Host Karlie Kloss and mentor and Season 4 winner Christian Siriano will be back along with judges Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth and Nina Garcia for the launch of season 18 on December 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
What’s new? A line-up of 18 new designers hunched over those Brother sewing machines and a slew of notable celebrity guest judges including actresses Laverne Cox, Rachel Brosnahan, Kiernan Shipka and Leslie Jones. Others include singer Cyndi Lauper, Olympian Lindsey Vonn, fashion designer Thom Browne, artist Ashley Longshore and stylist Marni Senofonte, who was a welcome addition last season.
The show will feature such New York City locales as the TWA Hotel at JFK, The Vessel at Hudson Yards and Bergdorf Goodman. There is also a diverse pool of models that feature an array of sexualities, racial backgrounds and ages as well as a non-binary model, a trans model and a “Dreamer.”
This season will also feature the oldest designer ever to put their sewing skills to the “Project Runway” test. She is Nancy Volpe-Beringer, 64, of Philadelphia. According to her bio, at age 58, Nancy took a risk and left her previous career to pursue her dream of becoming a designer. She enrolled in a master’s program at Drexel University, graduating in 2016.
Since then she has been designing under her own label, producing a line of wearable androgynous art for all shapes and sizes at her Philly-based studio. She hopes that her status as the show’s most senior contestant ever will spread the news about her brand and encourage others to follow the passion no matter their age or circumstances. Meet Nancy and the 17 other designers of Season 18 in the preview video below.