Lifetime has announced it has ordered Under the Gunn, a new Project Runway spinoff starring the Runway mentor. The fashion design reality competition will give three former Project Runway contestants the ability to mentor and manage their own team of up-and-coming designers and premiere January 16, 2014 at 9PM ET/PT.
Gunn has been a mentor on Project Runway since its first season debuted in 2004, and the show gave him the opportunity to save one contestant from elimination during its recently-concluded twelfth edition. Now, Gunn will apparently get to call all the shots in Under the Gunn for which he'll serve as the host.
Project Runway alumni Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos will serve as the competition's mentors and each be responsible for choosing four team members of 15 up-and-coming designers to "manage, coach, cheerlead and, when necessary, knock down with tough love in order to lead them to runway success," according to the network.
The contestants will be judged by designer Rachel Roy, celebrity stylist Jen Rade, and Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor Zanna Roberts Rassi.
Under the Gunn's first two episodes will feature Gunn presenting the 15 hopefuls with a race-around-the-clock challenge during which Guerra, Ayoung-Chee and Verreos must determine which four designers will be on each of their teams.
Episodes later in the season will show Gunn explaining new challenges that will test the mentors' ability to bring out the best in their designers throughout the competition. One designer and his or her mentor will ultimately be crowned the winners of Under the Gunn.
Verreos appeared on the second season of Project Runway in 2005. Guerra finished as the runner-up on Project Runway's eighth season in 2010 and then went on to win Project Runway: All-Stars last year. Ayoung-Chee won the ninth season of the series in 2011.
Gunn has also seemed to make a lasting impression on contestants he's worked with on Project Runway.
"Tim's an incredible person. There's not really words to describe how helpful he is. He likes to do way more than just [be] a mentor. He takes it to like another level. He's emotional support, guidance, and he does so much for us," Project Runway's twelfth-season winner Dom Streater told Reality TV World in an exclusive interview last month.
"I mean, he was most definitely a huge, huge help the entire season to each of us -- I know especially to me. I probably, without his guidance and his feedback on my work, I'm pretty sure that I may not have won! Because Tim is a really, really spectacular person. He has a great eye for design. He knows what he's talking about."
Under the Gunn begins production this month in Los Angeles at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.
The same production companies behind Project Runway -- The Weinstein Company and Bunim/Murray Productions -- will also be producing Under the Gunn. Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Meryl Poster, Barbara Schneeweiss, Jonathan Murray, Sara Rea, Teri Weidman, Eli Lehrer, Mary Donahue, and David Hillman will be serving as executive producers for the new series.
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