Bishme Cromartie came full circle Thursday night, winning “Project Runway All Stars.”

The Baltimore native defeated two designers — Laurence Basse and Brittany Allen — in the finale of the Bravo network’s reality TV series. Cromartie dedicated his season to the memory of his older sister Chimere Faye Didley, who died of cancer last year.

In winning this fiercely competitive season, Cromartie, born Bishme Rajiv Patrick Cromartie, was awarded $250,000 in prize money, in addition to a feature in Elle magazine and a mentorship with the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Bishme Cromartie was awarded $250,000 and other prizes for his victory on “Project Runway All Stars.” (Courtesy of Bravo)

The 32-year-old is the first winner of the show from Maryland since Christian Siriano, now the show’s host, won the competition in its fourth season.

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“I can say without question that this really is the most talented group of designers we’ve ever had,” Siriano said in an after-show special episode.

Cromartie, who is preparing for his New York Fashion Week Show on Tuesday, could not immediately be reached for comment.

He talked in July about the grief he felt for his sister. “I am honestly still trying to figure it out. I’m experiencing the most beautiful time in my career. And the only person who understands how much this means to me is not physically here with me,” the fashion designer said.

You can watch a livestream of his New York Fashion Week show here on Tuesday.

The resilient Cromartie prevailed with consistent head-turning designs and a series of challenge wins.

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For those who know him and the story of his Baltimore origins, the win comes as no surprise.

Despite earning high marks at Reginald F. Lewis High School in Hamilton, Cromartie was rejected by the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

It was at his late sister’s home where he sobbed about not getting into the famed design school. It was also there that he further homed in on the craft of design — looking at issues of Vogue Italia, where his designs were eventually featured.

He struck early success with Black celebrities such as Jill Scott, K Michelle and Eva Marcille, who immediately flocked to his avant-garde style of geometric silhouettes, bold colors and eye-popping patterns.

The 17th season of “Project Runway” was a game changer for Cromartie. It also marked the reappearance of Annapolis native Siriano, who returned to the show in the role of mentor, which was previously held by Tim Gunn.

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Bishme Cromartie dedicated the season to his late sister, Chimere Faye Didley. (Courtesy of Bravo)

Although Cromartie did not win his season — he finished fourth — he became an immediate crowd favorite and built upon his celebrity success with fans including Lizzo, Saweetie and Jennifer Hudson. Now based in Los Angeles, he has excelled running a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform.

With Thursday’s win, the self-taught designer gives hope to a new crop of young, Black creatives in Baltimore and elsewhere.

“Bishme Cromartie is a bright beam of light amongst the incredible wealth and breadth of Baltimore’s amazing community of gifted fashion design talent — representing Charm City’s ripple base of incredible creative energy pulsing through the lens of wear — nationally and internationally, with hometown pride,” said Caprece Ann Jackson, a Baltimore-based fashion historian, stylist and fashion events coordinator.

Jackson added that Cromartie’s win was “inspiring Baltimore-based emerging and rising stars,” which will “ripple underground and visibly on our cityscape.”

Dawn Harrell, who teaches about fashion design at the Baltimore Design School, counts Cromartie as a personal friend. In fact, she worked closely with the “Project Runway” winner to help craft content for her fashion design course, which she said taps into the students’ social and emotional learning.

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“From the unique vantage point of being both an educator and a friend to Bishme Cromartie, and considering the broader industry perspective, his victory on ‘Project Runway All Stars’ resonates as a truly historic moment,” Harrell said. “Bishme’s journey, rooted in our beloved Baltimore, isn’t just a triumph in fashion; it’s a testament to the potential within our community.”

Bishme Cromartie, left, works on a design with Rami Kashoú during the episode “Coronation Day.” (Courtesy of Bravo)

She added: “He is not only a living icon but a guiding light for our student designers, reaffirming the invaluable impact of our fashion program and proving unequivocally that dreams can thrive right here in the heart of our hometown, Baltimore.”

Jody Davis, a Baltimore-based designer who created Maryland first lady Dawn Flythe Moore’s inauguration ensemble, was quick to praise Cromartie when reached for comment Friday morning.

“His win, along with [that of] former winner Christian Siriano, continue to solidify that creative fashion is alive in Maryland,” she said. “The national exposure will spotlight the greatness that’s born and bred in our hometown, Baltimore.”