Television has seen a surge in reality shows. These reality shows focus on a variety of things from celebrity wives to survival to the world of high fashion. Many of these shows are similar in nature. Two such reality shows that focus on the fashion industry are America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway.
America’s Next Top Model is a reality show where 10 to 16 contestants compete against each other for a chance to be named, “America’s Next Top Model”. The winner earns the coveted title also earns several other prizes like a contact with Cover Girl cosmetics and a chance to be feature in a top fashion magazine such as Vogue or Elle. Former supermodel Tyra Banks, the show’s founder, acts as hostess, head judge, producer and mentor to the young girls that she recruits for the show.
Project Runway is similar in style to America’s Next Top Model. Like ANTM, it begins with 12 to 16 contestants who compete against each other. The winner of Project Runway gets a spread in Elle magazine and $100,000.00 to begin their own fashion line. Project Runway is also hosted by a supermodel- Heidi Klum. Klum acts as hostess, judge, and producer of the show. Unlike Tyra Banks, Klum does not mentor the designers.
America’s Next Top Model, which first aired in May 2003, is about marketability and survival in the modeling industry. After the first episode or two, the remaining contestants are given a make-over to create a more edgy look. The make-over process can include having the contestants’ hair lightened, cut, and extensions being added. Contestants have even had their teeth and skin conditions corrected.
On ANTM, one model is eliminated each episode until they are down to two. The final two models then participate in a fashion show. After the fashion show, the judges review each contestant’s performance throughout the competition and then decide who should be crowned America’s Next Top Model.
While America’s Next Top Model focuses on the models, Project Runway, which first premiered in December 2004, focuses on the designers. However, the model that is paired with the winning designer does receive a lucrative modeling contract. Each week, the designers are given a challenge where they have to create a specific look that highlights their own personal style while follows the challenge’s guidelines. The designers are usually given a limited amount of money and a short period of time in which to produce their look.
Project Runway like America’s Next Top Model eliminates one contestant each week following a challenge. The final episode features three, sometimes four, designers who must design looks to present at New York’s Fashion Week.
Both Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model focus on the world of high fashion, and they chose winners based on their marketability. The designers and the models must be creative, and they must be able to produce a look that will sell in the world of high fashion.