No matter what you’re doing in life or whatever background you come from, Justin Le Blanc is a true inspiration for all of us out there.
Despite being deaf and not being to pronounce properly, Justin Le Blanc has achieved some of the things in his life we all wish for.
Clothes, fan base, inspiring speeches, love from the people name a thing and you’ll find Le Blanc a triumphant.
Born in 1986, Justin is a deaf fashion designer, 3D printer, and artist but there’s’ far more to the picture. This article will not only cover Le Blanc’s journey in becoming what he is now but in fact, will create a new hope among you on how to live your passion.
Justin Le Blanc; A highly motivated person:
Justin had to face numerous challenges since the day he was born. The biggest one of them was not being able to listen properly.
He says that he could listen very little and it wasn’t even enough to save his life. He couldn’t have been alarmed to danger through his sense of listening, but even at that time, he didn’t lose hope.
His parents say that he would take out all the utensils from the cupboard and would keep on banging them creating noise and driving them crazy. However, on the other side, Justin says that hearing the slightest sound from banging those utensils gave him the very initial inspiration he needed.
Deafness as an Inspiration:
Born and raised in Raleigh, the capital city of North California, Justin LeBlanc wasn’t able to hear until his cochlear implant at the age of 18.
However, his deafness has never been able to stop him from achieving anything. In fact, when asked about his inspiration for the amazing Project Runway season 12 collection, he says
“The inspiration for my collection is actually based on my deafness and my upbringing as a deaf person”
Achieving a little every day:
Justin Le Blanc’s parents knew that communication was really important to him. As, the first step of learning, they hired a sign language teachers who taught him and his parents how to communicate with each other.
At the same time, when Justin would go out on the streets and use the sign language, people often replied:
“Don’t Copy”, “You’re looking at me”” What the hell are you saying to me”.
…but he took this challenge as an opportunity to find the next step in finding a way through which he could communicate to the people.
So he joined a mainstream school. The school board was very grateful and they provided him a sign language interpreter. Justin however had other plans.
He wanted to learn more and ended up having a speech therapist who started teaching him the spoken language.
It was a hard stage for him and he had to put in a lot of effort but with a sheer passion for learning and doing more, he somehow managed to pull through.
Justin says that he’s very thankful to his speech therapist, he could differentiate himself whether he was making a sound or was just blowing air while trying to pronounce words, but his speech therapist helped him with that.
His accent isn’t the most perfect but from where he started, it’s the closest he could get to pronouncing words, and isn’t that a brilliant achievement.
Three major phases in Justin’s Life:
Justin says that there were 3 major phases in his life, the first one when he could hear anything.
The second phase where he got his cochlear implant brought fulfillingness in his life after. Adapting to the changes was very hard for him in the initial stages, but gradually he made his way through to a successful designer.
He says that after the implant there was so much noise because he didn’t hear anything for the first 18 years of his life. There was an unknown element as he never used this sense before and he was trying to comprehend it all.
The third phase began when where he started accepting this new world with the help of his hearing sense.
He says that he was inclined to accept this new world and he’s thankful that he’s learning new things every day.
Focusing on the real goal:
As soon as he entered NC State University, he knew the purpose of his life. His teachers at NC State say that he’s been a keen learner and has always impressed us with the way he thrives towards achieving his specified goal.
A perfect example is that of a funnier moment on the show Project Runway when all the contestants were chattering loudly and Justin just popped out his hearing aid device.
When asked for the reason he replied:
“I did it every other day because some of the drama that happened was pointless and I don’t want to energy over their drama, I’m all focused”.
On another occasion, he says:
“I need to make, I’m a maker if I don’t make … I go crazy”
This level of commitment to one’s work is what we all need to acquire success in our lives.
Life before cochlear implant
The primary source of communication for Justin before cochlear implant was sign language. He says that he found his parents to be very supportive as he grew up. They always tried to make sure that he had all the opportunities that he can get.
On an interview he said that “ I have to thank them(Justin’s parents) for raising the person that I am today”
Justin Le Blanc is gay and he’s really proud of it. He says that
“I can’t pick and choose what I am. I am this person, a deaf and gay man”
Everybody has their own identity, for Justin, that’s his identity and Justin believes that he is able to tell people through his personality that you don’t have to pick, you are what you are.
Not only is Justin himself practicing the “be yourself” motto, but he’s also acting as an inspiration for others to do so.
In an interview, Justin Le Blanc says that an 18-year-old guy came to him and thanked him for the reason that through his personality Justin gave him the confidence to speak up to his parents and tell them that he’s gay.
Justin says that hearing this gave him goosebumps and it felt great to inspire someone to live according to his motto.
Justin is now teaching at NC university and is working on a one-way show for his students which is going to be one of a kind
Time is the most important thing for Justin:
Justin says that among all his assets, he weighs time as the most valuable one. He says that while on the show, ‘Project Runway’ he only got 11 hours to make a dress and he realized how important time is.
Moreover, he says that he has a newfound respect for the people on the show that are pushing themselves to the limit to make something gorgeous and extraordinary.
This is something that he also learned himself on the show as he says that he made some wonderful dresses in the given time span which could have actually taken 2 months or longer to be made.
Justin’s Love for children:
Justin Le Blanc really loves children. In addition to the numerous other pictures hanging on his house walls, there’s one in his bedroom which is bit special for him.
He went on a project to teach children art and after the workshop ended, they all painted him a collective painting which still hangs on his bedroom wall.
Project Runway All Stars:
If you are a fashion enthusiast, you must have heard of the show, “Project Runway All Stars”, a show where highly talented fashion designers from around the globe compete in front of the judges.
Justin Le Blanc was able to get a chance in season 4 of Project Runway All-Stars, and making full use of the opportunity, Le Blanc was able to make his way through to the finals where he competed against the Belarusian artist, Dmitry Sholokhov.
Justin says that the real breakthrough in his life was getting a chance on the show Project Runway, which also proved to be a gateway for other opportunities.
Justin Loves his Fans back:
Justin believes that the best thing in his life is the support from his fans and they really mean a lot to him.
No matter where he goes, he’s got this ability that makes people adore him as Marvin J. Malecha, the Dean of NC College of Design says
“We got to see Justin as a Human being in an amazingly chaotic kind of experience, He was an anchor in the middle of all of that, the result of this is I think he has a lot of fans and he should have”
Justin received his education in fashion designing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
He believes that this university played a significant role in imparting useful skills in him like using 3D printing and Test tubes in a design.
Justin says that “I am thankful I went through the program here at NC State because they really prepared me for project Runway”
He professionally graduated from the NC state university in 2011 and since then has had a marvelous and inspiring career.
Reasons for choosing art:
As Justin Le Blanc got better at understanding and communicating, he started learning other subjects like Maths, Science, English, and even started Working out. Despite all that, there was always a disconnect between him and the people teaching him because his learning capabilities weren’t just as good.
Justin however felt a great bit of affection for one subject and found it much easier to understand and comprehend.
It was Art, Art was something he could fully express to himself without even talking and that became his spark.
Le Blanc fully invested himself into Art and has now become a painter, a sculpturor, an architect, and ultimately a fashion designer.
To make one’s parents proud is a true feeling of accomplishment. Justin’s parents, Gerald and Kathy Le Blanc are both very proud of him.
When asked about Justin on occasion of Project Runway Finale, his mother Kathy Le Blanc says that Justin has really made her proud.
He says that his parents provide him the spark that he needs for inspiration.
Justin grew up in the shadow of a bell tower yet he could easily reach all the resources that he needed within 3 to 4 blocks of his house. This was made possible due to the Wolf packers.
Justin’s Parents believe that the Wolfpackers community from North Carolina State has made a significant difference in Justin’s life helping him go strong.
His mother says that this community still continues to fulfill and support him after his success as a Fashion designer.
What’s the secret in Justin Le Blanc’s marvelous Designs?
Justin says that besides all the skills he has achieved, he tends to put his emotions on the line. He says that:
“ As a designer I tend to put my emotion on the line, I mean , I don’t want to design to make a superficial thing, I want to design because there’s a reason”.
Aspiring to inspire with his story, Justin says
“Inspiration is something is something that I cannot give you, it’s all within you, what you need to do is to find the spark, joy and make it grow”
The 34-year-old continues to inspire people, living his life based on his motto
“Think Big and it will take you to places”.