Last month, I had the chance to sit down with Michael Kors in his pristine white office on the 20th floor of his midtown global headquarters. With photographs lining the perimeter of his place of work featuring irreverent ladies like Julia Roberts to Blake Lively, our conversation, while focused on his expansion in China, quickly turned to Project Runway, the culprit as to why Kors says he’s having ‘the time of his life’.
The Lifetime series, now embarking on its 10th season (11th if you include their ‘All Stars Round’), is ‘The Amazing Race’ of fashion, where contestants (always 20 or under) show off their sartorial aesthetic in an episodic elimination round, collectively vying for a chance to take home the ‘prize’. The prize, in this case, has ranged from editorials inside the pages of Marie Claire Magazine, a $100,000 check to help the designer launch their label, as well as opportunities to sell their debut collection in recognized doors and online retailers. Not bad…if you can get it. The grueling judging panel consists of Mr. Kors, Nina Garcia of Marie Claire and Heidi Klum, the spokeswoman of the show who also doubles as the programs keynote host. And after almost a decade of shows, it’s no surprise that the Project Runway platform has taken on global appeal, launching iterations across the world in locations like Finland, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Israel. But as the talent has solidified and launched careers for designers like Christian Siriano, the industry veterans (and beyond) have been coming in full force in an attempt to offer their sound advice and knowledge to help the contestants not only hone their craft but also establish themselves as concrete names. To date, we’ve seen Rachel Zoe, Natalie Portman, Victoria Beckham and Iman offer the budding designers their personal insight.
And since good things come in ten’s, Lord & Taylor will be presenting the first-ever Project Runway capsule collection, a range of yep, you guessed it, ten dresses from the run of show that feature a design from a notable contestant from each season – and not necessarily a winner. “We are very excited to launch the first-ever Project Runway collection at Lord & Taylor,” said Bonnie Brooks, the President of Hudson’s Bay Company (the parent company of L&T). “We have a rich history of supporting emerging talent and launching the careers of major American designers and this challenge continues this mission.” The decadent ten designers responsible for fulfilling this collection will help usher in the partnership on September 6th at Lord & Taylor for Fashion’s Night Out. But while Kors may think he’s having the time of his life, I think we can all agree, he’s not alone in his statement.
Photographer: Jaclyn Locke. Fashion Editor and Producer: Kate Corbett. Writer: Yale Breslin. Hair & Make-Up: Natalie Blouin of Plutino Group. Model: Aidan of Elite Toronto. Editorial Assistant: Dixie Gong. Photographer’s Assistant: Nick Leadlay.