Bravo TV has announced the premiere date for the new “Project Runway,” which returns to its original network for the 17th season March 14 with new faces, formats and prizes.
Model Karlie Kloss is at the helm of the reimagined show, with designer Christian Siriano in the Tim Gunn mentor role, and designer Brandon Maxwell, former Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth and Elle editor in chief Nina Garcia as judges.
“The show is a platform to show designers and fashion to everyone,” said Kloss at the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press event on Tuesday in Pasadena, Calif., emphasizing “Project Runway”‘s legacy in making fashion more accessible.
The 17 designers competing have a range of experience, and hail from all over the world, including one contestant who is a Syrian refugee, and others who are from India and Samoa. The show will put a renewed emphasis on inclusion, featuring models of all races and sizes, including the first trans person. Challenges will embrace the evolution of the fashion industry in the digital age, and its new channels of distribution, including flash sales. The show will also give viewers a chance to vote on their favorite designs and buy them right away at BravoTV.com/projectrunway.
“Fashion has always been a reflection of what is happening in the world,” says Welteroth. “And this show will be, too — you will see we do not shy away from conversations that happen in our industry and world that affect women and people of color. We are unabashed in tackling those conversations. Women’s empowerment is a theme woven throughout the season.”
On the show, there will be a new runway and workroom, with sewing and embroidery machines by Brother, glam for the models provided by TRESemmé and Maybelline, and special guests including Marni Senofonte, who is Kendall Jenner’s personal stylist as well as the stylist behind Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and Super Bowl 50 looks; actress and Siriano muse Danielle Brooks; designer Dapper Dan who will inspire contestants to think outside the box as he did with luxury labels in the Eighties, and rapper/songwriter Cardi B.
The winning designer will receive the largest prize in the show’s history — $250,000 — a feature in Elle magazine, and mentorship from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. It’s the first time the CFDA has partnered with the TV show. Former series regulars Heidi Klum and Gunn jumped to Amazon where they are working on a shoppable reality show.