Will the future of fashion be streaming?
Maybe. Several shows combining fashion, storytelling and digital commerce are launching in the coming months.
On Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Amazon announced its new fashion competition series, “Making the Cut,” will premiere March 27.
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“We are excited to be able to produce a show that really looks for the next global brand…and create the situation where [designers] are set up for success when they leave us,” said executive producer Sara Rea.
Former “Project Runway” host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn lead the cast, with Naomi Campbell, Carine Roitfeld, Joseph Altuzarra and Nicole Richie as guest judges.
The program brings together 12 entrepreneurs and designers from around the world who are competing for a $1 million prize and the chance to turn their fledgling businesses into global brands.
Challenges take them to New York City, Tokyo and Paris (the crew shot at the Eiffel Tower over the summer), and the winning looks will be shoppable at around $100 or less, and in sizes from XXS to XXXL on Amazon immediately following each episode.
“People can buy it all over the world. We are going into over 200 territories,” Klum said of the difference between working with Amazon versus Bravo, which originally aired “Project Runway.” “You can design as much as you want, but it becomes real when people buy your clothes…all of a sudden it becomes real and we want it to become real for these designers and for people at home.”
“‘Making the Cut’ wouldn’t have happened without ‘Project Runway.’ ‘Project Runway’ is the undergraduate and ‘Making the Cut’ the graduate program,” said Gunn, adding that the new show focuses more on the business side of fashion, with designers being asked to design both real-world and avant-garde looks.
One of the big differences is that the designers are offered the help of a seamstress to help them execute their designs overnight. “We didn’t want it to be a sewing competition, we wanted someone with vision,” said Klum, noting that former “Project Runway” judge Michael Kors “is not sewing things” at this point in his career.
“That’s what was one of the most exciting things for me,” Altuzarra said. “As a designer, I know how to sew, but I don’t sew my clothes. I have to know how to put together a tech pack.”
“We got to have insight into their work in progress,” Campbell said of her interest in the show. “It’s who can be a designer and turn this into a brand,” added Richie, who has her own House of Harlow brand, of the judging process.
“Making the Cut” joins two other series in the fashion competition arena, including the original “Project Runway,” which starred Klum and Gunn for 16 seasons, and was rebooted on Bravo last year by Karlie Kloss, with Christian Siriano as mentor, and Brandon Maxwell and editors Nina Garcia and Elaine Welteroth as judges.
Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” is hosted by Tan France of “Queer Eye” fame and designer and model Alexa Chung, with contestants competing for a $250,000 prize and a chance to have their collection sold on Net-a-porter. Guest judges for that show include Hollywood stylist Elizabeth Stewart and Instagram’s Eva Chen.