Jack Mackenroth is originally from Seattle, Washington where he lived with his mother, brother and sister. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a double degree in Fine Arts and Sociology. He moved to New York in 1991 to attend the prestigious Parsons School of design where he studied Fashion Design. Fresh out of Parsons, Jack opened a menswear store in the uberchic West Village called 'Jack'. There he showcased new designers along side upscale brands such as Gaultier Junior, Diesel and John Richmond. In 1997 he went to work for Tommy Hilfiger, designing knits for the women's line and doing fashion illustrations for the entire division. From there he went back into menswear designing for the Slates brand under the Levis umbrella. Before appearing on Season 4 of Project Runway he was the Design Director at Weatherproof Active wear for the past 4 years.
Beyond his professional achievements Jack has also achieved national recognition as a competitive swimmer. He has 3 All-American titles to his name and set a national record in the summer of 2006 in the breaststroke leg of the 4 x 50 meter medley relay. The same summer he finished 12th in the 50 meter breaststroke at the Masters World Championships in Stanford California. He still competes at the most elite level in swimming.
As a fitness and fashion model through the 1990's, Jack appeared in such magazines as Paper, DNR, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Genre, Blue and several others.
Jack has always been very open about his positive HIV status. Since his diagnosis in 1990 he has tried to combat the stigma of HIV by living honestly and being a role model through professional and athletic achievements. He believes that public visibility educates and eventually saves lives. He has worked with HIV/AIDS charities such as God's Love We Deliver and Project Open Hand, which deliver meals to homebound people with AIDS. Each year his swim team organizes a benefit event that raises over $25,000 annually for local AIDS charities. He hopes to further disprove the myths about HIV throughout his experience on Project Runway and beyond.
Currently Jack is developing his own line of men's dress shirts and dress pants and hopes to expand into all aspects of men's sportswear. He is also working on a memoir about his life experiences. Most recently he had a cameo in the new Sex and the City movie with all the girls. The runway is just beginning...
WARNING - Not work safe pics
“Um… I think I am perceived as witty, stylish, confident, boisterous, opinionated, responsible, irresponsible, athletic, honest and well-rounded. I think, in truth, I am most of those things but also shy, sometimes emotionally raw, sometimes closed off, confident in some ways while insecure in others. Mostly I am honest about myself and others. I'm not 'straight acting' nor do I care to be. (And you gay boys who think you are are usually mistaken.) I'm not fey either although I love and appreciate a good queen. I'm very comfortable with myself thought there are always things I would like to improve. I don't do drugs anymore (unless you count crack and liquid eyeliner) so if that's important to you we probably wont work. Oh yeah--and just so we can avoid that awkward conversation in the future, I'm HIV+ (for 18 years). C'mon guys--enough with the shame. Visibility saves lives.”
@BeautifulMag – Frank Louis