For years, Project Runway reigned supreme when it came to fashion-based reality television.
Then, legal troubles and a switch from Bravo to Lifetime made one of the fashion industry’s most beloved shows – and not to mention one of the most covetable Fashion Week tickets – suddenly feel uninspired and stale.
The premiere of the new season will take place on Lifetime on July 29 – will you be tuning in?
Interestingly enough, even when the Heidi Klum-hosted shows ratings were at their peak, the program didn’t do all that much to bolster the career of the contestants.
With the exception of Christian Siriano, none of the designers appear to have had any notable commercial success as a result of being on the show.
Is it that Siriano was the only contestant with the business savvy to make deals, like those with Payless and Victoria Secret, happen?
It’s hard to know, but I sure wish Leanne Marshall would manage to follow suit.
It’s clear that Bravo has a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to attracting viewers that Lifetime appears to lack. However, in a smart move to reign in viewers, Project Runway has teamed up with Piperlime.com.
The e-commerce site recently made it to the small screen on Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project (Zoe gives readers her top fashion picks), and has a more chic image than Bluefly, the site the show was previously affiliated with.
Piperlime.com is a subsidiary of Gap Inc. and will sponsor the upcoming season. As a result, one of the show’s prizes is that the winner will have his or her designs sold exclusively on Piperlime.com.
The Project Runway accessories wall will also consist of Piperlime products, and a corresponding version of the wall will be online, to allow viewers to shop the items the designers use on the show.
If the past seven seasons of the show are any indication, fans don’t care about the designers’ work for very much longer than the frame of the show.
Hopefully by selling designs online (a tactic used before on Bluefly with Christian Siriano), during and immediately following season eight, "real people" will actually start wearing clothes from the designers featured on the show.