Culture

Calling all aspiring designers… Project Runway is coming to NZ

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn on Project Runway

If you’re a budding designer, booking a spot on this TV show could be your ticket to instant fashion stardom.

Project Runway, the smash-hit US reality show hosted by model Heidi Klum, is kicking off a New Zealand version this year, and casting for the show has now opened.

Project Runway New Zealand will see local fashion designers compete weekly in a series of challenges before a panel of judges, with one designer ultimately coming out on top.

The US series, which is now in its 16th season, has been a springboard for several designers to go on to major success, including season 4 winner Christian Siriano, who launched his own fashion line, and Kiwi designer Sean Kelly who won season 13 in 2014.


WATCH: Backstage at Sean Kelly | New Zealand Fashion Week 2015

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A popular contestant with judges and viewers alike, Taranaki-born Kelly went on to receive widespread acclaim for his debut collection which he showcased at New Zealand Fashion Week in 2015, and even dressed Heidi Klum in one of his creations for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards red carpet in 2014.

Heidi Klum in a Sean Kelly design at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in 2014

Heidi Klum in a Sean Kelly design at the Creative Arts Emmy Wards in 2014.

Klum described him as having “some of the best designs” she’s seen in all her years of the show, while mentor Tim Gunn said Kelly was his “favourite designer” from all seasons to date.

Kelly became famous for his unique and out-of-the-box approach to challenges, including during a rain challenge which saw his fellow contestants focus on waterproof materials and designs, such as ponchos and umbrella dresses. Kelly instead submitted a plain white dress for review, which changed colour when exposed to water.

WATCH: Sean Kelly’s colour-changing dress

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The New Zealand version of show will air on TV2 later in 2018. No announcement has been made yet as to who the presenter or industry judges will be.

If you think you have what it takes to be a competing designer on the show, you can apply here.


WATCH: Sean Kelly at NZFW

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