Project Runway vs. The Fashion Show

“In the battle of fashion design theme reality television, who will prevail?”



You are out! The now infamous line that only Heidi Klum can deliver the way that she does has become synonymous with a show that has become a cultural phenomenon. The show has brought the “behind the scenes” fashion industry to the forefront and has made household names out of once not so household names such as Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. “Runway Jr.” (As the New York Post so appropriately pet named it for their Sunday paper review the week of its debut) “The Fashion Show” has adopted its’ own tag line, “I’m not buying it” and guess what Bravo/NBC, neither is anyone else.

I mean, Isaac Mizrahi, ok, we all know who he is and that makes sense. Fern Mallis, incredibly well respected within fashion circles plus we would not have a 7th on 6th New York Fashion Week or Fashion Week throughout the world if it weren’t for Fern. However, Kelly Rowland? She is no muse and hardly a fashion plate so how did this happen? I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets replaced come show renewal time. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE Kelly however her duties as a host are lacking and she lends ZERO credibility to the premise of the show.

Runway” producers and the man behind all of it is Harvey Weinstein; co-founder of Miramax Films, current co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company and husband of Georgina Chapman, the creative force behind Marchesa and the revival of iconic fashion designer, Halston. The Weinstein’s got into an ugly and very public legal battle with the original home for the show. Mr. Weinstein publicly stated that “Runway” would be moving to Lifetime Television for its 6th and subsequent seasons all to the shock and dismay of Bravo’s parent company, NBC. After some behind the scenes antics, Weinstein settled with NBC for an undisclosed sum for the rights to “Runway.”

While all of this was brewing, “Runway” was in production for it’s 6th season, New York Magazine pitted Nina Garcia and Anne Slowey (Fashion News Director at Elle) against each other in a cover story for it’s Fall 2008 fashion issue, Nina Garcia “left” Elle for Marie Claire (rumor has it she was actually fired from Elle for basically, never being there), contracts were still up in the air for Michael Kors and Heidi Klum who reportedly were holding out for more money and Page Six was reporting it all. Phew! Then it was finally announced that “Runway” would be back for season 6 starting in August 2009.

It all begs the question: who will prevail? The answer: I think it’s a tie ladies and gentleman. Although one show is clearly the heavyweight I believe that the public fascination with glamour industries such as fashion are historically long standing and will prevail. “Fashion” I believe has some tweaking to do but I am confident they will find their niche; the show has debuted to good reviews and impressive Nielsen ratings. I am actually not a fan of either show if you can believe it but being a fashionista and PR person myself, I must stay in the loop of goings-on’s in the industry. The fashion industry addition to the world of reality TV is a genre that is here to stay. With “ANTM” still clearly going full steam, the possible return of “Stylista” and shows like “Make me a Supermodel” still garnering notable ratings, I think it’s safe to say that we all better hold on to our TiVo and DVR subscriptions, at least for a while…

Photos Credits: Bravo ( & NBC (, please check for your local listings

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