Fans of reality television shows will surely be excited to catch a glimpse of Project Runway locations on On Location Tours’ NYC TV & Movie Tour and Sex and the City Hotspots Tou. Project Runway is a reality competition show in which twelve or more fashion designers work towards showing their designs at New York’s famed Fashion Week, with one of the finalists winning several prizes, including $100,000 to start their own fashion line.
Project Runway premiered on the Bravo network in December of 2004. On each episode, the contestants are given a challenge that tests their design skills and ingenuity. Challenges have included creating garments out of apartment furnishings, recyclable materials, items from a grocery store, plants and flowers, edible food items, and even the clothes off the designers’ own backs. Other challenges have been to create garments for celebrities or for a commercial brand. During these challenges, the designers are given a strict time and monetary budget. At the end of each episode, the designers show off their designs at a fashion show, and the losing designer is eliminated from the competition.
Supermodel Heidi Klum is the host and lead judge for Project Runway. At the end of each episode, when sending the losing contestant home, Klum says goodbye to them using her famous catchphrase, “Auf Wiedersehen.” The show’s other judges are designer Michael Kors, Elle magazine editor-at-large Nina Garcia, and a weekly guest judge. Style guru Tim Gunn is the contestants’ mentor.
For the show’s first five seasons, Project Runway was shot on-location at Parsons: The New School for Design in New York City’s Fashion District. The season finale of Project Runway is always filmed at Bryant Park Fashion Week, the pinnacle event of the fashion world, which is held every February and September at Bryant Park in Manhattan. Bryant Park is also seen on the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour.
In April of 2008, the show’s producers, the Weinstein Company, announced their plans to move Project Runway from Bravo to the Lifetime Television network and to Los Angeles, beginning with Season 6. In turn, NBC Universal (the parent company of Bravo) filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company for violating its contract rights. Finally in April of 2009 the lawsuit was settled, with the Weinstein Company agreeing to pay NBC and undisclosed sum for the right to move the show to Lifetime. Project Runway returned to New York City for Season 7 on Lifetime.
In addition to Parsons The New School for Design and Bryant Park, our unique New York City sightseeing tours will take you past several recognizable locations from Project Runway. On the NYC TV & Movie Tour, catch a glimpse of America’s favorite seafood restaurant, Red Lobster in Times Square. Season two’s Santino did a hilarious impression of Tim Gunn and of a fake scenario in which Gunn and cast member Andraé had dinner dates at the restaurant.
As you cruise down Fifth Avenue, keep an eye out for Cheap Jack’s. When designers in season one were challenged to envision a collection for the year 2055, the twist was that they had to construct it using materials from the past—found at this vintage store. We’ll also pass through the great neighborhood of Chelsea, home to the famed Flower District. Gorgeous plants and flowers line the three-block-long District, an open-air market for wholesale and retail florists. During season two, contestants snapped up all sorts of petals and greens to fashion garden party dresses.
For fashionistas-in-training, New York City is a designer’s and shopper’s playground!
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.