Another thing that Lesniak Franklin wants to make clear: "I totally work well with others," she says. Back at home in Portland, her next step is to hire a staff for her clothing line, Au, so-named for the chemical symbol of gold. Her fondest Runway memories: "Late at night when the cameras were off and it was just us girls in our apartment, we'd laugh and make fun of each other and do impersonations. Patricia [Michaels] does an incredible Daniel [Esquivel]. I don't think I've ever giggled so much." Despite being held back by teamwork in the beginning, Lesniak Franklin can't deny the powerful bonds that resulted. "We're definitely a much closer season by far," she says. "We all talk to each other — some of the designers I talk to on a daily basis. We're close, like family." In the end, a leader is nothing without her pack.
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