Fashion designer and Project Runway star Mychael Knight has died.

He was 39.

According to NBC News, Knight died in his native state of Georgia surrounded by friends and family. Though Knight extensively shared his five-year struggle with irritable bowel syndrome, an official cause of death has yet to be released.

“He was innovative, unapologetic, kind and giving,” friend Jerris Madison, editor and photographer of Obvious Magazine, said of Knight. “He made sure that anybody who was in his core circle, his family, his friends, didn’t have to want for anything. He was just an amazing man.”

Knight is famously known for his Season 3 appearance on Project Runway, which aired on Bravo. He returned for Project Runway All-Stars, which now airs on the Lifetime network.

“We are saddened to hear about the passing of a member of the Project Runway family,” said Lifetime spokeswoman Dee Perez said in a statement. “It’s a loss of a great talent, and we wish his family peace and solace during this difficult time.”

Knight grew up in Montgomery, Ala., but went on to graduate from Washingtonville Senior High in New York in 1996. That same year, he attended Georgia State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in apparel design and merchandising in 2001.


He then broke into Atlanta’s fashion scene, having launched a unisex lingerie line called Kitty & Dick.

“Mychael meant everything to us and we loved him dearly. He was generous and so full of life. This is how we choose to remember his legacy,” the family said in a statement.