She is the latest in a long Portland tradition: Plenty of Portlanders have gone before her, and won. Donofrio joins the ranks of show veterans like Seth Aaron Henderson (Season 7), Michelle Lesniak (Season 11), Gretchen Jones (Season 8) and Leanne Marshall (Season 5). Lesniak still sews her line in a little studio near Cartopia, and Seth Aaron pops in for Portland's fashion weeks in the fall.
This year, Donofrio [disclosure: she has contributed to WW] is the only West Coast-based contestant not from California. Donofrio moved to Portland last year from Toronto.
If you want a preview or a chance to buy her clothes before she gets all famous, Donofrio just opened her first Portland pop-up shop this week. One Imaginary Girl will be at 3334 SE Belmont St. at least through September.
Located the former Belmont Records space next to Suzette Creperie, the shop feels like a mixture of sweet cream and punk edge. Right now, Donofrio carries pieces she carefully picks from other designers, including Spain's Diarte, Paris's The Korner and the New York denim line Courtshop.
This Fall, she'll debut her first house line under the label One Imaginary Girl.
Now 34, Donofrio says she started designing before puberty. One of her first undertakings was an avant-garde swimwear line at age 10. Her aesthetic is basically the opposite of the old Health Goth or the new Yeezy army. It's like an East London schoolgirl who left Wes Anderson for a lurid affairs with 1990s Kate Moss.
Related: The Health Goth Issue.
Even in metallic flats with bows on the toes, the nearly six-foot-tall Donofrio towers over most of the crowd Portland's fashion mavens in their stilettos. Donofrio doesn't try to downsize herself though. She'll sport high-contrast checkered print, sunglasses in neon enamel and thick, Sriracha-red lipstick. But flats, nearly always flats.
Go: One Imaginary Girl is at 3334 SE Belmont St., 669-233-1487. Donofrio will attend Fade To Light at the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 6 pm Wednesday, Aug. 24. $17-$75.