Designers, get ready to make this news work: Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano are joining the cast of Project Runway. Kloss, a model and entrepreneur, will host, while Siriano will take over the saintly duty of mentoring competitors. The pair is replacing longtime host and mentor duo Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn following a joint announcement that they'd be leaving the show after Season 16. After 11 seasons on Lifetime, Project Runway is moving back to its original home, Bravo, and adding two new judges to Supreme Justice Nina Garcia's bench. Garcia, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of Elle, has been with the show since its 2004 premiere. She's been joined by a rotating cast of judges and guest judges throughout the years, but now the seats will be filled full-time by designer Brandon Maxwell and journalist Elaine Welteroth, who was previously the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue.
Kloss is new to the show, but her easy charm, name recognition, and dedicated fans should make it an easy transition for her. She told Deadline she "grew up watching Project Runway," and lest you think that's an exaggeration, consider this: Kloss was literally 12 years old when the show premiered. Siriano, of course, rose to fame on Project Runway Season 4. He gained national attention for his enthusiasm, style, and over-the-top catchphrases before coming out on top.
Season 17 of the design competition is going to be fierce.
"Project Runway has offered such wonderful opportunities for so many and I’m excited to take on this role as a mentor," Siriano told Deadline. "I hope to guide and inspire the new talent on the rise."
"As someone who grew up watching Project Runway, I could not be more excited to host and produce a series that provides a platform to aspiring American designers as they pursue their creative and entrepreneurial dreams," she said. "I am equally as thrilled to work alongside an incredibly talented group of fashion innovators — Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth, Nina Garcia and Christian Siriano — to inspire, support and help guide these designers as they realize their visions and build everlasting brands and businesses."
Shari Levine, the EVP of Current Productions at Bravo, is just as psyched to have the two on board for the next iteration of the show.
"These are the perfect faces for the new Project Runway, as we recalibrate for a new generation of fashion enthusiasts," Levine said in a statement. "They are entrepreneurs and trailblazers with tremendous reach inside and outside the fashion industry, and give Bravo... the right fuel to reenergize the franchise."
Plus, like Klum, Kloss was a supermodel, a Victoria's Secret angel, and an entrepreneur before getting into the TV hosting game.
Honestly, it sounds like Project Runway is about to become must-see TV again. It's been years since any of the contestants broke out as household names and few have made it to the level of "Amy Poehler played me on Saturday Night Live" famous. What's more, moving back to Bravo adds a little something extra to it all. These days, Bravo is known for its colorful, brightly lit reality shows, so why not throw one of its OG competition series back into the mix?
Not to mention, Siriano is so much more than a TV punchline. He's a CFDA-awarded designer known for diverse runways *and* he's beloved by A-list actors. So like, yes, he knows the show, but he also knows how to win at life in general. Also, considering Kloss has equally famous friends, fans will be on their toes guessing which celeb might show up to help the judges that week.
There's no premiere date yet, so I suggest just blocking off your whole spring for Project Runway Season 17 to be sure.