The Design Challenge, also known as the Sewing Challenge, and sometimes as a Fashion Challenge, involves the queens creating an outfit to display on the runway using fabrics or unconventional materials, or putting together a look from clothes brought from home to fit certain themes and criteria. Typically, the design challenge is the first main challenge of the season. It also can appear more than once in a season featuring different challenges to meet.
The Makeover Challenge is similar to this challenge as it involves putting looks together for themselves and their partners. The Ball Challenge is another version of the challenge, that requires the queens to present a minimum of two looks on the runway, with at least one of the looks being a design challenge.
Design Challenge Winners
Main Challenge Winners
Mini Challenge Winners
Design Challenge Eliminated
All Design Challenges
Episode 1: "Drag on a Dime"
For the first challenge of RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens were challenged to create outfits out of items from the 99 cents store. After designing the outfits and presenting them on the runway, Tammie Brown, Shannel, BeBe Zahara Benet, and Jade were declared safe. After the judges' critiques, Ongina placed high, Nina Flowers won the challenge, Rebecca Glasscock placed low, and Akashia sent home Victoria "Porkchop" Parker. The challenge was used during the season premiere of Season 8, and later again in the season premiere of Season 10.
|BeBe Zahara Benet||SAFE|
Episode 1: "Gone with the Windows"
The twelve queens were tasked to create a garment out of curtains. Jessica Wild, Raven, Tatianna, Sonique, Jujubee and Nicole Paige Brooks were declared safe. Morgan McMichaels, Tyra Sanchez and Pandora Boxx all received positive critiques with Morgan McMichaels being the winner of this weeks challenge. Sahara Davenport, Mystique Summers and Shangela all received negative critiques for their curtain couture and with Mystique Summers ultimately being declared safe, Sahara Davenport and Shangela were left to lip sync. Shangela was eliminated.
|Nicole Paige Brooks||SAFE|
|Sahara Davenport||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 5: "Here Comes the Bride"
The queens were tasked to alter wedding dresses given to them. Tyra Sanchez, Jessica Wild, Raven and Jujubee all received positive critiques with Tyra ultimately taking the win. Pandora Boxx was declared safe. Tatianna, Morgan McMichaels and Sahara Davenport all received negative critiques and with Tatianna was ultimately being declared safe for having immunity, left Morgan McMichaels and Sahara Davenport to lip-sync. Morgan McMichaels was eliminated.
|Sahara Davenport||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 2: "The Queen Who Mopped Xmas"
The thirteen queens were tasked to create a garment using thrift store items and fabrics, with Christmas as an inspiration. Raja, Manila Luzon and Mimi Imfurst all received positive critiques of their Christmas inspired outfits, with Raja ultimately being declared the winner. Stacy Layne Matthews, Delta Work, Alexis Mateo, Yara Sofia, Mariah, India Ferrah and Phoenix were all declared safe. Carmen Carrera, Venus D-Lite and Shangela all received negative critiques and with Carmen Carrera ultimately being declared safe, Venus D-Lite and Shangela were left to lip-sync to stay in the competition. Venus D-Lite was eliminated.
|Mariah Paris Balenciaga||SAFE|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||SAFE|
Episode 7: "Face, Face, Face of Cakes"
The eight remaining queens were tasked to create a fashion style inspired by a style of cake from a bakery. Carmen Carrera won the mini-challenge and assigned the cakes, leaving the princess cake for herself. Alexis Mateo was assigned the cheesecake, Delta Work was assigned the angel food cake, Raja was assigned the chocolate lava cake, Manila Luzon was assigned the carrot cake, Stacy Layne Matthews was assigned the red velvet cake, Yara Sofia was assigned the strawberry shortcake and Shangela was assigned the pineapple upside-down cake. Raja, Manila Luzon, Yara Sofia, Delta Work all received positive critiques with Raja being declared the winner. Carmen Carrera and Shangela both received negative feedback but were ultimately being declared safe, leaving Alexis Mateo and Stacy Layne Matthews were left to lip-sync. Stacy Layne Matthews was eliminated.
|Raja||Chocolate Lava Cake||WINNER|
|Manila Luzon||Carrot Cake||HIGH|
|Yara Sofia||Strawberry Shortcake||HIGH|
|Delta Work||Angel Food Cake||HIGH|
|Carmen Carrera||Princess Cake||LOW|
|Shangela||Pineapple Upside Down Cake||LOW|
|Alexis Mateo||Cheesecake||BOTTOM 2|
|Stacy Layne Matthews||Red Velvet Cake||ELIMINATED|
Episode 1: "RuPocalypse Now!"
The queens were tasked to create a post-apocalyptic garment from items they had looted from previous contestants dressed as 'zombies'. Chad Michaels, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, Milan, Dida Ritz, Willam Belli and Madame LaQueer were declared safe.The Princess, Lashauwn Beyond and Sharon Needles all received positive critiques with Sharon Needles being declared the winner. Kenya Michaels, Jiggly Caliente and Alisa Summers all received negative critiques of their apocalyptic couture. Kenya Michaels was ultimately declared safe, leaving Jiggly Caliente and Alisa Summers to lip-sync. Alisa Summers was eliminated.
|Phi Phi O'Hara||SAFE|
|Jiggly Caliente||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 6: "Float Your Boat"
Each of the remaining queens was assigned a colour of the rainbow by the winner of the mini challenge, Willam Belli. They were tasked to create a pride boat and an outfit using their allocated colour. Latrice Royale, Phi Phi O'Hara and Willam all received positives critiques with Willam being declared the winner. Sharon Needles and Chad Michaels were declared safe, while Dida Ritz, Jiggly Caliente and Milan all received negative critiques. With Dida Ritz ultimately being declared safe, Jiggly Caliente and Milan were left to lip-sync and Milan was eliminated.
|Phi Phi O'Hara||Violet||HIGH|
|Jiggly Caliente||Orange||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "RuPaullywood or Bust"
The queens were tasked to create a garment the brings out Hollywood realness and glamour using items they found whilst dumpster diving. Jinkx Monsoon, Detox, Coco Montrese, Alyssa Edwards, Honey Mahogany, Vivienne Pinay, and Monica Beverly Hillz were all declared safe. Lineysha Sparx, Alaska, Ivy Winters and Roxxxy Andrews all received positive critiques with Roxxxy Andrews snatching the win. Jade Jolie, Serena ChaCha and Penny Tration all received negative feedback on their garments and with Jade Jolie ultimately being declared safe, left Serena ChaCha and Penny Tration to lip-sync. Penny Tration was eliminated.
|Monica Beverly Hillz||SAFE|
|Serena ChaCha||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "RuPaul's Big Opening Part 1"
Each of the first seven queens are assigned a box, based on TV shows. Inside each box were materials needed to construct a runway look out of. Adore Delano was assigned 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', Gia Gunn was assigned 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians', April Carrión was assigned with 'Duck Dynasty', BenDeLaCreme was assigned 'Golden Girls', Laganja Estranja was assigned 'Dancing with the Stars', Kelly Mantle was assigned 'Downton Abbey' and Vivacious was assigned 'Game of Thrones'. Gia Gunn, April Carrión and BenDeLaCreme all received positive critiques with BenDeLaCreme receiving the first win of the season. Kelly Mantle, Adore Delano and Vivacious all received negative feedback with Laganja Estranja being declared safe. Adore Delano ended up being declared safe leaving Kelly Mantle and Vivacious to lip-sync. Kelly Mantle was eliminated.
|April Carrion||Duck Dynasty||HIGH|
|Gia Gunn||Keeping Up With
With The Stars
|Adore Delano||Here Comes
Honey Boo Boo
|Vivacious||Game of Thrones||BOTTOM 2|
|Kelly Mantle||Downton Abbey||ELIMINATED|
Episode 2: "RuPaul's Big Opening Part 2"
The seven remaining queens were all assigned a box, based on different parts/ celebrations. Darienne Lake was assigned 'St. Patrick Day', Magnolia Crawford was assigned 'Ho Down', Bianca Del Rio was assigned 'Luau Party', Courtney Act was assigned 'Republican Party', Trinity K. Bonet was assigned 'Princess Party', Milk was assigned 'Toga Party' and Joslyn Fox was assigned 'Quinceañera'. Bianca Del Rio, Milk and Trinity K. Bonet all received positive critiques with Bianca Del Rio getting her first win. Courtney Act was declared safe. Joslyn Fox, Darienne Lake and Magnolia Crawford all received negative critiques, with Joslyn Fox declared safe leaving Darienne Lake and Magnolia Crawford to lip-sync. Magnolia Crawford was eliminated.
|Bianca Del Rio||Luau Party||WINNER|
|Trinity K. Bonet||Princess Party||HIGH|
|Courtney Act||Republican Party||SAFE|
|Darienne Lake||St. Patricks Day||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "Born Naked"
This episode, the 14 queens enter the werk room and are challenged to take part in a Spring and Fall fashion show with the runway themed on a nude illusion. Ginger Minj, Pearl, Katya, Max, Trixie Mattel, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, Mrs. Kasha Davis are all declared safe. Violet Chachki, Kennedy Davenport and Miss Fame all received positive critiques with Violet being declared the winner of the challenge. Sasha Belle and Jasmine Masters recieved negative critiques but were ultimately declared safe, leaving Kandy Ho and Tempest DuJour to lipsync. Tempest DuJour was sent home.
|Jaidynn Diore Fierce||SAFE|
|Mrs. Kasha Davis||SAFE|
|Kandy Ho||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "Keeping It 100!"
The season premiere of Season 8 celebrated 100 episodes of the show, so RuPaul challenged each queen to design an outfit based on a previous design challenges. Since Robbie Turner won the mini-challenge, she assigned the queens: Make Dat Money went to Acid Betty, Gone with the Window went to Bob the Drag Queen, Glitter Ball went to Chi Chi DeVayne, Sugar Ball went to Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Hello, Kitty Girls! went to Dax ExclamationPoint, The Queen Who Mopped Xmas went to Derrick Barry, RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza went to Kim Chi, RuPocalypse Now! went to Laila McQueen, Float Your Boat went to Naomi Smalls, Drag on a Dime went to Naysha Lopez, The Fabulous Bitch Ball went to Robbie Turner, and Face, Face, Face of Cakes went to Thorgy Thor. Kim Chi won the challenge while Naysha Lopez was sent home.
|Kim Chi||RuPaul's Hair
|Acid Betty||Make Dat Money
|Derrick Barry||The Queen Who
|Bob The Drag Queen||Gone With
|Chi Chi DeVayne||Glitter Ball
|Thorgy Thor||Face, Face, Face
|Cynthia Lee Fontaine||Sugar Ball
|Dax ExclamationPoint||Hello, Kitty Girls!
|Naomi Smalls||Float Your Boat
|Robbie Turner||The Fabulous
|Laila McQueen||RuPocalypse Now
|Naysha Lopez||Drag on a Dime
Episode 1: "Wickedest Witch"
|Vander Von Odd||WINNER|
Episode 3: "Draggily Ever After"
The remaining queens were asked to create a princess look and a 'side-kick' to accompany them. Alexis Michelle, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Nina Bo'nina Brown, Shea Coulee, Sasha Velour, Charlie Hides and Eureka were declared safe. Trinity Taylor, Valentina and Peppermint received positive critiques with Trinity Taylor snatching the win. Aja, Kimora Blac and Farrah Moan all received negative critiques. Farrah Moan was declared safe leaving Kimora and Aja to lip-sync. This resulted in the elimination of Kimora Blac.
|Trinity Taylor||Aquapussy||Stanky the Starfish||WINNER|
|Peppermint||Carcinogenetta||Petey the Pilot Light||HIGH|
|Charlie Hides||Climaxica||Isabella Snatchpacker||SAFE|
|Cynthia Lee Fontaine||Cuculina||Brulee||SAFE|
|Nina Bo'nina Brown||Zathena||Ink||SAFE|
|Shea Coulee||Aquaria||Moon Pearl||SAFE|
|Farrah Moan||Pacifica||Fablina the Blowfish||LOW|
|Aja||Disastah||Da Sistah||BOTTOM 2|
|Kimora Blac||Banana Lady||Funky Monkey||ELIMINATED|
Episode 1: "Get Hooked"
|Victoria Elizabeth Black||HIGH|
|Erika Klash||BOTTOM 3|
|Monikkie Shame||BOTTOM 3|
Episode 6: "Til Death Do Us Part"
|Victoria Elizabeth Black||HIGH|
|James Majesty||BOTTOM 3|
Episode 1: "Contestant's Story"
The ten queens where asked to create a three in one look using unconventional materials assigned by the winner of the mini-challenge, Morrigan. Année Maywong got a mattress and a wicker basket, Petchra got two bowls and some candles, Bunny Be Fly got banana leaves, Amadiva got tulle fabric, JAJA got a sarong, Natalia Pliacam got some sbai cloths, Meannie Minaj got a bed mosquito net, Dearis Doll got a farmer hat and some cloths, B Ella got a traditional thai tiara and Morrigan picked a flower bouquet for herself.
|Année Maywong||Matress & Wicker Basket||WINNER|
|B Ella||Traditional Thai Tiara||SAFE|
|Bunny Be Fly||Banana Leaves||SAFE|
|Dearis Doll||Farmer Hat & Cloths||SAFE|
|Natalia Pliacam||Sbai Cloths||SAFE|
|Petchra||Two Bowls & Candles||SAFE|
|Morrigan||Flower Bouquet||BOTTOM 2|
|Meannie Minaj||Bed Mosquito Net||ELIMINATED|
Episode 3: "Curtain to Couture"
|Dearis Doll||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "10s Across the Board"
As an homage to the very first episode of Season 1, the 14 queens were tasked to gather items from a box that they could create a garment out of. Asia O'Hara, Aquaria, Eureka, Kameron Michaels, Monique Heart, Monét X Change and The Vixen were declared safe. Mayhem Miller, Miz Cracker, Blair St. Clair and Yuhua Hamasaki received positive critiques for their garments and the judges chose Mayhem Miller to win the challenge. On the other hand, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo received negative critiques, with Dusty being declared safe leaving Kalorie and Vanessa to lip-sync. Vanessa was eliminated
|Blair St. Clair||HIGH|
|Monét X Change||SAFE|
|Dusty Ray Bottoms||LOW|
|Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams||BOTTOM 2|
|Vanessa Vanjie Mateo||ELIMINATED|
Episode 6: "Crafty Beaver Badge"
|Muffy Fishbasket||Sylvia Nyxx||WINNER|
|Alexis Bevels||Dominique DeGrant||HIGH|
|Pagan Holladay||O'Laysia||BOTTOM 2|
|Vajay J. Snappinturtle||C'est Kevvie||ELIMINATED|
Episode 3: "Costume Chaos"
|Lola Blades||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 7: "Food Lover"
|Angele Anang||Green Beef
|Bandit||Chicken Basil Sauce
With Fired Egg
|Srimala||Chicken Basil Sauce
With Fired Egg
|Tormai||Pad Thai With Prawns||BOTTOM 3|
|Vanda Miss Joaquim||Pad Thai With Prawns||BOTTOM 3|
|Genie||Chicken Basil Sauce
With Fired Egg
Episode 1: "Whatcha Unpackin"
For the season premiere of Season 11, the 15 queens were tasked to create a look inspired by their style of drag using materials inspired by previous Drag Race contestants. Silky Nutmeg Ganache won the mini challenge and got to assigned the roles. She assigned herself with Peppermint, A'keria Chanel Davenport with Bebe Zahara Benet, Ariel Versace with Laganja Estranja, Brooke Lynn Hytes with Detox, Honey Davenport with BenDeLaCreme, Kahanna Montrese with Katya, Mercedes Iman Diamond with Bianca Del Rio, Nina West with Thorgy Thor, Plastique Tiara with Sasha Velour, Ra'Jah O'Hara with Kennedy Davenport, Scarlet Envy with Violet Chachki, Shuga Cain with Sharon Needles, Soju with Kim Chi, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo with Valentina and Yvie Oddly with Alaska. Brooke Lynn Hytes, A'keria C Davenport, Plastique Tiara and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo all received positive critiques with Brooke Lynn Hytes snatching the first win of the season. Ariel, Honey, Ra'Jah, Scarlet, Shuga, Silky, and Yvie are declared safe. Nina West, Mercedes Iman Diamond, Kahanna Montrese, and Soju all received negative critiques with Nina and Mercedes ultimately being declared safe leaving Kahanna and Soju to lip-sync. Kahanna Montrese won the lip-sync and Soju was eliminated.
|Brooke Lynn Hytes||Detox||WINNER|
|A'keria Chanel Davenport||Bebe Zahara Benet||HIGH|
|Plastique Tiara||Sasha Velour||HIGH|
|Vanessa Vanjie Mateo||Valentina||HIGH|
|Ariel Versace||Laganja Estranja||SAFE|
|Ra'Jah O'Hara||Kennedy Davenport||SAFE|
|Scarlet Envy||Violet Chachki||SAFE|
|Shuga Cain||Sharon Needles||SAFE|
|Silky Nutmeg Ganache||Peppermint||SAFE|
|Nina West||Thorgy Thor||LOW|
|Mercedes Iman Diamond||Bianca Del Rio||LOW|
|Kahanna Montrese||Katya||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 7: "From Farm To Runway"
During this challenge, the remaining 9 queens had to create looks farm materials; whether it was food, seeds, burlap, denim, or more, the queens had to use it. Plastique Tiara, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and Yvie Oddly were praised for having unique, creative, well-presented runway looks. Ra'Jah O'Hara, A'keria Chanel Davenport, and Nina West were critiqued for lack of originality, a poor shape, and a messy outfit. After deliberations, Plastique was announced the winner and A'keria was left to lip sync against Ra'Jah. A'keria won the lip sync, sending home Ra'Jah after her fourth time in the bottom.
|Brooke Lynn Hytes||HIGH|
|Silky Nutmeg Ganache||SAFE|
|Vanessa Vanjie Mateo||SAFE|
|A'keria Chanel Davenport||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 6: "Crafty Beaver"
|Diana Fire||Boris Tudeth||WINNER|
|Tora Himan||Debbie Fox||HIGH|
|Miss Kitty Litter ATX||Ivanna||SAFE|
|Clare Apparently||Paris Lurux||SAFE|
|Coco Jem Holiday||Barbra Wyre||BOTTOM 2|
|Vivica Galactica||Carly Üninemclite||ELIMINATED|
Episode 1: "The Lesser of Two Evils"
|Maxi Glamour||BOTTOM 2|
|Violencia Exclamation Point||EXTERMINATED|
Episode 2: "Don’t Suck"
Episode 5: "No Throw Aways, Not Recycled"
|Evah Destruction||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 3: "Posh On A Penny"
Similar to the first episode of RuPauls Drag Race US, the queens had to create garments out of items seen in a 99p store. After designing the outfits and presenting them on the runway, Baga Chipz and Blu Hydrangea were declared safe. Divina De Campo, Crystal and The Vivienne all received positive critiques with Divina winning the challenge for her garment made out of laundry bags. Cheryl Hole was declared safe leaving Sum Ting Wong and Vinegar Strokes in the bottom two to lip-sync to 'Would I Lie To You' by the Eurythmics, and after her second time in the bottom, Vinegar Strokes was eliminated.
|Divina De Campo||WINNER|
|Sum Ting Wong||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "Old to New"
|Jen Tré Fire||SAFE|
|Willy SmacknTush||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 3: "Onesies Inspirations"
|Jen Tré Fire||Unicorn||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "Eh-Leganza Eh-xtravaganza"
|Queen||O Canada Box
|BOA||Man Of Green
|Jimbo||Rainblow It Up||HIGH|
|Anastarzia Anaquway||Canada Gay||SAFE|
|Kiara||Like A Prairie||SAFE|
|Tynomi Banks||Lumber Janes||SAFE|
|Kyne||Yukon Gold Digger||LOW|
|Lemon||Jock Scraps||BOTTOM 2|
|Juice Boxx||Much Ru-sic
Episode 4: "Single Use Queens"
|Scarlett BoBo||HIGH TEAM|
|Ilona Verley||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 1: "Look Inédito"
|Miguella||Plastic Bags||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 2: "Make Inédita"
|Amy K. Fairy||Disposable Cap||WINNER|
|Fruta3000||Things glued in the face||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 3: "Who Wore It Best?"
|Tia Kofi||Green||BOTTOM 2|
Episode 7: "Lockdown Supersheroes"
|Ellie Diamond||Exuberant Ellie||HIGH|
|Bimini Bon-Boulash||Dr. Isabella Blows-A-Lot||SAFE|
|Lawrence Chaney||Lawrence of Chania||LOW|
|Tayce||Exfoliana Bolt||BOTTOM 2|
|Sister Sister||The Garden of Sh-Eden||ELIMINATED|
- Drag on a Dime, Gone with the Windows, The Queen Who Mopped Xmas, Face, Face, Face of Cakes, RuPocalypse Now! and Float Your Boat were all used as inspirations for the first Design Challenge of season 8, returning as legendary Design Challenges from the first 99 episodes.
- For Face of Cakes the cake used was Red Velvet, Stacy Layne Matthews cake in the original.
- For Float Your Boat the blue boat was used, which was Willam's colour in the original.
- Additionally, all three of the top queens that week had been assigned themes from season 3: The Queen Who Mopped Xmas, The Hair Ball Design Challenge and The Money Ball Design Challenge.
- Drag on a Dime is the only challenge to be used three times, in Season 1, 8 (as an inspiration) and 10.
- In all three seasons it was the first episode of the season.
- Many outfits from these Design Challenges have become memes within the fandom due to their unusual construction, strange choice of items, and random lines from the queens wearing them. Including:
- Shangela's Corn and Mystique's Headpiece from "Gone with the Windows".
- Shangela's lampshade and Frostula the Snow Ho from "The Queen Who Mopped Xmas".
- Stacy Layne Matthews's Red Velvet Couture from "Face, Face, Face of Cakes".
- Jiggly Caliente's Baked Potato Couture and Lashauwn Beyond's Post-Apocaloptic headpiece from "RuPocalyse Now!
- Kelly Mantle's Bacon Dress from "RuPaul's Big Opening Part 1".
- Jasmine Masters's Cocoon and Kandy Ho's beard from "Born Naked".
- Aja's Princess Disastah from "Draggily Ever After".
- Monét X Change's Sponge Dress and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo's Barbie Flowers from "10s Across the Board".
- Raja is the first queen to win two Design Challenges as well as winning two in the same season (Followed by Année Maywong and Rita Baga).
- Tyra Sanchez, Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki, Kim Chi, Aquaria, and Brooke Lynn Hytes are the only queens to win both a Fashion/Design Challenge and a Ball Challenge in the same season.
- Of those, all but Kim Chi and Brooke Lynn Hytes have gone on to win their seasons.
- Morgan McMichaels has the biggest placement differences between her two Fashion/Design Challenges as she won "Gone with the Windows" and was eliminated in "Here Comes the Bride".
- In All Stars 3's Rudemption runway, Aja did her Draggily Ever After look and Shangela her The Queen Who Mopped Xmas look, looks that landed them in the bottom 2 in their original seasons.
- The Design Challenge being the first challenge of the season has had some backlash from fans, as it has eliminated queens that they felt should have stayed longer as they would have done well in the acting and performance challenges in the next few episodes.
- Season 12 and Season 13 (so far) regular season to not feature a Design/Fashion challenge, with Season 12 being the first.