A former winner of Bravo’s Project Runway will join the Season 17 cast of the iconic fashion design reality series in a very special capacity. Christian Siriano, now a go-to designer for Hollywood’s power elite, will add the credential to his roster — and return to roots — as a mentor to the show’s latest batch of hopefuls looking to make a mark on the fashion industry.
According to Bravo‘s Daily Dish, Siriano will assist in guiding the contestants to create “looks of a lifetime” during the competition. He will take the place of longtime Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn, who assisted Siriano during his performance in the competition.
“My mentorship style is a little bit more like I try to treat all the designers kind of how I treat my studio and my team. You know, it’s tough love, but it’s real critiques about fabrics and timing and what they can actually really do,” said the reality competition winner.
“Obviously, I’ve been there, and I obviously work in the business now, so I think I try to give as much advice as possible,” he explained.
Although the designer would love to get his hands dirty in the show’s infamous workroom alongside the contestants, he understands his role has changed from that of a fledgling designer to one with experience — and a respected name in the fashion industry.
Siriano won Season 4 of the Bravo show — the series’ youngest winner at the time. He was just 23 years old when he scored the winning prize of a fashion spread in Elle magazine, a 2008 Saturn Astra, and $100,000 to start his own label, per USA Today.
Today, Siriano is a go-to designer for stars such as Whoopi Goldberg, Leslie Jones, Billy Porter, Kelly Ripa, Laurie Metcalf, Janelle Monáe, Abbie Cornish, Alicia Silverstone, and Busy Phillips. He has also dressed Angelina Jolie, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Viola Davis, Amy Adams, Drew Barrymore, Lupita Nyong’o, Priyanka Chopra, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shailene Woodley, and Emily Blunt, according to his official website.
One of his most iconic designs appeared this year during the 2019 Academy Awards, when Billy Porter wore a tuxedo ballgown on the red carpet.
Entertainment Weekly reported that the revamped Project Runway includes a new workspace for the designers in Brooklyn. The new show will also boast a set for the runway shows. This season’s judges include Nina Garcia, designer Brandon Maxwell, and journalist Elaine Welteroth.
Karlie Kloss is the new host of Project Runway, which airs Thursdays on Bravo.