layers were quickly shed. I could be funny. I could cry and be super genuine.”
Cota said that he wouldn’t let reality show success go to his head. “I love the niche factor of Skingraft. It will always remain on the fringe. But I honed my skills. I grew as a business person. I feel fully ready to launch my namesake into a global business market. After teaming up with Amazon, the world is that much bigger,” he said.