How to Become a Contestant on Project Runway

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To become a contestant on Project Runway, a person must be familiar with the fashion industry and develop his or her own designs. Project Runway is a reality television competition that airs on the Lifetime television network.[1] On the show, contestants have the chance to design original clothing and have it judged by experienced fashion designers and supermodels. While prospective contestants on Project Runway are not required to have a certain amount of fashion industry experience, they do have to meet age and residency requirements.

Wikimedia Commons: tula jeng
Education No formal education required
Starting pay N/A
Median pay N/A
10 yr growth N/A
Related professions Fashion designer
Author Selena Robinson

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Project Runway Contestant Job Overview

On Project Runway, amateur fashion designers compete in a series of style challenges. Their work each week is judged by a panel that includes supermodel Heidi Klum, fashion editor Nina Garcia, designer Zac Posen, and designer Tim Gunn. All of the contestants' designs are featured during the weekly runway show, and the designer who receives the worst overall score is sent home each week. During the show's finale, the last two designers left compete for the show's grand prize, which includes $150,000 in cash, a photospread in Marie Claire, and gifts from HP and L'Oreal.[2]

Project Runway Submission Guidelines

In order to try out for the show, prospective contestants must submit samples or portfolios of their work. A portfolio for Project Runway should include a color photograph of the contestant, several pictures of his or her original designs, design sketches, and a short video where the applicant talks about his or her personality, experience, and ultimate fashion industry goal.[3]

Project Runway Contestant Education

The producers of Project Runway do not require contestants to meet any formal education requirements. All applicants must be at least 21 years of age, however. In addition, contestants must be legal residents of the U.S. or hold legal visas in order to audition for the program. Since Project Runway is designed for amateur designers, applicants who have sold more than $500,000 of clothing from their own lines within the last three years are disqualified from appearing on the show.[3]

Project Runway Contestant Training

During the competition, Project Runway contestants receive hands-on training and advice from designer Tim Gunn, who serves as both a judge and a mentor. As contestants work on their creations, Gunn visits to inspect their designs and offer constructive criticism.[2] The show's producers also tends to select designers who have superior design and sewing skills, so those who are interested in appearing on Project Runway may decide to improve their sewing and sketching before they apply.[4]

Tim Gunn on Project Runway

A Project Runway scene featuring contestants working under designer Tim Gunn

Also See: How to Become a Contestant on America's Next Top Model, How to Become a Contestant on Big Brother, How to Become a Contestant on Hell's Kitchen, How to Become a Fashion Designer, How to Become a Fashion Stylist


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