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MADE for Peroni Finalist Wisit Prapong on Loving LA, NYFW

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One of Wisit Prapong's winning sketches via MADE for Peroni

In just a matter of days, LA's fashion fixtures will be jet-setting to the Big Apple for New York Fashion Week. Among the style set heading to the East Coast is local interior and fashion designer Wisit Prapong, who recently nabbed one of three top spots in MADE for Peroni's Young Designer contest (yep, we're talking about the Italian beer maker).

The uber-talented fashion design instructor—you may have spotted him on Bravo TV's short-lived reality series, Top Design—will go head-to-head against two other designers at NYFW, where their winning sketches will be judged by a panel of industry insiders, including model Coco Rocha and last year's winner, Nolan Bellavance. The winner takes home an eye-popping $40,000 prize to kick-start their collection that'll be unveiled next February.

We sat down with the LA-based designer to chat about what it takes to earn the top title, how he'll prep for his career-changing trip, what he loves about LA's style scene and more. Click to the jump to see more of his winning sketches.

What were you doing when you heard that you were a finalist?
"When I heard I was a finalist, I just woke up from savasana after my daily Ashtanga yoga practice. I was exhausted, but hearing such amazing news surely woke me up! It's a great thrill to be a part of a contest sponsored by a company with such a long history of style such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro."

What does it take to have a finalist design?
"I try to constantly look at as much as I can anywhere and everywhere and am always trying to learn more. I feel like I've been preparing for this my entire life! I also think it's important to stick with what you love, and what is authentic to yourself, then you can develop what becomes your signature. My submission was a reflection of things I love in design."

How will you prepare for your NYFW trip?
"Whenever I have something important to do, I try to prepare myself ahead of time. In the moment, I'll try to meditate, focus, and remain calm. It's hard to remain calm knowing I'll be meeting some very important and influential names in the fashion world!"

What is your dream goal as a designer?
"My dream goal as a designer is to use all of my creative energies to make things that add beauty to the world. As human beings, we need things such as arts and design that shows the full capacity of what we can make and do. It all just makes living a lot better."

From a designer's point-of-view, what are your thoughts on LA's fashion scene?
"I love Los Angeles. I love the diversity of people and cultures, and this is well reflected in the fashion scene here. There is everything from high end, to Hollywood costumes and red carpet, to handcrafted items at farmers' markets, to denim, to urban streetwear, to sportswear, to anything you can possibly imagine. Los Angeles is one of the great creative environments of the world, with the old and historic juxtaposed with the young and revolutionary."
· MADE for Peroni [Official Site]
· Milk Made [Official Site]