EXCLUSIVE: OMG Fashun Episode 6, Winner’s Walk Interview With Theo Banzon

Theo Banzon, OMG Fashun 106
Photo Credit: Scout Productions/E! Entertainment

Our six winner on E!’s OMG Fashun is Theo Banzon. Theo just wowed us all in Episode 106, called “Junk in the Trunk.” Here, his skill sets and heart made him stand out from the pack. Julia Fox, Law Roach, Lauren McCarthy, and Jordan Roth were all in agreement, never having anything negative to note about Theo’s designs.

Theo’s brand “Abad” focuses on size inclusivity. His professional Instagram account displays his fun designs, showcasing vibrant colors and patterns, and also mixed materials. It’s clear that Theo knows what he’s doing, so his win over his fellow Disruptors tracks. With this win in hand, Theo joined Reality Tea’s writer Amy DeVore, to further dish about OMG Fashun.  

Theo’s first impressions

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/E! Entertainment

Amy DeVore: In your confessional, you said that this experience was a dream come true for you. Did your dreams match the reality?

Theo Banzon: Way beyond. Fox has been on my mood board my entire life. For me, I thought I had missed my chance. But then this came up, and I was like, Okay, well, let’s go.

Amy: What was it like being judged by Law?

Theo: I was so surprised when they told me in my interview. I was like, oh, he’s a part of this? I couldn’t believe it.

Amy: For the first time ever, two guest judges were present. What was that like?

Theo: Nylon magazine was always on my goals list, and I’ve had my stuff in there, but to actually have the editor-in-chief there, looking at me with approval, I’m like, oh! This is possible for me. And then Jordan, a New York legend. Like so many times, I look at their Instagram and see them in the press. And I’m like, oh, unreachable. Then, to have them come out. I was shocked. I was like, This is real. This is so New York.

“Foxifying” hoodies

Theo Banzon, OMG Fashun 106
Photo Credit: Scout Productions/E! Entertainment

Amy: For your style challenge, you had to take a hoodie and “Foxify it.” What was running through your mind in this moment?

Theo: It’s funny because hoodies are such a part of my brand, but I love letting people into my process. So like, if it’s a can, I want you to know that it’s a can, and not take away all of the can’s magic. So for the hoodie, I wanted to leave a little bit of the essence in there.

Amy: You won this first challenge. Did this shape your mindset at all?

Theo: Oh, absolutely. But there was also a little bit of worry on having to impress them again.

“Junk in the Trunk”

Theo Banzon, OMG Fashun 106
Photo Credit: Scout Productions/E! Entertainment

Amy: In the design studio, you were given a junk drawer. Right away, your humor emerged. You put on the wig, and you made things light. But also, you noted that you were unsure of how to upcycle these items. How did you get out of your head?

Theo: I’m realizing I really need a lot of time. I talked a lot to my co-designers, getting a lot of feedback and bouncing ideas off of them.

The good Law giveth and taketh away

Theo Banzon, OMG Fashun 106
Photo Credit: Scout Productions/E! Entertainment

Amy: With only a few hours left, Law asks for the keys back. In exchange, you now have to incorporate either ropes or chains into your design. Explain how this foiled your plans.

Theo: The keys were my embellishment, the fanciful part of my outfit. I wanted them to be such a centerpiece. But thank goodness, as the chain was really amazing. If anything, I think the chain that I used for my bag was the moment. So, I’m really happy that it happened now.

Theo’s winning chic look

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/E! Entertainment

Amy: When your Julia emerged once again, the judges all loved your designs. However, Law clocked the waist area. Did this make you feel like the win wasn’t yours?

Theo: Oh, of course. I lost. Any negative comment from that moment on was like I lost. So I was resigning myself with every comment, you know, but still happy to be there.

Theo’s big win and future plans

Theo Banzon, OMG Fashun 106
Photo Credit: Scout Productions/E! Entertainment

Amy: When you were announced as the winning Disruptor, you cried. In turn, everyone cried. What was behind your tears?

Theo: [sobbing, making me tear as well] It’s validation. You’re working in a room alone on things that no one cares about. And then one day, everybody you’ve ever dreamed of is telling you that you’re right. When I was a kid, I had big dreams like this all the time. And then nothing happened. I stopped dreaming. So this show reminded me like, no, you have to dream bigger. And for the naysayers, I’m like, please just watch this on E!.

Amy: Preach. Now that you’ve won, do you have any plans on how you’ll be spending your winning $10,000 check?

Theo: I’m not working a nine-to-five anymore. So this gives me a way to live out my dreams a bit longer.

Amy: Before we wrap, do you have any final words of inspiration for our readers, in terms of fashion, design, or even in just pursuing their creative callings?

Theo: Oh, yeah. I think you have to keep thinking of your brand, and you have to do you, like never change yourself for others. Keep yourself at heart first, because that’s what people hire you for. We’re all creative. We can also all make something, but your eyes, your eye, only you have those, and only you can change them. So stick to your guns.

This interview was edited for conciseness and clarity.

Back-to-back episodes of OMG Fashun drop every Monday on E!, starting at 9:00 pm.