Fashion design meets retail on Amazon’s ‘Making the Cut’

‘Making the Cut’ – Watch and then shop with Amazon series

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn host “Making the Cut,” premiering Friday on Amazon.

It seems a no-brainer that a fashion competition series would make its winning creations available for sale online. But in the case of Amazon’s “Making the Cut,” the retail infrastructure was already in place.

Premiering Friday, March 27, the 10-episode reality show brings 12 designers to three of the world’s fashion capitals – New York, Paris and Tokyo – to face challenges designed to test their design skills and their ability to run a business. In each episode, they’ll be tasked with creating one avant garde concept and one more mainstream design. The winning entry in the latter category – as determined by judges including Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld and Chiara Ferragni – will then be sold on Amazon’s “Making the Cut” store for $100 or less.

The season finale victor receives $1 million to invest in their brand and the opportunity to create an exclusive line for Amazon.

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn host “Making the Cut,” premiering Friday on Amazon.

It’s an idea that has hosts, executive producers and former “Project Runway” mentors Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum ecstatic over the possibilities, as they told a recent gathering of journalists in Pasadena, Calif.

“For the first time, finally our audience can shop so, it’s great.,” Klum says. “It’s a win/win situation I feel like for everyone. That was very important for me that we’re going to go with a company, such as Amazon, versus other companies, in order to have that component for these designers, because that was never possible before. You see something, you want it, but you can’t have it. So here, you have a winning look every week and people can buy it around the world.”

“And to be perfectly blunt,” Gunn adds, ” ‘Making the Cut’ wouldn’t have happened without ‘Project Runway.’ … I would say that ‘Project Runway’ is the undergraduate program and ‘Making the Cut’ is the graduate and Ph.D. program. In ‘Project Runway’ we talk about how a sleeve is set into a bodice. You don’t hear a conversation like that happening on ‘Making the Cut.’ It’s more about how does this mini-collection you’ve designed for this particular episode’s assignment … fit into your larger view of your brand? And it really is about finding the next global brand. And we do.”

Both hosts point out that “Making the Cut” will be more egalitarian in that its designs will not be just for people of a certain size but all sizes.

“It should be everywhere,” Klum says. “Not just on this show, it should be everywhere,”

“And it’s seamless,” Gunn says. “We don’t address it other than the fact that you see it visually in who the models are.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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