Former Hawera High School student Sean Kelly is making a big splash in the Big Apple with his winning designs on Project Runway.

Kelly, 23, won best design on episode five and the show's co-presenter, Heidi Klum, wore the dress to the Creative Arts Emmy awards on August 16.

Episode six has just screened in the United States and the young designer placed first again with his "unconventional" wedding dress design.

Sean is one of 11 contestants remaining on the show after seven of the original 18 were eliminated.


He lives in Brooklyn, New York after graduating from Massey University College of Creative Arts last year. His family live in Hawera.

Project Runway is not screening in New Zealand, so sister Hannah Kelly is downloading the show to watch her brother's progress.

She has not been able to speak to her brother since he was selected for the show and says it has been a tense time, with Sean in lock-down and no communication allowed.

"I'm really proud of Sean, he is taking the criticism from the judges on the chin well and some of it is pretty harsh," she said.