Santino Rice

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Santino Rice
Santino Rice 2019.jpg
Rice in 2017
Born August 20, 1974 (1974-08-20) (age 45)

Santino Rice (born August 20, 1974) is an American fashion designer and television personality. He is best known for his appearances on the reality television programs Project Runway, RuPaul's Drag Race and On the Road with Austin and Santino.

Early life

Rice was born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri. His parents were both multiracial, and his background includes African-American, Italian, Jewish, and Native American.[1][better source needed] In high school, Rice earned a scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.[1] After attending school there, he reportedly found work in the fashion and film industries, including extra roles, voice acting, and costume design.[1]


Rice in 2010 in makeup for L.A. Zombie

In 2005, Santino participated as a contestant on the second season of the Bravo reality show Project Runway, producing mixed results on the show. He won two challenges and was among the top three designs three more times. However, Rice was among the bottom two scores for four challenges. Ultimately, he lasted throughout the season and was one of three finalists selected to show at Olympus Fashion Week in New York City. He finished in third place, behind Daniel Vosovic and Chloe Dao.[2]

Rice became well known for the charismatic and sometimes abrasive persona that he presented on Project Runway, and he was often cited as the "villain" of the show. He was also known for his humor, including his impersonations of mentor Tim Gunn.

After Project Runway, Rice was selected to be one of the judges of the Miss Universe 2006 pageant. He was also asked by MTV VJ SuChin Pak to design her dress for the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. The following year, Rice made a guest appearance in the sixth episode of America's Most Smartest Model, in which he taught the contestants about fashion design.[3] As of 2008, he was creating a new cigarette pack design for Camel, dressing a handful of elite private clients, and working on building his own clothing company.[4]

More recently, Rice has been cast in two main roles in reality television. From 2009 to 2014, he was a judge on the Logo reality program RuPaul's Drag Race. Rice also starred in the Lifetime show On the Road with Austin and Santino, alongside fellow Project Runway alumnus Austin Scarlett.[5] The show premiered in 2010, following Rice and Scarlett as they visited various American small towns, designing clothing for women who have upcoming special occasions. Rice also played a minor role as a homeless man in the 2010 independent queer cinema thriller L.A. Zombie.


  1. ^ a b c Santino from Project Runway – Black Hair Media Forum – Page 2. Retrieved on 2016-06-11.
  2. ^ "Chloe Dao wins Project Runway" ~ Archived 2008-01-03 at the Wayback Machine 10 March 2006
  3. ^ "Are You Ready to Rhombus? Recap". 11 November 2007
  4. ^ "Where Are They Now?" 22 July 2008
  5. ^ About "On the Road".

External links

  • Santino Rice on IMDb
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