Project Runway contestant Wendy Pepper was reported dead in a death notice in the Washington Post on Friday, November 17. She was 53.

Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, best known to the wide audience as Wendy Pepper, one of the contestants of the first season of Project Runway, has passed away at the age of 53, the Washington Post obituary announced. The sad news was published on Friday, November 17.

Wendy Pepper “died peacefully on November 12, 2017, surrounded by her loving family”, the death notice read.

Lifetime posted a statement, as well: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of another member of the Project Runway family, designer Wendy Pepper, this year”, the statement read. “Wendy was one of the original designers that sent creations down the catwalk, paving the way for other designers to come. We wish her family and friends peace during this difficult time.”

The cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Wendy was 40-years-old when she joined the cast of Project Runway’s first season, which premiered on December 1, 2004. Pepper was one of the twelve designers competing for $100,000 to start her own fashion line, a mentorship with Banana Republic and an editorial feature in one of the most popular fashion and women’s magazine, Elle.

Season One’s judges were Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia. Pepper did not win first prize. The big winner was Jay McCarroll and the runner-up was Kara Saun. Pepper was the second runner-up.

After Project Runway, Wendy displayed her “Thrill of the Hunt” fashion collection during the New York fashion Week, in 2005.

She continued to design clothes and opened a store in Middleburg, Virgina. She appeared on several magazine covers, among which The Georgetowner, The Washington Post, Middleburg Eccentric and The New York Post. She also had two more TV appearances, one on Celebrity Poker Showdown and one on Battle of the Network Reality Stars.