Heidi Klum has designs on designers.
The supermodel gives 12 amateur fashion creators the chance to enter the big time in "Project Runway," premiering at 10 p.m. Wednesday on Bravo. An executive producer of the show, Klum also serves as one of the judges who gauge which competitors fare best at the weekly challenges they're handed.
Also-rans are eliminated, in reality-TV tradition; the last three left will get to unveil full lines during New York's Fashion Week in February 2005.
Sharing the judging with Klum are sportswear and men's wear designer Michael Kors, Elle magazine fashion director Nina Garcia and Fashion News director Anne Slowey. Joined by guest judges every week, they also offer guidance to the designer wannabes, who have to live together and, in 11 cases, will feel the pain of ultimately being cut loose.
"This shows how important what designers do is," Klum says, "and how difficult it is to break into this business. It's the same thing as a model. I was discovered when I won a competition. Nowadays, it's so hard to break into anything. The world is getting so small. So I think it's a great opportunity for people who want to become a designer to be found on television."
A fan of reality TV, the German-born Klum puts fellow model Tyra Banks' UPN series, "America's Next Top Model," at the top of her must-watch list.
"I'm in the modeling business, so of course I want to see who's going to be the next top model," Klum reasons.
Jay Bobbin, Zap2It