CNN  — 

One day you’re in, the next you’re… showing at New York Fashion Week.

During the finale episode of “Project Runway: All Stars,” which aired Thursday night, the show’s judging panel awarded the big win to Baltimore, Maryland-based designer Bishme Cromartie.

Cromartie, who previously competed on the show’s 17th ‘regular’ season, triumphed over his two fellow finalists, Laurence Basse (previously of “Project Runway” season 15) and Brittany Allen (of “Project Runway” season 18).

Across his “All Stars run,” Cromartie showcased looks including streetwear and sculptural pieces, timeless gowns and trendy separates — and a delightful penchant for baseball caps. His final collection took inspiration from the grieving process he went through after the death of his sister, whose passing was just two months before the show began taping. “I miss my sister so much… before she passed away, she told me I was going to win — all I had to do was just believe it,” he said on the show, holding back tears, after the judges’ decision in his favor was announced.

While he has had to wait for his win to become public knowledge (the “All Star” season taped last fall), Cromartie is making the most of his moment, and will present his debut collection on the main schedule at New York Fashion Week on September 12.

“I’m dealing with two shows, one that’s happening on TV and then one (in real life),” he told CNN Style in an interview conducted the day before his crowning. “I’m ecstatic… I couldn’t have imagined how this all panned out.”

His sister’s memory also served as potent inspiration for his NYFW collection, Cromartie said. “My sister was at my first fashion show, that I put together myself… So to have this be my (New York Fashion Week) debut, it’s pretty cool. I’ve been realizing it’s about how I’m connected to her and, in a way, it helps me stay focused on the things that I love.”

“I tell the universe what I want. It prepares me so that when the opportunity approaches or presents itself, I’m able to take it on,” he explained, adding that the double-whammy of workload and creativity is exactly what he’s looking for: “I would love to be worrying about my collection debuting here at another New York Fashion week some season and then having to fly out to Europe to show (another line) as a creative director somewhere else.”