Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” fashion competition show will premiere Jan. 29.
Hosted by Tan France (“Queer Eye”) and designer/model Alexa Chung, it has contestants competing for a $250,000 prize and a chance to have their collection sold on Net-a-porter. Guest judges include Hollywood stylists Elizabeth Stewart and Jason Bolden, Instagram’s Eva Chen and Net-a-porter’s global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz, plus designers Monique Lhuillier, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Christopher Kane and Tommy Hilfiger.
“We’ve always been huge supporters of emerging designers…and this fits into that,” said von der Goltz, speaking to WWD exclusively about the shopping platform’s partnership with the show, and mentioning Net-a-porter’s The Vanguard program for emerging designers as a parallel. “Everything today is experiential and fashion fits into that perfectly. And us being digital, the way we communicate is online…streaming fits into who we are as a retailer.”
Discovering up-and-coming talent has become a commodity for shoppers, she added of the show’s appeal. “Our EIPs, our top customers, are super savvy, and they have power brands they will always wear, but they also want to be seen in a brand not everyone knows,” von der Goltz said, noting that she has bought brands that have never shown at a fashion week after finding them on Instagram, and that streaming is just another channel for discovering talent.
“We’re in more than 170 countries, and Netflix didn’t only go to the CFDA or the British Fashion Council to look for emerging designers for the show, they looked further. It’s great to use their scouting to have a wider reach.”
Von der Goltz said the caliber of talent on the 10-episode show is impressive. (The 18 competing designers include Angel Chen, Adolfo Sanchez, Marco Morante of Marco Marco, Daniel Fletcher and several others who already have their own brands or have designed for celebrities). “It’s not like we are going to trade down because we’re doing a show on Netflix,” she said, adding that as a judge, she was looking for a unique point of view, a signature aesthetic that runs through the collection and “an understanding even if a designer is new, they have enough of an infrastructure to produce.”
“I was impressed with the level of designers on the show, it was serious, and quite advanced in terms of developing a business,” she added, highlighting something that “Next in Fashion” has in common with Amazon’s “Making the Cut.” They are fashion TV 2.0.
“That was truly TV reality show entertainment, the designers were more green, they hadn’t ever produced a collection, some of them were still in school,” she said of “Project Runway,” adding that she was an avid fan of show from the start in 2004. “This show, the judges are all fashion designers or stylists, and the comments and feedback are related to design…This is about finding someone we feel has legs to become the designer of the future.”
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