Nicole Richie returned to Prime Video’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut” for its third season this summer, joining fashion designer Jeremy Scott and executive producers Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn on a quest to find the industry’s next big fashion designer.
“It’s really important for me as a judge to not only look at something as if it’s my personal aesthetic or not. That’s not what I’m there for,” Richie said about judging this season. “We’re trying to find the next global brand, so there’s really so much that plays into that. It’s more like, are you able to sew? Are you taking notes from all your mentors that are coming your way? Are you able to find a way to create an accessible look that is cohesive with your high-end look?”
The “Making the Cut” season three finale airs on Friday, crowning Swiss fashion designer Yannik Zamboni as the winner of the $1 million prize and mentorship from Amazon Fashion. Zamboni is the first non-American designer to win the competition show.
The designer was up against British designer Georgia Hardinge and Brazilian designer Rafael Chaouiche for the coveted prize. The designers’ finale task was to design a concept store for their brand and create a 10-piece fashion collection with four accessible looks and two menswear looks. They were also tasked with pitching their business plan and concept store to Christine Beauchamp, the senior vice president of North America Stores at Amazon, who leads Amazon Fashion.
Zamboni wowed the judges with his monochromatic and avant garde collection, which showcased styles where traditional fashion pieces, like trousers, dress shirts and blazers were repurposed into different types of garments.
This is Richie’s second season judging “Making the Cut,” after joining the judging panel for the show’s first season. She explained this season felt different from the first — which was filmed at the beginning of the pandemic — because the designers were able to be stationed in Los Angeles and work out of a long-term studio.
“As far as for me as a judge, I don’t know if there are many challenges,” Richie said about the season. “I think we just have to look at everything and try to get to know the designers and really understand where they are coming from and what their eye is. Sometimes, we have to spend some time with them and talk to them to really understand where they are coming from when they show their current designs.”
This season also incorporated several topical challenges, like one creating festival-inspired clothing and another that incorporated creating a TikTok to show the vision behind the designers’ creations.
Richie stated her favorite week was the TikTok challenge because the platform isn’t something she’s very familiar with.
“I found it really interesting and funny because there were truly some videos that I didn’t get at all,” she explained. “I think [musicians] Chloe and Halle were our guest judges that week who, obviously, they’re young and that’s probably their world. It was really interesting to see there were things that I didn’t get at all and they were like, ‘Oh, that video is so amazing.’ I find those moments so eye opening because you get to understand from another perspective what people are gravitating toward.”
While a fourth season of “Making the Cut” hasn’t yet been announced, Richie said she’d be excited to see what the challenges are and how a new batch of designers would tackle them.
In the near future, Richie is continuing to grow her House of Harlow fashion brand, working with Revolve for the retailer’s New York Fashion Week event, and has a few other projects slated for this year.