Ever wonder how big time fashion designers got their start? Think they must have been born with fashion on the brain? Think again. From a ballerina and a brothel boy – these 4 designers came a long way before reaching industry stardom. Click through to find out what they were doing BEFORE they were packing out the tents at Lincoln Center. Plus, they share their wildest runway experiences to date since then.

[Interview photos by Joanna Totolici][Cover photos via, via]