In its return to Bravo, Project Runway has tapped supermodel Karlie Kloss as host and executive producer and CFDA fashion designer Christian Siriano as mentor for the rebooted franchise. In addition, Elle Editor-in-Chief Nina Garcia, who has been with the series since its 2004 launch, will return as judge, along with newcomers, fashion designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist and former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth. The series is currently in pre-production and will premiere in 2019.
As it moves from Lifetime to its original network Bravo, Project Runway is undergoing a major makeover. Its signature stars Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn recently exited after 16 seasons to develop, produce and headline a new fashion reality series for Amazon Prime Video. Designer/judge Zac Posen, who joined Project Runway in Season 11, taking over for Michael Kors, also lefty the series ahead of its Bravo relaunch.
“As someone who grew up watching Project Runway, I could not be more excited to host and produce a series that provides a platform to aspiring American designers as they pursue their creative and entrepreneurial dreams,” said Kloss, who is following in the footsteps of fellow supermodel-turned Runway host Klum. “I am equally as thrilled to work alongside an incredibly talented group of fashion innovators — Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia and Christian Siriano — to inspire, support and help guide these designers as they realize their visions and build everlasting brands and businesses.”
Added Siriano, “Project Runway has offered such wonderful opportunities for so many and I’m excited to take on this role as a mentor. I hope to guide and inspire the new talent on the rise.”
Project Runway is embarking on its 17th season after a decade on Lifetime and is switching to its original production company during the initial Bravo run, Magical Elves. The move was announced at the NBCUniversal upfront in May as part of a deal between the NBCU cable network and new Weinstein Co. owner Lantern Entertainment. It marked one of the first big moves for Lantern, whose bid to acquire the assets of TWC (which included Project Runway), was approved by the Delaware bankruptcy court in May.
“These are the perfect faces for the new Project Runway, as we recalibrate for a new generation of fashion enthusiasts,” said Shari Levine, EVP, Current Production, Bravo. “They are entrepreneurs and trailblazers with tremendous reach inside and outside the fashion industry, and give Bravo and our producing partners, Magical Elves and Lantern Entertainment, the right fuel to reenergize the franchise.”
Kloss has shot campaigns and walked for top designers including Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, Brandon Maxwell and Versace. She is also the face of numerous international campaigns for brands that include Estee Lauder, adidas, Carolina Herrera and Express. Outside of modeling, Karlie is the founder of Kode With Klossy, a nonprofit that empowers girls to learn code and become leaders in tech. Kloss shares her experiences hosting, filming, modeling, coding and traveling through her YouTube channel, Klossy.
Following his studies in London, Siriano launched his namesake label and first Spring and Fall collection in 2008. The collections are shown each season at New York Fashion Week, and presented in New York and Paris to retailers. Siriano has dressed the likes of Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey as well as former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Maxwell launched his eponymous luxury women’s ready-to-wear label in New York in 2015. He was awarded the 2018 Woolmark New York Semifinal Prize Award, 2016 Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for Womenswear, the 2016 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, and was named a finalist for the 2016 LVMH Prize. His brand is worn by Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga and Oprah, among others.
Welteroth is the former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. Throughout her ten year magazine career, she broke new ground as the youngest person and only the second African American ever to hold the Editor-in-Chief title in Condé Nast’s 107-year history. Previously, she held senior roles at Glamour and Ebony Magazine, and in 2012 she became Conde Nast’s first ever African American Beauty Director. She also has served as a writer on Freeform’s Grown-ish.
Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as Project Runway executive producers for Magical Elves and Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic serve as executive producers for Lantern Entertainment. Kloss also serves as an executive producer for the series.