Christian Siriano Replacing Tim Gunn on “Project Runway” After 16 Seasons

Gunn is leaving to launch another reality competition for Amazon with Heidi Klum.

Fashion model Karlie Kloss and designer Christian Siriano are replacing host Heidi Klum and mentor Tim Gunn on Project Runway. But will they make it work?

Following 16 seasons on Project Runway, which aired on Bravo and Lifetime, Emmy-winning duo Klum and Gunn announced last month they were giving the fashion competition the double kiss-off to go launch another reality series for Amazon Prime Video. 

Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia will return to Project Runway as a judge alongside two newcomers: designer Brandon Maxwell and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, EW reports.

“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,” Kloss says in a statement.

“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,” adds Siriano, season 4 winner and gay activist. “I hope to guide and inspire the new talent on the rise.”

“After 16 incredible seasons, I am saying ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Project Runway, a show that I was honored to host and help create,” said Klum in a statement last month. “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,” the former model added. “We will be partnering with Amazon for a new show, and we’re excited for everyone to see what we’re designing next!”

“I am grateful to Project Runway for putting me on a path I never, in my wildest dreams, thought my career would take me!” Gunn said. “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,” the gay icon continued, “as I partner with Amazon and Heidi Klum on our next great ‘fashion’ adventure.”

Insiders tell EW the new streaming 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.”

“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,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “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.”

Longtime judge Zac Posen also confirmed last month that he was leaving Project Runway.

“Working alongside Heidi, Nina [Garcia] and Tim as a judge for six seasons of Project Runway was one of the greatest experiences of my career,” said the designer in a statement. “I will cherish the opportunity the show gave me to learn from and grow with my co-judges, the producers, crew and designers. Runway has led to incredible opportunities and I am currently at work on some new projects that I am very excited to share with you soon. I wish the show and everyone much success always.”

Project Runway launched in 2004 on Bravo before moving to Lifetime in 2009. After the scandal-fueled bankruptcy of its producers, the Weinstein Company, it was announced earlier this year that the series will be back on Bravo for its upcoming 17th season.

With original producer Magical Elves returning, Bravo plans to “reboot” the show in 2019: “Bravo is proud to bring Project Runway back where it all began, and Heidi and Tim will always be a huge part of the legacy,” says a network spokesperson. “The series will continue its iconic impact with Bravo’s reboot for the next generation of designers and fans.”

Pre-production on season 17 of Project Runway has already begun.

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