If you’ve been a fan of Project Runway in the US you’ll be thrilled to know that we are getting our own version of the show here in SA!
The original US version that was hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum, puts budding and brilliantly capable fashion designers to the test, under the guidance of mentor and co-host Tim Gunn. Judges of the latest season in the US are Nina Garcia and Zac Posen.
The US series is an “Emmy regular”, having been nominated for best reality competition series annually since 2005 when it was first eligible. Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn have also been nominated in the hosting category numerous times, and won in 2013.
BUT WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM PROJECT RUNWAY SA?
For one, the anchors of the show i.e. the host and mentor are two fabulous and capable characters namely Lerato Kganyago and Gert-Johan Coetzee.
The Host: Lerato Kganyago
The award-winning TV presenter, DJ, businesswoman and motivational speaker is the host of Project Runway SA. She’s been in the limelight for many years starting with her title as Miss Jam Alley in 2002 and Miss Soweto shortly after. She then landed a job in the newly launched Soweto TV. She accidentally fell into radio when she stood in for a presenter of a community radio station that didn’t arrive for a show. As the recent winner of this year’s SAFTA for best TV presenter, South Africa’s first version of the hit international series will be in accomplished and glamorous hands.
Lerato will keep us deeply entrenched in the challenges, highs and lows and the drama that contestants face. She will also work closely with resident judges, Noni Gasa and menswear designer Rahim Rawjee, and mentor Gert-Johan Coetzee.
The Mentor: Gert-Johan Coetzee
Gert-Johan is arguably South Africa’s top eveningwear and couture designer. His exquisite creations are worn by A-list celebrities on red carpets around the world.
As mentor he will be playing a substantial role in Project Runway SA. Amidst the inevitable drama and panic that comes with intense challenges, Coetzee will help keep the contestants on deadline, guiding them on their designs and fabric choices.
Coetzee can identify with the contestants. He is a small-town boy who has always loved fashion. He was already in sewing classes by the age of 6, by the age of 8 he was creating dresses. By 19 he was winning awards. He was just 23 when he launched his own label at SA Fashion Week in 2010.
Mentorship is not new to Coetzee. The flourishing designer launched his own bursary programme, which has already been running for 7 years. The Gert-Johan Coetzee Bursary Programme covers students for 3 years. It includes personal mentorships by Coetzee himself, as well as internships at his studio.
DON’T MISS IT!
As the competition progresses, designers are steadily eliminated. One will walk away with the ultimate prize: An opportunity to showcase at a pop up at Paris Fashion Week in February 2019, a mentorship and prizes worth R400 000 from Edgars, a Lexus CT200h, a trip to New York Fashion Week with TRESemmé and R20 000 towards their first showcase at a South African fashion week, R30 000 worth of Kelso beauty products, a R10 000 shopping voucher from Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, Bernina sewing equipment and a two night stay at Bakubung Bush Lodge.
Equilibrio is delighted that young fashion talent is being nurtured through this show. May it be the first initiative of many in support of the talented, local industry.
Project Runway SA will be kicking off on Tuesday, 10 July 2018 at 21:30 on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161.
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