Watch: Will Viewers Buy ‘Fashion Star’?

by | March 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Fashion Star

Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, Elle Macpherson and Jessica Simpson of 'Fashion Star' (Photo: NBC)

If fashion is your passion, then you’ll want to buy in to the new reality show launching this week, “Fashion Star.”

The fashion-themed reality competition, which premieres Tuesday night at 10/9c on NBC, is looking for the next great designer — and the next hot brand. What’s different here is that it’s not just your customary challenges and eliminations and a soon-to-be forgotten winner given money for a collection that never takes off (or an album that flops, like so many “American Idols”).

Here’s the “Fashion” twist: The outfits that win each week are immediately available for purchase online right after the episode airs, or in stores the next day. So if viewers see a to-die-for jacket or a must-have mini on the pre-taped show, they can just go out and get it. Instant gratification! That is also a huge win for the designers, who struggle to get their clothes seen, especially in this economy.

The judges’ panel includes celebrity mentors singer/fashion designer Jessica Simpson, reality star/fashion designer Nicole Richie and designer John Varvatos, with supermodel (and lingerie designer) Elle Macpherson taking on hosting duties.

Meet the Mentors:

The one-hour show features 14 unknown designers who offer a variety of experience, ranging from a stay-at-home mom to a former model to a former engineer. They must execute challenges in which they create an actual piece of wearable clothing, as opposed to some of the silly gimmicks rival programs such as “Project Runway” have devolved into, like creating dresses out of toothpicks.

After a runway show and critiques from the judges’ panel, the designers face three buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M and Macy’s, who will then bid on the designs if they want them exclusively in their stores. The contestants who receive an offer move on to the next week, while the ones who do not may have their well-heeled butts bounced to the curb, with one designer eliminated each week. The judges, however, have the ability to “save” one designer from being cut from the competition.

The winner of the whole shebang gets $6 million in orders for their fashion lines to appear in all three department stores.

And as we know, the Devil wears Prada and she means business, meaning don’t expect the judges or the buyers to go easy on the wannabe Coco Chanels.

Sneak Peek of Runway Show: Would You Wear These Clothes?

Host Elle Macpherson Explains How It Works: