Project Runway Fashion Startup Katia Beauchamp Gary Wassner Rebecca Minkoff Christine Hunsicker


AND THEY’RE OFF: Lifetime’s “Project Runway: Fashion Startup,” premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. The series showcases aspiring fashion and beauty entrepreneurs as they pitch their concepts for the chance to secure funding from a panel of expert investors to help grow their fledgling ventures.

The panel consists of Rebecca Minkoff, creative director and cofounder of Rebecca Minkoff; Gary Wassner, chief executive officer of Hilldun Corp. and chairman of Interluxe Holdings LLC.; Katia Beauchamp, cofounder and ceo of beauty retailer Birchbox, and Christine Hunsicker, founder and ceo of plus-size clothing rental start-up Gwynnie Bee.

With their own time and money on the line, these experts give each entrepreneur advice as they pitch their concepts with the hopes of securing an investment. The eight-episode reality series is a mash-up between  “Project Runway,” “Shark Tank” and “The Apprentice.”

Executives such as Tommy Hilfiger, Maria Hatzistefanis, founder and president of the Rodial Group; Julie Rice, cofounder of SoulCycle, and Jenny Fleiss, cofounder and head of logistics at Rent the Runway will be making guest appearances on the series.

The show is produced by The Weinstein Co. and Matador. Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Patrick Reardon and Barbara Schneeweiss are executive producers for Weinstein, while Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin and James Bruce are executive producers for Matador. Mary Donahue and David Hillman are producers for Lifetime.

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