Three years after NBC canceled Fashion Star, a show that saw aspiring designers compete to sell their creations at H&M, Macy’s and Saks after each episode (and lasted for just two seasons), long-running reality series Project Runway is testing the “see now, buy now” approach.
The TV show, now in its 15th season, has partnered with eBay to offer viewers the chance to bid on contestants’ designs straight off the catwalk after the episode has aired by going to the “Project Runway Originals” tab under the online marketplace’s “Charity Shop” section. Proceeds from each item sold benefit Robin Hood, a New York-based poverty-fighting organization.
EBay’s charity marketing manager, Ali Joseph, told Glossy that Project Runway asked the online auction site to get involved after the last season had ended. The move simultaneously boosts eBay’s reputation as a platform for one-of-a-kind finds and allows both parties to tap into the “see now, buy now” movement that’s slowing sweeping fashion week runways all over the world. In addition, the potential for audience engagement is huge.
Viewers of Project Runway, which airs Thursday nights on Lifetime, can begin bidding on both winning and losing designs the following Friday morning. Auctions run for one week and bidding starts at $50.
At time of writing, 12 outfits that appeared in the third episode were listed, though only four had received bids. Descriptions of each item included the designer’s name, whether the look won or lost, its condition, what the theme of the episode was, the material used and the measurements. But given that each piece was custom-made on the show to fit the model that wore it (the waist of one skirt, for instance, measures 10 inches when laid flat), the likelihood of the garments being worn again is slim to none.