This spring, a fashion designer and fashion editor will join Project Runway New Zealand host Georgia Fowler on the TVNZ 2 show’s panel to critique the creations of 14 hopeful designers.
TVNZ has confirmed what Spy reported last month in our Matariki Rising Stars List: WORLD Director and Designer Benny Castles will be New Zealand’s answer to New York designer Michael Kors, who starred on the hit US version of the show.
Joining Fowler and Castles and filling the role Elle magazine editor-in-chief Nina Garcia made famous, is Fashion Quarterly editor, Sally-Ann Mullin.
Each week, a guest judge will join the trio and Spy can reveal that top Kiwi designers Jimmy D and Jessica Grubisa will appear in the show.
As for who is stepping into the famous brogues of the US show’s mentor, Tim Gunn, we are happy to report they have the real thing in AUT University senior lecturer — fashion design, Andreas Mikellis, who will work closely with the contestants, keeping them to deadlines and offering advice on what the judges want to see on the catwalk.
“We’ve had such a blast working together on this show. Andreas, Benny and Sally-Ann are an absolute dream to work with and I’m so excited to share the first season of Project Runway with New Zealand,” Fowler says.
“It was amazing to have such talented Kiwis joining us on the judging panel each week as guest judges.”
Mullin has come full circle, having started her career in television and film costume design. She is pleased viewers will see what really goes on behind the scenes in an industry that seems glamorous, but involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears on the road to success.
“I thought the work produced by the designers was of an extremely high level. They were all working in a high-pressure environment away from family and friends, with short time frames and budget restrictions,” she tells Spy. “Remember their names as you watch the show, as I truly believe more than one of these designers will become mainstays of the industry in the future.”
Castles says it is an honour to be involved.
”I am excited to help celebrate some of our most talented creatives and have the pleasure to view their work first-hand,” he says.
TVNZ will be hoping the show is a winner with viewers after the second season of Survivor NZ and the first season of Heartbreak Island failed to ignite major ratings. It’s a sure bet that Three’s current season of The Block NZ or second season of Married at First Sight NZ will run up against it.