‘Project Runway’ names Karlie Kloss host; judges are Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth; Christian Siriano is a mentor

October 10, 2018

Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss (Photo courtesy of Express)

The following is a press release from Bravo:

Bravo Media’s “Project Runway” has tapped supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss as the host along with former “Project Runway” champion and celebrated CFDA fashion designer Christian Siriano as the mentor for the newly rebooted Emmy Award-winning franchise. Kloss will also serve as executive producer. In addition, ELLE Editor-in-Chief Nina Garcia returns to the series, joined by famed fashion designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist and former Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth as judges. The announcement was made today by Shari Levine, Executive Vice President, Current Production, Bravo. The series is currently in pre-production and will premiere in 2019.

“As someone who grew up watching ‘Project Runway,’ I could not be more excited to host and produce a series that provides a platform to aspiring American designers as they pursue their creative and entrepreneurial dreams,” said Kloss, “I am equally as thrilled to work alongside an incredibly talented group of fashion innovators – Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia and Christian Siriano – to inspire, support and help guide these designers as they realize their visions and build everlasting brands and businesses.”

“‘Project Runway'” has offered such wonderful opportunities for so many and I’m excited to take on this role as a mentor,” said Siriano. “I hope to guide and inspire the new talent on the rise.”

“These are the perfect faces for the new ‘Project Runway,’ as we recalibrate for a new generation of fashion enthusiasts,” said Levine, “They are entrepreneurs and trailblazers with tremendous reach inside and outside the fashion industry, and give Bravo and our producing partners, Magical Elves and Lantern Entertainment, the right fuel to reenergize the franchise.”

Bravo launched “Project Runway” in 2004 where it continued airing through 2008. Magical Elves created and produced the first five seasons of the competition series for the network, and have returned along with Lantern Entertainment to produce the series once again. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers for Magical Elves and Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic serve as executive producers for Lantern Entertainment. Karlie Kloss also serves as an executive producer for the series. For more information on the show, please visit: Bravotv.com/project-runway. Fans can check out the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectRunwayBravo/

Bios:

Karlie Kloss is an American supermodel and entrepreneur. Originally from St. Louis, Karlie has shot campaigns and walked for top designers including Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, Brandon Maxwell and Versace. She is also the face of numerous international campaigns for brands that include Estee Lauder, adidas, Carolina Herrera and Express. Outside of modeling, Karlie is the founder of Kode With Klossy, a nonprofit that empowers girls to learn code and become leaders in tech. Now in its fourth year, the organization hosts free, two-week summer coding camps where girls aged 13 to 18 explore concepts in front-end and back-end software engineering. In 2018, Kode With Klossy hosted 50 free coding camps in 25 cities across the country, providing scholarships to 1,000 young women. An Oath board member and TIME 100 honoree, Karlie is the newest host of Bravo Media’s Emmy award winning series, “Project Runway.” Karlie shares her experiences hosting, filming, modeling, coding and traveling through her YouTube channel, Klossy.

Christian Siriano, following his studies in London, Christian Siriano launched his namesake label and first Spring and Fall collection in 2008. The collections are shown each season at New York Fashion Week, and presented in New York and Paris to retailers. Dubbed “the new king of old-school glamour” by Elle and “the next billion-dollar designer” by Yahoo! Style, his designs have appeared on the world’s biggest stars and most prestigious red carpets. He has dressed the likes of Angelina Jolie, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey as well as the First Lady Michelle Obama. In April 2018, Siriano was named among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for being an advocate for body inclusivity and runway diversity in the fashion industry. He is the youngest person to ever appear on the Crain’s “40 Under 40” list, was included on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and most recently appeared in Variety Magazine’s New Power of New York list. He was named “Designer of the Year” at the 2016 AAFA American Image Awards, won the Couture For A Cause “Designer of the Decade” award that same year, was awarded the Inspires Award by the National Eating Disorder Association in 2017 and most recently received the 2018 Bottomless Closet Fashion Award by the non-profit organization which helps guide disadvantaged NYC women enter the work force and achieve success. He just celebrated his ten year brand milestone with a photographic retrospective on his work with Rizzoli Books in late 2017, titled Dresses to Dream About, which has now gone into its second printing. He most recently opened a new store, The Curated NYC. A retail destination for the modern shopper, the eight story townhouse is steps from Fifth Avenue and also houses his office and atelier.

Nina Garcia is the editor-in-chief of ELLE and has been a judge on “Project Runway” since it launched in 2004. Beyond her notable work in over twenty years within magazines, she also entertains an adoring global fan-base and an active following, making her an elite authority on fashion. As such, she serves as a style expert on programs including Today, Good Morning America, The View, CNN and more, and has been a celebrity red carpet correspondent for programs like ABC’s Oscar telecast. She’s written four New York Times bestselling books on style and has received numerous accolades including the Fashion Group International’s prestigious Oracle Award, the Hispanic Federation’s Individual Achievement Award, the Oliver Scholars’ Program Champion of Educational Excellence Award and The Daily’s Magazine of the Year Award.

Brandon Maxwell launched his eponymous luxury women’s ready-to-wear label in New York in 2015. The brand was born out of the desire to make women feel beautiful, sophisticated and powerful by creating timeless garments that are impeccably tailored. With a focus on craftsmanship, the entire collection is designed in New York City. As a child, Maxwell was captivated by the immaculately-dressed women who passed through the Longview, Texas boutique where his grandmother worked and where he spent a lot of time in his youth. He went on to study photography at St. Edward’s University in Austin and began assisting stylist Deborah Afshani in 2009, followed by Edward Enninful and then Nicola Formichetti in 2010. Brandon was awarded the 2018 Woolmark New York Semifinal Prize Award, 2016 Fashion Group International Rising Star Award for Womenswear, the 2016 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear, and was named a finalist for the 2016 LVMH Prize. His brand is worn by iconic women such as Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, Oprah and more.

Elaine Welteroth is an award-winning journalist, thought leader, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. Throughout her meteoric 10-year magazine career, she broke new ground as the youngest person and only the second African-American ever to hold the Editor-in-Chief title in Condé Nast’s 107-year history. In this role, she brought social consciousness to the pages of Teen Vogue and transformed the teen title into a credible news source. Previously, she held senior roles on the mastheads at Glamour and Ebony Magazine, and in 2012 she became Conde Nast’s first ever African-American Beauty Director. She’s now a leading expert, advocate and voice for the next generation of change makers, bringing her fresh perspective to scripted and unscripted projects in TV. From writing on hit shows like “Grown-ish” to appearing on-air from ABC News to Netflix and “The View” to E!, Elaine continues blazing a career path that breaks the mold, inspiring a new generation of creative entrepreneurs.

Perry Ellis International announces launch of ’90s archive collection Perry Ellis America

October 11, 2018

Perry Ellis
(Photo courtesy of Perry Ellis International, Inc.)

The following is a press release from Perry Ellis International:

Perry Ellis International, Inc. (PEI), fashion house for iconic menswear label Perry Ellis®, announced today the launch of Perry Ellis America®; a limited edition capsule collection of the brand’s famed sub-label, which first debuted in 1984. A homage to the original collection, PEI is exploring its archives to recreate some of its most recognizable Perry Ellis America pieces, while introducing new additions inspired by the bold logos and vibrant colors of the ’90s.

From prep to grunge, to logos and back, fashion guru Perry Ellis (Mr. Ellis) defined American fashion for generations. In 1984 – in partnership with Levi’s – Mr. Ellis launched Perry Ellis America, the very first clothing collaboration of its kind. The collection fused luxury fashion with everyday classics to create a fresh, unique direction in American sportswear; a concept that would be imitated but never duplicated.

PEI will once again take American sportswear into new territory with the introduction of Perry Ellis America. The unisex collection will revisit the fashion history Mr. Ellis helped to create, by bringing ’90s streetwear staples back for a limited time for enthusiasts around the world.

The first of five Perry Ellis America capsules will drop on October 10 at Matches Fashion, followed by a global rollout with retail partners including HBX, Bloomingdale’s, and Ron Robinson at Fred Segal. The collection will also be available at the brand new www.PerryEllisAmerica.com.

“Initially, Perry Ellis America was Mr. Ellis’ answer to his personal need for true, weekend casualwear,” said Perry Ellis brand Creative Director, Michael Maccari. “Rooted in denim, it [Perry Ellis America] still had the true sportswear handwriting of his collection but was meant to tie back to jeans. As it evolved in the 90’s – when the streetwear trend became more bold and prevalent – the line transitioned into graphics, logos, color blocking, nylon, etc. At that time, logo-heavy track suits, anoraks, and sporty outerwear were staples of the line, lending a more laid-back look than in previous iterations. The new Perry Ellis America establishes a true casual collection, rich with the bold logos that made the original line a success, and helps to reinforce our history and our foundation in the same way that it did for Mr. Ellis with the first launch.”

The first limited edition 12-piece capsule will include an assortment of instantly recognizable hallmark Perry Ellis America styles, including reissued nylon tracksuits, washed denim, color-blocked outerwear, and an assortment of logo-heavy fleeces and tees.

Perry Ellis America will launch with an evocative new campaign entitled “The New America,” that was developed in collaboration with Hypebeast, and features a diverse group of young, stylish influencers including athlete and model, Cordell Broadus.

Broadus and the other influencers in the campaign reflect the youth of today’s America – a group that is not held back by past conceptions of race, gender or religion. They are worldly and diverse – finding their way by creating new opportunities for themselves in fashion, music and art. They combine international inspiration with American heritage to create a style that blends references of both old and new into a fresh contemporary aesthetic. They are the ultimate expression of the New America. The campaign will live on www.Hypebeast.com as well as all PEI social and digital channels.

“The relaunch of Perry Ellis America marks the next stage in the rollout of our “Life Ready Since 1976™” brand positioning,” said Perry Ellis brand President, Melissa Worth. “We are reaching into our archives to bring the brand’s rich heritage to life, bringing the past to the present.”

About Perry Ellis International 
Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of high quality men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and fragrances. The company’s collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses and men’s and women’s swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including: Perry Ellis®, An Original Penguin by Munsingwear®, Laundry by Shelli Segal®, Rafaella®, Cubavera®, Ben Hogan®, Savane®, Grand Slam®, John Henry®, Manhattan®, Axist®, Jantzen® and Farah®. The company enhances its roster of brands by licensing trademarks from third parties, including: Nike® for swimwear, and Callaway®, PGA TOUR®, and Jack Nicklaus® for golf apparel and Guy Harvey® for performance fishing and resort wear.  Additional information on the company is available at http://www.pery.com.

Turner and Jenna Lyons announce partnership that includes a style-focused TV series

October 8, 2018

Jenna Lyons (Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo)

The following is a press release from Turner:

Turner and Jenna Lyons announced today a new, multi-disciplinary partnership at the intersection of lifestyle, home, fashion and beauty—bringing Jenna’s approachable, finely curated point of view to a broader audience. This venture will integrate all elements of today’s media landscape including television, e-commerce, social media and direct to consumer platforms.

Launching in 2019, Lyons and Turner will unveil an unscripted series at the center of an integrated lifestyle space, comprised of daily online content and direct-to-consumer commerce that will evolve into a full-fledged digital platform in 2020.

Throughout her career, Lyons has been driven by a passion to meld desire and approachability into a cohesive vision of interiors, fashion and beauty. At the heart of her work is the belief that aspiration and accessibility can co-exist. This thoughtfully edited platform will provide individuals the tools to create their own style narratives.

“We want to try something new,” says Lyons. “I want to build a story-driven, comprehensive resource for anyone to satisfy their personal style and help them make aesthetic choices. And we will bring that together with real time entertainment with Kevin Reilly and the team at Turner, where I’ve found an inspiring and open-minded approach to thinking about commerce across multiple platforms.”

“In addition to her notable leadership, I, like millions of Americans, was taken with Jenna’s role in shaping J. Crew Group’s growth and strategic transformation,” says Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer, Turner Entertainment. “I couldn’t think of a better partner for this next-generation fusion of media, lifestyle, and commerce.”

In collaboration with Turner, Lyons will share her curatorial perspective in a weekly television series produced by Our House Media with Matt Hanna, Simon Lloyd and Hillary Olsen executive producing.

“Our House Media is super excited about working with Jenna and Turner to create something that’s never been done,” says Matt Hanna, President, Our House Media USA. “The timing seems just right to finally crack the content-commerce puzzle. And connecting a personality like Jenna with the vision of Turner presents us with an incredible creative opportunity.”

Observatory, the marketing agency led by CEO Jae Goodman, will consult Turner, Lyons and Our House Media on the platform’s brand relationships, marketing, and content-meets-commerce approach.

Goodman adds, “The relationship between brands and entertainment has been the same for fifty years: Commerce interrupts content in the form of ads. This new venture will move beyond this convention to create a world where the content is the commerce and vice versa, delivered with Jenna Lyons’ signature style and approachability.”

Today’s announcement is a continuation of Turner’s initiative to expand relationships with talent into multiple, diverse business platforms. In May, TBS announced an expanded partnership with Conan O’Brien though a new joint venture, the first iteration of which is a multi-city comedy tour kicking off Friday, November 2.

Throughout her career, Lyons has been driven by a passion to meld desire and approachability into a cohesive vision of design, fashion and beauty. At the heart of her work is the belief that aspiration and accessibility can co-exist. During her 27-year tenure at J. Crew culminating into Executive Creative Director and President, Lyons built a talented team that brought a singular, inclusive and joyful vision to the brand. Lyons graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1990 and landed her first job at J. Crew Group when she was 21.

About Turner
Turner, a WarnerMedia company, is a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world, including Adult SwimBleacher Report,BoomerangCartoon NetworkCNNELEAGUEFilmStruckGreat Big StoryHLN,iStreamPlanetSuper DeluxeTBSTurner Classic Movies (TCM)TNTtruTV andTurner Sports.

2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: Event returns to New York City; models announced

September 17, 2018

Victoria's Secret Angels
Victoria’s Secret Angels in 2016 (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)

The New York Post has reported that the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will return to New York City, after being in Shanghai in 2017 and Paris in 2016.

November 1, 2018 UPDATE: The 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will take place November 7 with musical guests Bebe Rexha, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes and The Struts. ABC will televise “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Holiday Special” on December 2 at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time.

These participating models have been announced:

  • Adriana Lima
  • Aiden Curtiss
  • Alanna Arrington
  • Alannah Walton
  • Alexina Graham
  • Barbara Fialho
  • Barbara Palvin
  • Behati Prinsloo
  • Bella Hadid
  • Candice Swanepoel
  • Cheyenne Carty
  • Cindy Bruna
  • Devon Windsor
  • Duckie Thot
  • Elsa Hosk
  • Estelle Chen
  • Frida Aasen
  • Georgia Fowler
  • Gigi Hadid
  • Gizele Oliveira
  • Grace Bol
  • Grace Elizabeth
  • Herieth Paul
  • Iesha Hodges
  • Isilda Moreira
  • Jasmine Tookes
  • Josephine Skriver
  • Josie Canseco
  • Jourdana Phillips
  • Kelly Gale
  • Kelsey Merritt
  • Kendall Jenner
  • Lais Ribeiro
  • Lameka Fox
  • Leomie Anderson
  • Lorena Rae
  • Maggie Laine
  • Maia Cotton
  • Martha Hunt
  • Mayowa Nicholas
  • Megan Williams
  • Melie Tiacoh
  • Ming Xi
  • Myrthe Bolt
  • Nadine Leopold
  • Romee Strijd
  • Sadie Newman
  • Sara Sampaio
  • Shanina Shaik
  • Sofie Rovenstine
  • Stella Maxwell
  • Subah Koj
  • Sui He
  • Taylor Hill
  • Toni Garrn
  • Willow Hand
  • Winnie Harlow
  • Yasmin Wijnaldum
  • Zuri Tibby

Henri Bendel going out of business by January 2019

September 14, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

L Brands Inc.—the parent company of luxury retailer Henri Bendel and lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret and beauty retailer Bath & Body Works—has announced that it is permanently shuttering Henri Bendel by January 2019. All 23 Henri Bendel stores, as well as Henri Bendel’s online business, will be closed. Employees have been given a choice to interview for other L Brands jobs or accept severance pay. Henri Bendel had been in business since 1895. The flagship Henri Bendel on Fifth Avenue in New York City opened in 1913.

According to Marketwatch, L Brands stock rose 5.58% after it was announced that Henri Bendel was going out of business. Marketwatch also reports: “Henri Bendel’s 2018 revenue to total $85 million and its operating losses to total $45 million. L Brands stock is down more than 52% for the year so far while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.03% is up 8.6% for the period.”

L Brands reported $12.6 billion in revenue for 2017, so Henri Bendel’s shuttering represents a small fraction of the L Brands’ business. However, Victoria’s Secret has reportedly been struggling and is on industry watch lists as a retailer that could be in big trouble by the year 2020.

Henri Bendel is one of many fashion retailers that have been experiencing massive closures in 2018.

2019 Miss America Competition: Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin crowned the winner

September 9, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

Miss America 2019 Nia Amani Franklin
Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC)

Miss New York title holder Nia Imani Franklin, 25, was crowned Miss America 2019 at the Miss America Competition that took place at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on September 9, 2018. “Dancing With the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba and media personality Ross Matthews hosted the show, which was televised in the U.S. on ABC. The grand prize is $50,000 in scholarship money, with the requirement of numerous personal appearances and other commitments as Miss America during her the year of her reign.

The judges were boxer Laila Ali, country radio personality, Bobby Bones, singer Jessie James Decker, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, TV journalist Soledad O’Brien, Drybar founder Alli Webb and singer Carnie Wilson.

For the talent segment of the show, Franklin did an operatic vocal of “Quando m’en vo”” from “La Bohème.” In the final round of the competition, Franklin was asked how being Miss New York prepared her for her being Miss America judge Ali. Franklin answered, “I have New York grit. I have moved over five times because of subletting in New York. It can be a little difficult because of the pricey rent, but I’ve overcome that. And also, as a New Yorker, I understand what it takes to work hard. I came up on a Lincoln Center fellowship because I’m an artist, and I’m really excited to just share my platform my social impact advocating for the arts and make sure all students have access to a quality education.”

Miss Florida Taylor Tyson, Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei, Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin, Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway and Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras (Photo Lou Rocco/ABC)

Rounding out the Top 5 contestants were Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei (first runner-up); Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway (second runner-up); Miss Florida Taylor Tyson (third runner-up); and Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras (fourth runner-up).

It was the first Miss America show to take place since the massive changes that the Miss America Organization implemented in 2018 under its new leadership headed by chairperson Gretchen Carlson. The changes included eliminating the swimsuit competition, which was replaced with more interview time for the contestants; changing the show’s name from the Miss America Pageant to the Miss America Competition; and no longer judging the contestants for their physical looks. The evening gown portion of the show remained, but the contestants were no longer judged on how they looked in the gowns. The contestants also wore more casual business attire during another part of the competition.

Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC)

Instead of being judged by their looks, the contestants were judged on various other factors, such as their poise, how they answered questions, their personalities, intelligence, talent and personal accomplishments.

The big changes to the Miss America show didn’t come without a lot of controversy. People opposed to the changes include several pageant officials and contestants on the state and local levels, former Miss America contestants and thousand of petitioners who have demanded that Carlson and other Miss America Organization leaders resign.

Miss America 2018 Cara Mund is also among the critics. In August, she went public with an open letter voicing her disapproval of the new policies and leadership. In the letter and in many subsequent interviews, Mund accused Carlson and other Miss American Organization leaders of bullying her and excluding her. The Miss America Organization issued this statement in response to Mund’s claims: “The Miss America Organization supports Cara. It is disappointing that she chose to air her grievances publicly not privately. Her letter contains mischaracterizations and many unfounded accusations. We are reaching out to her privately to address her concerns.” Carlson also went on Twitter to deny the claims. There also many supporters of the new changes for the Miss America show, but they weren’t as vocal as the critics were.

Miss America 2018 Cara Mund crowns Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC)

Despite the controversy, Mund was all smiles on stage as she fulfilled her duties of crowning Miss America 2019.

Franklin, who is a native North Carolina, graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, with a bachelor’s degree in music composition. In 2017, she earned her master of fine arts degree in music competition from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Franklin moved to New York City after being selected as a 2017 William R. Kenan Jr. fellow with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ education division.

Final results Contestant(s)
Miss America 2019
  • New York (state) New York – Nia Franklin
1st runner-up
  • Connecticut Connecticut -Bridget Oei
2nd runner-up
  • Louisiana Louisiana – Holli’ Conway
3rd runner-up
  • Florida Florida – Taylor Tyson
4th runner-up
  • Massachusetts Massachusetts – Gabriela Taveras
Top 10
  • Alabama Alabama – Callie Walker
  • Colorado Colorado – Ellery Jones
  • Washington, D.C. District of Columbia – Allison Farris
  • Idaho Idaho – Nina Forest
  • Nebraska Nebraska – Jessica Shultis
Top 15
  • Indiana Indiana – Lydia Tremaine
  • Minnesota Minnesota – Michaelene Karlen
  • Oklahoma Oklahoma – Ashley Thompson
  • Washington (state) Washington – Danamarie McNicholl
  • Wisconsin Wisconsin – Tianna Vanderhei

Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn leave ‘Project Runway’ and start their own fashion reality show on Amazon Prime Video

September 7, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (Photo courtesy of Lifetime)

It’s the end of an era for “Project Runway,” the long-running talent contest for aspiring fashion designers. “Project Runway” hosts/judges Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, who were with the show since its 2004 debut, have left “Project Runway,” and have announced that they are starting their own fashion reality show on Amazon Prime Video.  More details about their new show are to be announced. The press release from Amazon Prime Video is at the end of this article.

In May 2018, it was announced that “Project Runway” would be returning in 2019 to Bravo, the show’s first U.S. network. The 17th season of “Project Runway” will premiere in 2019 on Bravo on a date to be announced. Then in June 2018, Bravo announced that “Project Runway” was also bringing back Magical Elves, the production company that produced the first five seasons of “Project Runway,” which will produce the show with Lantern Entertainment. Magical Elves co-founders Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth were named as the show’s new executive producers, but Klum and Gunn were not mentioned anywhere in Bravo’s announced reboot of “Project Runway.” It was a sign of things to come.

“Project Runway” debuted in 2004 in Bravo, and then moved to Lifetime in 2008, and stayed on Lifetime until 2017. The move to Lifetime was problematic, and resulted in lawsuits between Lifetime and Bravo that were eventually settled. While at Lifetime, “Project Runway” was produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, Miramax Television (from 2004 to 2011), The Weinstein Company (from 2005 to 2017), Heidi Klum Productions and Full Picture Entertainment. After the downfall of Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein in late 2017, when he fired from the company after being publicly accused of sexual assault by numerous women, “Project Runway” distanced itself from The Weinstein Company, which later went bankrupt and sold to investor group Lantern Entertainment.

Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum (Photo courtesy of Lifetime)

Gunn started off as an advisor/mentor to contestants on “Project Runway,” and he was promoted in 2011 to co-host/co-judge the show with Klum, who was one of the show’s executive producers. Gunn also became a producer on the show in 2011. In 2013, Klum and Gunn won an Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. “Project Runway” has also won an Emmy in 2009 for Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming.

In a statement released in June 2018, Cutforth said: “We could not be more thrilled to return as the producers of ‘Project Runway.’ We built the series from the ground up with Bravo and it is part of the DNA of our company.”

Lipsitz added, “Dan and I have always loved ‘Runway’ so much and we can’t wait to return to it with a renewed creative energy. We are really excited to reflect some of the incredible changes that have happened in the fashion world since we last produced the series.”

Bravo also announced that its “Project Runway” reboot would have a grand prize of $250,000, the largest monetary prize so far for “Project Runway.”

“Project Runway’s” most famous winner is Christian Siriano, who won in the show’s fourth season in 2008. He has gone on to become a designer whose fashions are regularly seen at A-list celebrity events and shown at New York Fashion Week.

“Project Runway” Season 16 judges Zac Posen, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn (Photo by Barbara Nitke)

Winners of “Project Runway” have also had their fashions featured in magazine spreads for Elle and later Marie Claire. It has not yet been announced if Marie Claire will continue its affiliation with “Project Runway.” It also hasn’t been announced if any of the show’s other judges will be part of the show’s reboot. Other “Project Runway” judges have included Marie Claire editor Nina Garcia and fashion designer Zac Posen. Fashion designer Michael Kors was a judge on “Project Runway” for the show’s first 10 seasons.

In the years since “Project Runway” debut, the show has launched several editions in other countries, as well as spinoff series.

The following is a press release from Amazon Prime Video:

Amazon Prime Video today announced it is developing a new reality fashion series from the recent Emmy nominated duo of Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, which will premiere globally in over 200 countries and territories. While details remain close to the vest, the show will continue Klum and Gunn’s 14-year relationship and a commitment to making fashion accessible to a wide audience.

The series will be a fresh take in the reality space and will appeal to a global audience who are entertained by competition, storytelling, and authenticity. Additionally, Amazon Fashion will create a shoppable experience for viewers. This intersection of content, commerce, and technology is perfectly suited to the cord cutter generation and streaming consumers.

Over the years, Klum and Gunn, who previously won an Emmy Award in 2013, have enlightened viewers about the craftsmanship, talent and sheer dedication it requires for designers to take ideas from sketch to runway with many challenges along the way. They have used the narrative of fashion as a starting point to spark discussion and create conversation around the fabric of the stories they’ve told. Issues that have been explored include body positivity, inclusion, and diversity.

“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” said Heidi Klum. “I am incredibly proud of the show, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I am so appreciative of the dedicated fans, and most of all, I am grateful that we could shine a light on creativity and help launch so many talented designers’ careers. I’m most excited that my journey with my dear friend and colleague, Tim Gunn, is far from over. We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”

Tim Gunn commented: “I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me! I am so proud to have been a part of the groundbreaking process that showcased talented young designers as never before. Most importantly, I am indebted to our incredible fans, they are the heart and soul of what we do, and continue to inspire us to raise the bar in this arena. I’m excited for them to see what’s next, as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”

Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, commented: “Heidi Klum completely changed the television landscape by developing a competitive reality fashion series that was unproven and different from what was popular on-air. The show became wildly successful, and in turn Klum and Tim Gunn have become an iconic pop culture duo. Their drive to deliver fashionably entertaining, engaging and trendsetting content speaks for itself, and we believe their next iteration in this space will find an even larger audience on our global Prime Video runway.”

 

Beauty influencer meltdowns: How scandals and gossip are damaging the careers of Laura Lee, Manny MUA and other makeup gurus

August 28, 2018

by Yvette Thomas

Laura Lee and Manny MUA
Laura Lee and Manny MUA

The year 2018 will be remembered as a dramatic turn in the industry of social-media beauty influencers who became famous for their postings, usually about makeup, on YouTube and Instagram. As a result of offensive posts on the Internet, beauty influencers Laura Lee and Manny MUA have lost thousands of YouTube subscribers and have taken a temporary break from social media.

Within a period of two weeks, Laura Lee had her Laura Lee Los Angeles business terminated by Ulta, Morphe, Diff Eyewear, ColourPop Cosmetics and BoxyCharm after racist comments that she tweeted in 2012 were exposed. In the racist tweet, she said, “Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster.. #yourwelcome.” She also made several fat-shaming tweets in 2013 that were exposed in mid-August 2018.

Before the scandal, Lee had 5 million subscribers on YouTube. After the scandal, she lost approximately 533,000 subscribers from August 15 to August 28, 2018, according to Social Blade. When the racist tweet was first exposed, Lee did not address the matter for a few days and continued doing her usual videos about makeup. After the scandal became too big to ignore, she temporarily deactivated her Twitter account, and deleted thousands of tweets, and then posted an apology on Twitter. When companies started dropping her, Lee then posted an emotional apology video on August 19. However, the apology video seems to have done more damage to Lee’s reputation than done any good because people have blasted her for being insincere in the video. For example, she insisted that the offensive comments were retweets from other people, not tweets she actually wrote. Screenshots taken of the comments show that they were actually tweets from Lee’s account.

In addition, Lee received a lot of criticism for her demeanor in the apology video, with many commenters on the Internet calling her remorse “fake” and her tearful wailing “bad acting.” Her apology video currently has a 92 percent “dislike” disapproval rating from people on YouTube.

Lee’s close friend Manny MUA has also felt the sting of a massive public backlash. His association with Lee and his refusal so far to publicly comment on her offensive remarks have caused him to lose more than 313,000 subscribers (from August 15 to August 28, 2018, according to Social Blade) and announce that he is taking a break from social media. His YouTube subscriber base is barely hanging on to a range of 5 million.

Lee’s scandal came on the heels of Manny MUA making an apology video after old footage surfaced of him seeming to mock a female fan by rolling his eyes and laughing at her when she walked past him at a meet-and-greet. The fan, who happens to have a form of autism, had posted a video detailing how hurt she was by the alleged insult. In his apology video, Manny MUA explained that he was not mocking the girl but was embarrassed because she had bypassed him to hug fellow makeup guru Jeffree Star. Manny MUA’s apology video also has a majority of “dislikes” on YouTube.

Manny MUA also lost a lot of goodwill in July 2018, when his company Lunar Beauty botched sales of its first palette, Life’s a Drag, by mistakenly giving refunds to some PayPal customers after the customers received what they purchased. In an embarrassing PR move, Lunar Beauty then sent an email to those customers to inform them of the error, and asked them to send the money back. It’s unknown how many of the customers actually complied with that request, but the mistake was no doubt a costly one for Lunar Beauty.

Lee isn’t the first social-media beauty guru to have been hit by a scandal over offensive remarks made years ago. In 2017, Jeffree Star (a former friend of Lee and Manny MUA) was slammed when videos from 2009 showed him making racist comments, including using the “n” word and a video where he suggested throwing battery acid on a black woman’s face so her skin would be light enough to match shades of foundation.

Star, who owns his own eponymous makeup company, made an apology video where he said, in part: “In these videos, I say some really disgusting, vile, nasty and embarrassing things … I look at them and I see them resurface and it makes me sick to my stomach because I do not know who that person was . . . the person that said those horrible vile things, that person was depression, that person was just angry at the world, that person felt like they were not accepted, that person was seeking attention.”

Star, whose makeup is sold worldwide and at U.S. retailers such as Morphe and Beautylish, did not suffer any significant damage to his career, as his business partners continued to work with him. The difference between what happened to Star and what happened to Lee comes down to timing and the perception of sincerity.

In Star’s case, he addressed the scandal right away, and the feedback that he got from most people who commented on his apology video was that his apology seemed sincere, and people believed that he had evolved into a better person since those racist videos were made. Star has also gotten ahead of any other potential scandals by teaming up with with fellow YouTube star Shane Dawson to do a series of confessional videos where Star reveals secrets from his past, including his history of self-mutilation.

However, the #MeToo movement has ushered in sweeping changes in how people are punished for offensive comments and behavior, so if Star’s racism scandal had happened in 2018, he might not have recovered as quickly, even with the best apology.

Star has famously feuded with other beauty gurus such as Kat Von D and Too Faced co-founder Jerrod Blandino. But Star’s videos that show him self-exposing his vulnerabilities have endeared him to fans, and what appears to be his sincere ownership of his flaws has apparently made him more “forgivable” than the beauty gurus who are more reluctant to own up to their mistakes.

Kat Von D, who became famous as a tattoo artist on reality shows “Miami Ink” and “LA Ink,” started her Kat Von D Beauty company in 2008. In June 2018, she faced major backlash when she posted on Instagram that she and her husband would not be vaccinating their son because they believe that vaccinations are dangerous. Von D lost thousands of subscribers on Instagram, the social-media platform where she has the most followers (about 6.6 million), but she held firm and did not make an apology. According to Social Blade, in recent weeks she hasn’t been losing Instagram followers, but she hasn’t made any significant gains either.

Social media’s influence in the beauty and fashion industries cannot be under-estimated, as numerous beauty influencers have become multi-millionaires based on how they market themselves on social media, not from having any experience or training in the industry. The biggest example is reality TV star Kylie Jenner of Kylie Cosmetics, who has a net worth of $900 million, according to Forbes.

Beauty influencers with millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram usually command “sponsorship” fees to give positive reviews or recommendations of products. Those fees can be upwards of $60,000 to $80,000 for a YouTube video or $20,000 to $30,000 for an Instagram post. A typical beauty influencer posts hundreds of videos and photos a year, so it’s easy to see why people want a piece of the action to get rich.

With all that money to be made and with competition so fierce to gain new followers/subscribers, the gossip that has swirled around social-media beauty influencers has exploded and spawned a growing number of YouTube channels specifically created to cover the drama around these beauty influencers. The need to expose these influencers’ pasts in a tabloid-like manner is a sign of how much things have changed in how people react to YouTube stars.

In August 2018, a group photo of social-media beauty influencers Lee, Manny MUA, Gabriel Zamora and Nikita Dragun showing their middle fingers with the caption “Bitch is bitter because without him we’re doing better” caused an uproar on social media because people speculated that it was an insult aimed at Star. All of this “drama” over one photo actually caught the attention of several media outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Teen VogueVox and Clevver News. Zamora also came under fire after it was exposed that he used the “n” -word racial insult in a past tweet. In an apology video on YouTube, Zamora said he was sorry for his past racial slurs. Zamora also admitted to adding the derogatory caption to the group photo without the other photo subjects’ knowledge, and that the caption was meant as an insult to Star, who accepted Zamora’s apology in a separate video. In the video, Zamora publicly ended his friendship with Manny MUA, whom he called “toxic.”

The apology worked for Zamora. After he posted his video on August 21, he gained 341,000 YouTube subscribers in one week, with more than 204,000 gained on the day after the video was posted, according to Social Blade. In the week before posting the apology, he lost more than 6,700 subscribers. As of this writing, Zamora has 778,700 subscribers on YouTube.

Reality TV has spawned its share of “15 minutes of fame” stars, but YouTube stars are a different breed. The biggest difference between today’s YouTube stars and today’s reality TV stars is that YouTube stars don’t have to rely on being cast in TV shows to keep their fame going. Unless they do something that gets them kicked off of YouTube and kills their careers, YouTube stars will have their YouTube channels, which they control, as their way to get the fame and money that most people don’t have. But as Lee, Manny MUA, and others have learned, with that fame comes the scrutiny of people who can’t wait to expose more scandals.

New York & Company signs multi-year deal with Kate Hudson

August 22, 2018

The following is a press release from New York & Company:

New York & Company, Inc. (NYSE : NWY ) today announced a partnership with Kate Hudson, further expanding upon its success in developing high-profile collaborations. The award-winning actress, best-selling author and globally-successful businesswomen has signed a multi-year deal with New York & Company to be the Brand Ambassador of its $200M “Soho Jeans” collection, and will also partner with the Company to develop her own ready-to-wear fashion line.

“We are excited to partner with Kate Hudson and believe she is the perfect addition to our company,” stated Greg Scott, CEO of New York and Company. “Our customers have been asking for a partnership with Kate for years, and we believe her tremendous star power, unbelievable style, and broad social influence will not only strengthen our relationships with existing customers but also ignite our customer acquisition initiatives.”

The Soho Jeans collection represents significant percentage of the Company’s annual sales and includes an extensive assortment of jeans and related apparel that are designed with proprietary fabrics. The denim assortment at New York & Company is designed to “fit everyone”, and is unique in its attention to on-trend fashion and inclusive sizing, ranging from 00 – 20, including petite and tall.

In addition to her role as a Brand Ambassador, Kate will design and develop her first ready-to-wear fashion apparel collection, slated to launch in March 2019New York & Company will leverage its infrastructure, technical design and sourcing capabilities to build the brand. The new brand will be available at New York & Company stores and its ecommerce site as well as on its own dedicated ecommerce platform, with potential for additional retailer partnerships in the future—a first in New York & Company’s history.

“It has always been important for me to partner with companies that share my values and creative vision. I love the quality of materials and fabrics New York & Company uses,” said Kate Hudson. “Their size ranges and affordable price points, along with their commitment to empowering women through fashion makes New York & Company an ideal partner for me to launch my new collection with.”

“We believe this will be significant to our continued growth in the ever-changing retail landscape, further solidifying New York & Company as an industry leader that creates digital brands that matter. This strategy provides our company with added diversity in our revenue stream, as we expand the breadth of our assortments and channels served,” said Mr. Scott.

Mr. Scott further stated, “We are more than excited to partner with Kate, and look forward to developing a collection with her that we believe will be a substantial business. We welcome Kate to the family, joining Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union as the fashion powerhouses of New York & Company.”

The Kate Hudson for Soho Jeans Campaign was shot by world-renowned photographer, Alexi Lubomirski in Malibu, CA and will appear in stores nationwide and online beginning Thursday, August 30th.

About Kate Hudson:

Kate Hudson is an actress, producer, fashion icon and author of the New York Times bestselling Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body and Pretty Fun: Celebrating and Creating a Lifetime of Traditions.  She won the Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in “Almost Famous.” Her numerous film credits also include “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “Fool’s Gold” and “Bride Wars,” which she also produced.  She lent her voice to the global hit, “Kung Fun Panda 3” and co-starred in Reginald Hudlin’s “Marshall,” opposite Chadwick Boseman, Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad and Dan Stevens.  In 2013, Kate co-founded Fabletics, a high-performance lifestyle brand with a mission to offer high-quality activewear at an accessible price, available online and in retail stores throughout the U.S.  Kate’s many charitable and humanitarian affiliations include The Hawn Foundation’s MindUP program, the United Nations World Food Programme, Baby2Baby, and numerous other organizations dedicated to protecting the rights and well-being of women, children and education around the world.

About New York & Company

New York & Company, Inc. is a leading omni-channel women’s fashion retailer designing on-trend and versatile collections at a great value. The specialty retailer, first incorporated in 1918, has grown to now operate over 400 retail and outlet locations nationwide while also growing a substantial eCommerce business. Its branded merchandise, including collaborations with Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union, is sold exclusively at these locations and online at www.nyandcompany.com.

Diesel signs Steve Aoki as spokesmodel for Diesel’s first transparency watch collection

August 8, 2018

The following is a press release from Diesel:

Diesel is ready to challenge conformity once again by partnering with global superstar DJ/producer and fashion and tech entrepreneur, Steve Aoki, as its watch ambassador into 2019. To kick off the collaboration, Steve will be the face of Diesel’s first transparency watch collection, available fall 2018.

Diesel is a guardian of the unconventional, trailblazing spirit, which aligns perfectly with the larger-than-life persona of Steve Aoki, widely known for his over-the-top music performances and intense touring schedule. For over two decades, Aoki has been a disruptive force in music, fashion, tech and lifestyle. Kicking off his career by providing a platform for rock bands and throwing parties in his living room, his enterprise has grown to include a thriving record label and event/lifestyle company, Dim Mak. Thanks to his relentless work ethic and creative attitude, Aoki is now celebrated as one of the most prominent DJ/producers in the world.

“Steve never stops! He’s always on the move in a very experimental way, which is something very close to the attitude of Diesel,” says Andrea Rosso, creative director of Diesel licenses. “His style and his sense of aesthetic perfectly match the design and the clashing features of this watch, together with its new futuristic approach based on transparency. We’re very happy to have him on board.”

For fall 2018, Diesel is reimagining the status quo and introducing the brand’s first bold collection of blue transparency watches. Drawn from the indigo dyeing of jeans, blue transparency is a natural design evolution for Diesel, a brand rooted in denim culture. The new watch styles display vintage cream pops on dials, inspired by denim stitching. Transparent cases and straps that fade from blue to crystal clear complete the original design story.

“I like to challenge the construct of time. I have to manage, maximize and master my days, and that’s why I connect so well with Diesel watches,” says Steve Aoki. “I am all about embracing passions and challenging convention, and that’s exactly what Diesel represents. I am thankful the brand is providing me with a platform to further express my personal style and globally represent the brand.”

Diesel’s 2018 watch campaigns featuring Steve Aoki were shot by famed French photographer and publisher Philippe Jarrigeon and were styled by Justin Lynn. The global multimillion-dollar campaign, supporting multiple watch categories, will debut throughout the year.

The new Diesel blue transparency watches will be available in select stories and at diesel.com/watches beginning August 2018.