Will Anyone Still Watch 'Project Runway' Without Heidi Klum And Tim Gunn?

'Project Runway' is returning to its home network with a huge makeover.

'Project Runway' Is Back, But Without Heidi Klum And Tim Gunn This Time

In case you haven't heard, Project Runway returns to its original network, Bravo, later this month, and the iconic series is getting a huge makeover for its 17th season.

Two of the show's staples, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, have moved on to greener pastures (see also: Amazon), leaving supermodel Karlie Kloss as host and Season 4 winner Christian Siriano as mentor. Completing the judges' table are fashion designer Brandon Maxwell, former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, and tenured Runway judge Nina Garcia.

Will new faces propel the show to further success, or will Klum and Gunn's absence be its downfall?

Based on the newly released trailer below, it looks like Runway will be better, fiercer, and more competitive than ever. 

"The first time I saw Project Runway was 15 years ago. Since then, the world has changed and so has the fashion industry," Kloss says in the clip. "This season of Project Runway will reflect that fashion evolution."

Beyond Kloss' optimistic two cents, it looks like viewers are in for drama. Lots and lots of it.

"Wait, you’re doing all this blue tulle? You’re killing me," Siriano says to one of the contestants.

"From head to toe, it's a disaster!" Garcia exclaims at one point.

Fashion heavy-hitters like Dapper Dan, Morena Baccarin, Marni Senofante, Linda Fargo, and Danielle Brooks are teased as Season 17 guests, and the rest of the trailer features the show's contestants laughing, crying, and full-on panicking over their designs. This is going to be one exciting season, we can tell!


During a Television Critics Association press day on Tuesday, Siriano explained how he actually has a leg up over Gunn as Project Runway mentor. 

"What’s really great about this season is that, for the first time, the mentor for the designers gets to be a designer," he said. "Tim was never a designer. He never worked in the business. He was a teacher. When the designers have a red-carpet challenge, I can actually give them real feedback because I’d just dressed people at the Golden Globes the week before. I’m giving them real, fashion-industry feedback that can, hopefully, only help them."

And we agree. While we'll miss Gunn's subtle not-so-subtle shade, Siriano is more qualified to offer valuable criticisms, which is beneficial to contestants and sartorially inclined viewers.

The pool of contestants for Project Runway 2.0 is also more diverse than ever. Season 17 will include a transgender model for the first time in the show's history.

"This is the most inclusive iteration of Project Runway that the world has ever seen, and I mean that across the board," shared Welteroth. "It is the most diverse cast, but it's also the most diverse cast of designers. From an age perspective, there's a 20 year age difference that you'll see. People are coming from all over the world from Samoa, India, all over the country."


What's more, a bigger prize is at stake. The winning designer will take home $250,000 — a $150,000 bump from the previous prize.

One more exciting addition? Fans will get the chance to buy contestants' designs. At the end of each episode, viewers will get to vote for their favorite look, which will be available for purchase.

In other words, PR fans' dreams are about to come true.

The new season of Project Runway returns to Bravo Thursday, March 14.

Nicole is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. She’s a disgrace to all the Pisces in the world because she has an emotional range of a teaspoon. Tweet her @nicolecordcruz for TV show recommendations.