“Project Runway” fans have been in limbo since season 16 aired in the fall of 2017. The series was produced by the Weinstein Company and thus became a casualty of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. After years on Lifetime (which is currently airing its final season of “Project Runway All Stars“), the show was picked back up by its original network Bravo, but without its hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. They’re making it work, however: season 17 of the long-running fashion competition premieres Thursday, March 14, at 8:00pm.
Stepping in for Klum as host is Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss. And taking over Gunn’s mentoring duties is a man who understands full well how it feels to be a contestant on the series: season four “Runway” champ Christian Siriano. But they’ve got big shoes to fill. Klum and Gunn were perennial nominees at the Emmys for their hosting duties, and they won in 2013.
Those aren’t the only changes to the show’s regular lineup. Judge Nina Garcia, the editor-in-chief of Elle, is returning to the show, but this time she’ll be joined by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell and former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth. Guests this season will include actress Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”), designer Dapper Dan, and even rapper Cardi B.
There will be 16 designers competing for glory, as well as the show’s biggest grand prize to date: $250,000, a feature in Elle, a role in a Bluprint digital series, and $50,000 to put toward their own design studio. Those new fashion hopefuls are as follows:
Afa Ah Loo — Lotopa, Samoa
Rakan Shams Aldeen — Homs, Syria
Cavanagh Baker — Nashville, TN
Tessa Clark — Greenville, OH
Bishme Cromartie — Baltimore, MD
Venny Etienne — Brooklyn, NY
Jhoan “Sebastian” Grey — Cali, Colombia
Renee Hill — Philadelphia, PA
Sonia Kasparian — Portland, OR
Kovid Kapoor — Brooklyn, NY
Frankie Lewis — Louisville, KY
Lela Orr — Monroe, LA
Jamall Osterholm — Cranston, RI
Nadine Ralliford — Stone Mountain, GA
Gary “Garo Sparo” Spampinato — Bayshore, NY
Hester Sunshine — Santa Fe, NM
Who will win the new season of the show? And will the show itself be a winner with so many changes behind the scenes and in front of the camera? Vote in our poll below to let us know what you think.