The Eiffel Tower twinkles. The lights come up on the runway. The model steps out. It’s go time. Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are back.
More than two years since they left their home for 16 seasons at Project Runway, Bravo’s fashion competition series that made them household names, Klum and Gunn have returned to TV with their own cutthroat reality show: Making the Cut on Amazon Prime Video. But, unlike Runway, Klum and Gunn assure that Making the Cut is not a “sewing competition.”
“This isn’t a sewing competition. It’s about finding the next big global brand,” Gunn says. Klum adds, “Before, we had a sewing competition, and that was so much fun. But we wanted to be more realistic. A real brand, the designers don’t do everything by themselves.”
The 10-episode series, which premieres on Amazon Prime Video on March 27, follows about a dozen established designers as they compete in Paris, Tokyo and other international cities for a grand $1 million prize. Gunn, who hosts the series, and Klum, who’s the head judge alongside Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie and other established fashion names, also serve as executive producers for Making the Cut. But that isn’t the only difference. For the first time in televised fashion competition, viewers will be able to purchase the winning looks on Amazon after each episode, with the profits going directly to the designer.
“Before, you would see it. You love it. You want it. But you can’t have it. Here we can really close the circle, not only for the viewer at home, who fell in love with the winning look, but also the designer. For the first time, the designer gets the amazing feeling of ‘Oh my God. They’re actually buying what I created.’ At the end of the day, that’s what designing clothes is about: for people to wear what you created.”
Ahead, Klum and Gunn talked to StyleCaster about how their on-screen love story began, the main differences between Project Runway and Making the Cut and what it took to recruit Naomi Campbell to be a judge.
Making the Cut is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video on March 27.
Tim on how Making the Cut came about
Heidi and I had been eager to step out of the Project Runway box for many seasons. When the show was leaving Lifetime and moving back to Bravo, we thought it was an opportunity to explore the possibility of doing something new and fresh. We were intent upon it. We ended up with this fantastic, fabulous partnership with Amazon. It’s really been a dream that’s come true. I keep pinching myself.
Heidi on how Tim is the “longest marriage” she’s ever had
“We’re married. In real life, this is my third marriage and hopefully my last. This is my TV marriage. We’re dying together. It’s the longest marriage I’ve ever had.”
Heidi and Tim on their first impressions of each other
TG: “I remember it vividly because my palms still start to sweat when I think about it. I first met Heidi in the courtyard in front of the Parsons fashion building. 7th Avenue and 40th Street. I was so starstruck. My knees were shaking so badly.”
HK: “For me, it was love at first sight. I was like, ‘Who is this distinguished man? Is this James Bond?’”
Heidi on how she recruited Naomi Campbell to be a judge
“I called her up, told her what we were doing. I’ve known her for so many years. She wanted to be a part of something that she thought could be the next great brand. She’s a fashion icon, so it was not that hard for her to be convinced to participate in this.”
Tim on the main difference between Making the Cut and Project Runway
“This isn’t a sewing competition. It’s about finding the next big global brand. The entire scope, the engagement with the designers is so much broader and deeper.”
“There’s a million dollars at stake. We need people with experience in the industry, so they can talk the talk and understand all the variables. Heidi and I, having spent 16 seasons on [Project Runway] with greener designers, this was thrilling to have much more enhanced conversation with these people. It kept us on our toes.”