Amazon is launching a new competition show with ‘Project Runway’ cohosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, and it’s just the latest way the online mega-retailer is drawing customers to its fashion platform

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are set to executive produce and host Amazon's new fashion competition series,

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Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are set to executive produce and host Amazon’s new fashion competition series, “Making the Cut.”
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Amazon Studios
  • Amazon Prime Video’s new fashion competition series, “Making the Cut,” is set to premiere on March 27, according to an Amazon press release. It will be hosted and executive produced by former “Project Runway” hosts, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.
  • The show will bring together 12 designers, as they travel to New York, Paris, and Tokyo to face challenges that will test their abilities not only design, but also in entrepreneurship.
  • According to Amazon, “Making the Cut” will be the “first-ever global and instantly shoppable series,” which allows the winning looks of each episode to be available for purchase in the dedicated Amazon Fashion “Making the Cut” store.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

How does Amazon Fashion plan to lure in customers? By getting into the reality television game, of course.

Amazon has announced a new fashion competition series, set to debut on Prime Video on March 27. The new series, called “Making the Cut,” will be hosted and executive produced by former “Project Runway” alums Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

According to an Amazon press release, the show will feature 12 designers who will travel to New York, Paris, and Tokyo as they face challenges which will test their ability in not only design but also entrepreneurship. Two episodes are set to air weekly, leading up to the finale scheduled for April 24.

Klum and Gunn filming

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Klum and Gunn filming “Making the Cut.”
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Amazon Studios

The 12 designers will be judged by a rotating slew of fashion experts, including supermodel Naomi Campbell and former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld.

Nicole Richie and Naomi Campbell on the set of Amazon's

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Nicole Richie and Naomi Campbell on the set of Amazon’s “Making the Cut”
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Amazon Studios

Immediately after each episode airs, the limited edition looks from the show will be available for purchase via Amazon Fashion in its dedicated “Making the Cut” store. Designers will be eliminated throughout the course of the show, with the winner receiving a $1 million prize.

“‘Project Runway’ is the undergraduate program and ‘Making the Cut’ is the graduate and PhD program,” Gunn said at a television press event, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Is Amazon the next big thing in fashion?

Already a dominant force in industries like tech, Amazon has been actively building up its presence in the fashion industry over the last few years. In 2017, the online mega-retailer brought on Christine Beauchamp – who previously worked at Ralph Lauren Corporation and L Brands – as the president of Amazon Fashion. Under her tenure, Amazon launched brands Goodthreads and The Fix, in addition to a collaboration with Calvin Klein and a line with actress Drew Barrymore.

Gunn and a contestant on Amazon's upcoming

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Gunn and a contestant on Amazon’s upcoming “Making the Cut.”
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Amazon Studios

In May 2019, Amazon launched The Drop, which, according to the website, lets influencers design “limited edition fashion collections,” which are then sold exclusively on Amazon. The Drop collections are launched every few weeks, and, according to Glossy, are only available for 30 hours or until it sells out.

Amazon also launched Prime Wardrobe and Echo Look; both are features which connect consumers directly to fashion stylists. Prime Wardrobe allows customers to select items online, then try them on at home, only paying for the the items they want to keep. At the same time, Echo Look lets customers take photos of themselves in clothes, with a “Style Check” feature to give advice on the outfits which look best.

“The customer really needs information. They want to know that [their clothing purchases are] going to fit,” Beauchamp said in an Amazon blog. “They want to know the color’s accurate, they want to know the fabric moves well across their body.”

Amazon turning its focus to fashion is paying off

According to a Wells Fargo report cited by CNBC, in 2018, Amazon made $35 billion from its sales of apparel and footwear. This is less than 15% of Amazon’s total sales, which were $232.9 billion overall, CNBC reports. As reported by CNBC’s Lauren Thomas, Amazon earning $35 billion in apparel and footwear sales eclipses its competitors in this space, such as athletic retailer Lululemon, who brought in $3.3 billion in sales in 2018, and Gap Inc. whose net sales were $16.6 billion.