Tim Gunn talks leaving 'Project Runway': 'It took a lot of guts on our part to do it'
As he does most things, Tim Gunn describes his decision to leave Project Runway with style and class. He and Heidi Klum, who’ve starred on the fashion design competition since 2004, announced in September their move to a future show of their own on Amazon.
“Well, when it was decided that the show was changing networks” from Lifetime to Bravo, Gunn told Yahoo Entertainment, “Heidi and I huddled and inhaled and said to ourselves, ‘We have 16 fabulous seasons behind us. Do we want a new adventure? And we said yes, and Amazon was there for us, and we’re so excited. We’re really … we’re ecstatic about the entire thing. So it was an opportunity, and it took a lot of guts on our part to do it, because we were sitting on such a hit, but we want a new adventure. And we want to broaden the scope of how we can portray fashion.”
Runway Season 4 winner Christian Siriano, whose designs now regularly appear in the pages of fashion magazines or on celebrities as they sashay down the red carpet, and model Karlie Kloss will take over Gunn and Klum’s starring roles.
Gunn, who’s known for giving his candid opinion, is enthusiastic about his replacements. So it’s somewhat surprising that he hasn’t connected with them yet. Maybe a phone call? An email?
“No, and I’m happy about it. I purposely didn’t want to reach out,” Gunn said. “I didn’t want to appear to have any sort of agenda, and they didn’t reach out. I think that’s great. There’s a clear demarcation. No fussiness, and there’s no influencing. I think it’s very good and very healthy.”
Still, Gunn wishes Siriano and Kloss well. He emphasized several times that he wants only good things for all of Project Runway. It feels like almost a new show from where he stands.
“Oh, listen, my hat’s off to them. Heidi and I have, and Karlie Kloss and Christian Siriano have, very different personalities, stepping into the places where we were, and I think that’s a great thing,” Gunn said. “I mean, the last thing you want to do is find someone who’s like me or like Heidi — and it will force these comparisons, which are never healthy.”
Besides, Gunn said he’s already focused on his new show.
“Frankly, I think, speaking for Heidi and certainly for me, this is now behind us and we’re just looking forward,” Gunn said. “And I’ll repeat, we wish them … we wish Project Runway continued success.”
The new show doesn’t have an air date yet, but one of the things Gunn is doing in the meantime is decorating for the holidays. He’s a spokesman for 3M’s Command Brand, so he dresses up his New York City apartment for the holidays using its hooks, clips, and other products.
“I’ll confess to you, everything that I have is artificial. I don’t bring in anything living, because I am a neat freak, and pine needles dropping all over the place drives me crazy,” Gunn said. “I have three 12-foot pine boughs that I hang — using Command hooks, I might say — and I put them up near the ceiling, so it has a very dramatic impact. It takes almost no time at all. And it looks like it took forever, and I love that fact, like it was really hard to do. It’s so easy to take down. That’s the central part of what I do.”
Every year, Gunn said he debates whether to have a tree. A friend stores an artificial tree for him, in case he decides to put one up.
“Because I have no room in my apartment for it,” Gunn said. “So it depends. Like most people, I have a small New York apartment, and the tree takes up the space of an oversized chair, which has to then go somewhere.”
He makes it work.
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