Bravo’s Project Runway on the new era of fashion

On April 21, the American Apparel & Footwear Association will bestow the 2020 Fashion Maverick honor to Bravo/Project Runway. The show is loved all around the world for so many reasons. Let’s hear a little about the magic straight from the team behind this Emmy-winning series!

Project Runway logoTelevision shows come and go, but with 18 years under your belt, what is it about Project Runway that has made it a fan-favorite for so long?

Project Runway has continued to grow and evolve just like the fashion industry. Bravo has kept all the best parts of the franchise but brought the show into the new era of fashion. The show is part of the fashion evolution, including featuring designers, models, judges, and hosts that are relatable to our audience. The challenges have evolved to include fast fashion and flash sales. We have consistently challenged fashion norms, and this season created functional designs for Olympians and Paralympians, as well as an update to classic looks like tie dye and the tuxedo. The show has embraced the fandom with our social elements of voting on best designs through Bravo social media platforms.

When choosing designers for the show, what are you looking for? Who makes the best contestants on Project Runway?

The best contestants on Project Runway are those who are dynamic and diverse personalities. We want to represent the fashion industry as a whole and want to feature designers who have varied backgrounds, processes, design aesthetics, and level of training. It’s important that viewers and aspiring designers at home can see themselves in the designers we have on air. Representation was at the forefront of bringing the show back to Bravo and we carry this across the show with not only the designers but the models and judges as well.

Fashion often reflects the attitudes and feelings of the designer. Have you noticed any trends or changes in the priorities of the designers over the lifetime of the show?

Project Runway prides itself on keeping up with the everchanging fashion industry. Since returning to Bravo, the show has focused on timely issues such as sustainability through upcycling challenges like this season’s Goodwill challenge. This season embraces inclusion by featuring a variety of sexual orientations, racial backgrounds, and ages — including a nonbinary model and a trans model, a “Dreamer,” and the oldest designer ever to compete on “Project Runway.”

Sustainability is becoming a major priority in fashion – how is this impacting the program?

Sustainability is more than a trend, it’s a movement in the fashion industry. In addition to the upcycling efforts, our designers aim to have zero waste as explained in several of their final runway looks with the judges. Many of the designers come into the show highlighting their sustainable practices and many continue to practice zero waste policies when they return to their home studios. The show aims to bring more awareness to issues like sustainability in the fashion industry.

To celebrate Fashion’s Future with us on April 21 — and honor Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Brandon Maxwell, Alibaba Group, and of course Bravo/Project Runway — secure your ticket or table! Follow along on Instagram and Twitter with #AmericanImageAwards as we share stories about all of the honorees and countdown to the big night.