Bravo’s Project Runway Reboot Replaces Heidi & Tim
With Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn leaving the Project Runway reboot, Bravo taps a new and an old face to fill their shoes.
It wasn’t honestly the biggest of surprises that Heidi and Tim quit Project Runway when it went back to Bravo. As well as the two of them had done within the confines of the original show, they were creatures of Weinstein’s creation, and their producer power came through him. It was hard to imagine that Bravo, in taking back the series, would agree to the sort of free reign the Weinstein Company had handed to Gunn and Klum, as Harvey’s interest in the show waned.
But, as Lifetime had discovered early on when they spun off Project Runway: All Stars, Heidi’s job may look easy, but it’s not. The amount of turnover in the host position those first three seasons, until they landed on Alyssa Milano, was proof of that. Tim’s job is a little more flexible, but that position also turned over every couple of seasons on All-Stars, as much due to the time commitment as the ability for fashionistas to guide aspiring talent.
Bravo clearly took note of this, because their choice for a Tim Gunn substitute was perhaps the wisest they could make. They’ve tapped season 4 winner Christian Siriano. Siriano has worked in nearly every position across the Project Runway brands, including as a contestant on the original Bravo series, a guest judge on the Lifetime series and All-Stars, and a permanent judge on the Threads and Juniors editions. There is no one other than Siriano who could step into this role and bring the same authority as Gunn has earned in the last decade plus.
Karlie Kloss is a little dicier. She has done guest judging stints on the Lifetime version of the program, as well as All-Stars, and Bravo clearly hopes her personality is such that she will step into Heidi’s shoes without seeming robotic or bored or simply dead behind the eyes. But she’s also engaged to marry a Kushner, tying her to Trump and the right wing, which could prove controversial once it becomes more mainstream knowledge. Currently, Kloss is low profile enough as a model that most people don’t know much about her beyond “Friend of Taylor.” But she may discover the attention this brings her is less welcome than she thinks.
Still, Project Runway did keep one face where it counted: Nina Garcia is still in the judge’s chair, all these years and network changes later, having returned to Elle as editor in chief after her stint at Marie Claire Magazine. The grand dame will help anchor both the rebooted series and bring gravitas to a panel comprised of herself, fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, who will take the Michael Kors/Zac Posen position, and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, bringing the panel up to a permanent threesome.
Preproduction on Project Runway Season 17 has already started, with an eye on the show debuting back on Bravo in 2019.