RuPaul's Drag Race Wiki
RuPaul's Drag Race Wiki

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.

Challenge's Timeline

Show Season
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
The challenge never appeared in the season.
The challenge appeared only as a mini challenge in the season.
The challenge appeared in the season once.
The challenge appeared in the season twice.

Drag Race Franchise

Other Series


  • 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:
  • 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.
    • Morgan McMichaels chose her "Here Comes the Bride" look, that eliminated her in her original season. She was eliminated the episode before so she couldn't show the outfit on the runway.[1]
  • 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 are, so far, the only regular seasons to not feature a Design/Fashion challenge outside of the Ball challenge, with Season 12 being the first.
  • DRH 1 is to this day the only international season to not feature a Design Challenge.