One minute they’re in, the next minute they’re out.
After 16 years with the critically acclaimed Project Runway series, supermodel Heidi Klum and fashion guru Tim Gunn are jumping ship to join Amazon Studios on an as-yet-to-be-named fashion reality series available in 200 countries and territories that will offer a “shoppable experience” for viewers.
“This intersection of content, commerce, and technology is perfectly suited to the cord cutter generation and streaming consumers,” Amazon Studios said in a statement.
The news comes 15 months after Amazon abruptly axed its Style Code Live streaming show that dabbled with a QVC-like format aimed at a younger audience. Guest stars on the half-hour weeknight show included Meghan Markle, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kourtney Kardashian.
Describing Klum and Gunn as “an iconic pop culture duo,” head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said in announcing the news, “Their drive to deliver fashionably entertaining, engaging and trendsetting content speaks for itself, and we believe their next iteration in this space will find an even larger audience on our global Prime Video runway.”
There are no details yet on what the Klum- and Gunn-fronted series will entail—beyond the pair’s commitment to “making fashion accessible”—but the tie-in with Amazon Fashion could be the power move that finally gives the e-commerce giant a foothold in fashion-with-a-capital-F. Despite its efforts to refurbish its image, Amazon still is largely seen as a place to buy apparel basics like socks and T-shirts and not so much a destination for the best designers and hot-off-the-runway trends.
However, that could be changing as a steady stream of well-known brands cozy up to the platform that’s poised to become the largest online seller of clothing in the U.S. this year. In the past 12 months alone, Nike, Calvin Klein and Chico’s have all announced formal partnerships with Amazon to become first-party sellers, and just this week, J.Crew said it now has an official Amazon storefront for its little sister Mercantile brand. In announcing the news, Amazon Fashion vice president Michelle Rothman said the company’s goal is to “enable fashion discovery and inspiration” on the widely used website.
A search on Amazon.com turned up 115 bras, panties, accessories and more from Heidi Klum Intimates, in addition to six items from the Heidi Klum for New Balance collection.
Designer Zac Posen also announced his departure from the upcoming season of Project Runway, which will leave the Lifetime Network to return to its original home on Bravo.