'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dies at 53

By Danielle Haynes  |  Nov. 17, 2017 at 7:52 PM
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Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Wendy Pepper, a finalist in the first season of fashion reality series Project Runway, died in Washington, D.C. She was 53.

The fashion designer, whose full name was Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, died "peacefully," surrounded by her family Sunday, an obituary in The Washington Post said.

Pepper came in third place on the inaugural season of Project Runway, which at the time aired on Bravo in 2004 and 2005. She also appeared on the second season of Project Runway All Stars in 2012, where she finished 12th.

Andy Cohen, who was head of development at Bravo when the first season aired, tweeted about the news.

"RIP one of the first of many great characters to appear on #ProjectRunway," he said. "She was a big reason for the first season's success."

Pepper is survived by her daughter, Finley, her parents, and two brothers and a sister. Her funeral is scheduled for Dec. 1.

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