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Greenwich Man Hits the 'Runway'

UPDATE: Jason Troisi was eliminated from "Project Runway" during Thursday night's competition.

Jason Troisi has always thought outside the box. At Greenwich High School, he would go from sewing class to football practice, trying to find himself as a young adult.

Now the 33-year-old designer and Greenwich resident is continuing to do it his way on season eight of "Project Runway." But Troisi's path hasn't been smooth. He struggled through school because of a learning disability -- Attention Deficit Disorder. "I always felt better about myself when I looked in the mirror. I identify with myself that way."

"I first took a home economics class in middle school," he said. "Once I got to high school, a few other guys started to accept that sewing was okay. I just started to break walls."

Troisi went on to Parsons The New School of Design, where he won the Gene Mayer Designer Critic Gold Thimble Award in menswear during his senior year in 2000. "I wanted to go the indie route after I graduated," he said. "But I couldn't find anything that felt right."

So Troisi worked in landscaping and took a 10-year hiatus from designing. "I was married at one point," he said, "and to get away from that ... I found my first love again, which was fashion."

Troisi says that as a free spirit, he needed structure. "I needed the restrictions of men's and women's-wear. And within that, I would break the rules."

Throughout it all, Troisi has remained confident in his abilities. "God has given me a gift to think outside the box. Everything around us is so amazing and so intense. I see the world differently." He also is passionate about encouraging others with learning disabilities to not be afraid.

Viewers can watch Troisi think outside the box Thursday night at 9 p.m. on Lifetime on "Project Runway."

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