Gunnar Deatherage

Google Gunnar Deatherage and you’ll find thousands of results about the fashion designer, most of which are about his nationally-televised “Project Runway” appearances, which have made him a bonafide celebrity.

But what you won’t find easily, unless you’re digging, is that the Kentucky native was actually raised in Indiana – Hanover, to be exact – went to beauty school in Jeffersonville, lived in Corydon before moving to Louisville, and is a master stylist at The Salon, 130 W. Court Ave. in Jeffersonville. At least when he’s not working as creative director for NFocus Louisville, appearing on TV, traveling the country to collaborate with fellow designers or debuting his latest collection.

“I love this area,” said Gunnar. “I’m a strong supporter of (floral shop) Lavender Hill, and I always get my coffee at Adrienne and Company, which is right across the street. … I’ve watched the region grow completely. I’ve seen businesses come and go. But I think I’ve watched the people evolve the most, and that’s what keeps me here. This is literally one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever seen.”

We asked Gunnar to help us extol the virtues of Southern Indiana. Here’s why he’s celebrating this region and ways you can, too:

“I feel like there is a select community of young to middle-age people that are progressive in the way that they think, in the way that they do business and in the way that they present themselves.”

“The downtown portion of New Albany, that is where it’s happening as far as a hip spot, a progressive, forward-thinking place.”

Take risks. “You only live once. Are you trying to impress everyone on the street, or are you trying to impress yourself? If you’re caring what everyone else thinks, you lose yourself.”

“What you do to people and what you give to people, you get back. I’m a really big believer in that.”

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