Bravo will launch the third season of the Emmy-nominated reality series Project Runway on Wednesday, July 12 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT with a new cast of fifteen talented fashion designers. Selected from thousands of hopefuls, the designers will compete for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show in the world-renowned Bryant Park tents during New York's Fashion Week. Project Runway will provide the opportunity for these budding designers to break into the notoriously exclusive fashion business. The wildly successful competition reality series has proven to be one of television's most talked-about shows and produced some of TV's most memorable personalities and unforgettable moments.
The success of Project Runway is underscored by the performance of the program's second season finale this past March. The highly-anticipated episode was seen by an audience of over 3.4 million making it the most viewed single telecast in the 20-year history of the network.
The Project Runway season three designers are:
- Bradley Baumkirchner, 32, Los Angeles, CA
- Robert Best, 37, West Hollywood, CA
- Laura Bennett, 42, New York, NY
- Malan Breton, 33, Long Island City, NY
- Bonnie Dominguez, 31, San Diego, CA
- Stacey Estrella, 40, San Francisco, CA
- Katherine Gerdes, 25, Minneapolis, MN
- Kayne Gillaspie, 27, Norman, OK
- Ulrike "Uli" Herzner, 35, Miami Beach, FL
- Alison Kelly, 26, Brooklyn, NY
- Angela Keslar, 33, Amesville, OH
- Michael Knight, 28, Atlanta, GA
- Vincent Libretti, 49, Santa Monica, CA
- Keith Michael, 34, New York, NY
- Jeffrey Sebelia, 36, Los Angeles, CA
Once again, supermodel Heidi Klum heads a panel of industry luminaries, including top women's and men's wear designer Michael Kors and Elle Magazine fashion director Nina Garcia, who will serve as judges and industry mentors charged with selecting and molding the budding designers. In addition, each week will feature a special guest judge based on the specific challenge given to the participants. Tim Gunn, Chair of Fashion Design for Parsons The New School For Design, will return to guide the contestants through each of their challenges. The fifteen contestants will be whittled down to only three finalists who will face-off in front of an audience of movers and shakers at New York Fashion Week in September.
Leading into the premiere episode of Project Runway, Bravo will air a one-hour special episode that gives viewers carte blanche into the "Project Runway" casting process. The special, hosted by Bravo's own Tim Gunn, will air at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and lead into the season premiere on Wednesday, July 12.
"Watching as each of these designers grow and develop during this challenging competition is absolutely amazing," noted Ms. Klum. "There's some real talent here and it's clear that each of them has what it takes to be successful in the fashion business, but this is a unique opportunity for them to show what they can do. I'm so proud of 'Project Runway' and I can't wait to see what our third season will bring."
"There is an inherent fun, intensity and drama to this series that continues to make Project Runway appointment viewing. We believe Runway fans will be as riveted by this season's talented designers and amazed by their creativity as they have in previous seasons," said Frances Berwick, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Bravo.
"Project Runway has been a phenomenal success and Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Bravo, Full Picture, and Heidi Klum are all incredible partners," said Barbara Schneeweiss, Vice President of Television and Film Development and Production for The Weinstein Company. "We are looking forward to the premiere of season three this summer."
In addition to its impressive ratings numbers, Project Runway continues to drive traffic to the BravoTV.com site. Since its launch, the series has garnered an impressive 87 million page views and 2.2 million unique visitors and remains one of the most popular sites on the web. Tim Gunn's "Take Section" on BravoTV.com alone garnered 9.1 million page views and the "Tim's Take Podcasts" have gotten 600,000 downloads.
As part of their prize package, Saturn will award the winner a 2007 Saturn Sky Roadster. The winner's designs will be featured in a spread in ELLE magazine and Macy's will award them with a mentorship with I.N.C. International Concepts. The winning designer will also walk away with $100,000 in seed money from TRESemmé to help launch his or her own line.
Leading up to the launch of season three, fans of Project Runway can begin stocking their DVD library and re-experience their favorite Runway moments when the four disc DVD set of Project Runway: The Complete Second Season is available in stores beginning June 27. In addition to the memorable cast of designers including Santino, Chloe, Andrae, Daniel V. and Nick, among others, season two features special appearances by guest judges Debra Messing, Nicky Hilton and Sacha Cohen. Added bonuses include 13 extended episodes with never-before-seen footage as well as bloopers, outtakes, a "Wear Are They Now?" contestants update, and exclusive season 3 casting call footage. Project Runway: The Complete Second Season is available from Genius Products, Inc. and The Weinstein Company for an SRP of $39.92.