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Tommy Hilfiger selects Chris Cortez in CBS' 'The Cut' finale

By Reality TV World staff, 09/08/2005 

In the end, Tommy Hilfiger decided to hire his biggest groupie.

Last night's finale of CBS' The Cut series ended with Hilfiger selecting Chris Cortez, a 26-year-old design student who admits to owning over a hundred pieces of Tommy clothing, as The Apprentice-like reality competition show's winner.

As The Cut's winner, Chris won a $250,000 salaried position with Hilfiger's clothing company and the opportunity to design his own collection under the Tommy Hilfiger label.

The Cut's finale began with three contestants still remaining in the competition -- Chris; Elizabeth, a 30-year-old magazine editor from Beverly Hills; and Princess, a 22-year-old freelance designer from Philadelphia. For their final assignments, the finalists had to design window displays that featured their own "lifestyle brands." The displays appeared at Macy’s Herald Square store in New York City, the world’s largest department store.

Similar to The Apprentice's final task format, Hilfiger allowed each of The Cut's three remaining finalists to select two former contestants to help them with their final assignment. Chris selected James and Deanna. Elizabeth chose Wes and Felix while Princess picked Rob and Chris S.

After receiving some lifestyle brand building advice from Jennifer Lopez, the finalists were off on their own, given $6,000 and 48 hours to create their products and displays. Elizabeth decided to build her brand around "a modern woman’s sophisticated life" while Princess opted for "urban chic." Like Princess, Chris also decided to add an "urban" element to his line, but instead decided to meld it with a more classic Tommy look.

Once Hilfiger and special guest Naomi Campbell reviewed the final window displays, the finalists gathered for their last Style Forum. Joining the finalists in the final Style Forum session were all of the show's sixteen original contestants. Deciding that Elizabeth's collection was "too plain" and "not special enough," Hilfiger eliminated her from the competition, leaving only Chris and Princess still in the running. After polling some of their former competitors as to their opinions of the two finalists, Hilfiger made his own decision, declaring that "the way you blend classic and traditional styles together with the fashion of the street is very interesting" and naming Chris as his apprentice newest employee.

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